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View Full Version : Did we handle Nick Folk wrong?


LonghornsLegend
10-13-2010, 10:40 PM
Yes, I know you could say this for alot of players that are released/cut every season, but this is a former pro bowler who had an off year, and we didn't have any proven options at the time, nor did we go out and find one(draft or FA).


Also watching him on fire for the Jets also makes me sick to my stomach, he's 12 for 14 this season with a long of 53 yards which is a career best he hadn't hit since he was a rookie, he also went 5 for 5 Monday night and was about as clutch as you can get.


Now here we are, with a strong legged kicker who was only taught to pound the ball as far as he could, who is still missing FG's and shaky....We didn't bring in a vet, so basically we are stuck with insecurity at the FG position for a team who at least wanted to make a playoff run.


Now I don't want hindsight answers, but I am wondering if we handled this properly. Was there any way to put him on IR due to injury complications and bring him back with an open competition with Buehler? If we released him outright was there a chance to bring him back afterwards for a decent price?


I was fed up with Folk also, he was losing games flat out, but if there was any way to stop him from being our K last year and giving him a shot in the next season to regain form I would like to know because I would have been all for it.


Most moves I can live with, but this one stings in the worst way, just wondering if we didn't handle a former pro bowler coming off a serious injury the correct way. I don't know how to vote yet, I guess not until I hear from a few people letting me know of what some of the options were we had with him at the time.

brat316
10-13-2010, 10:47 PM
Keep Buehler for kick offs thats a given, but someone has to teach this kid how to aim. And if that fails, you gotta use his size for something. K/gunner?

Mr. Goosemahn
10-13-2010, 10:56 PM
Yes, I know you could say this for alot of players that are released/cut every season, but this is a former pro bowler who had an off year, and we didn't have any proven options at the time, nor did we go out and find one(draft or FA).


Also watching him on fire for the Jets also makes me sick to my stomach, he's 12 for 14 this season with a long of 53 yards which is a career best he hadn't hit since he was a rookie, he also went 5 for 5 Monday night and was about as clutch as you can get.


Now here we are, with a strong legged kicker who was only taught to pound the ball as far as he could, who is still missing FG's and shaky....We didn't bring in a vet, so basically we are stuck with insecurity at the FG position for a team who at least wanted to make a playoff run.


Now I don't want hindsight answers, but I am wondering if we handled this properly. Was there any way to put him on IR due to injury complications and bring him back with an open competition with Buehler? If we released him outright was there a chance to bring him back afterwards for a decent price?


I was fed up with Folk also, he was losing games flat out, but if there was any way to stop him from being our K last year and giving him a shot in the next season to regain form I would like to know because I would have been all for it.


Most moves I can live with, but this one stings in the worst way, just wondering if we didn't handle a former pro bowler coming off a serious injury the correct way. I don't know how to vote yet, I guess not until I hear from a few people letting me know of what some of the options were we had with him at the time.

Hope you don't mind a Steelers fan barging in (edit: or two :D ), but I think you guys did the right thing.

Kickers' success is 99% psychological, and when a kicker goes from Pro-Bowl to no Pro-Bowl in less than a year, then something is definitely wrong. Even if he had an injury, he was missing kicks and losing games. Whenever a kicker finds himself in such a position, his exit is always around the corner.

Very few kickers can shake off missed kicks. Not because they missed them, but because of everything that goes into kicking a field goal. If they hook it right, they'll try to kick more to the left and can overcompensate. If they didn't get enough leg on a kick, they can try to get more strength on the next field goal and kick it wrong. The precision of their kicking procedure is definitely underrated.

And while there have been occasions where a kicker is kept on the roster after sucking it up after a great year (Garrett Hartley), such a situation doesn't last. I don't know if a kicker can be placed on IR, but it isn't really that great a situation to be in. If you find a kicker you deem a good replacement, why keep the both of them? You do, of course, have to make sure he is a good replacement.

In hindsight, many people will say that it was a mistake and whatnot, but I don't think it was. Kickers have one job and if they can't do it, they need to go. There are always replacements (John Carney), and teams need to realize when a kicker just isn't cutting it. When kickers lose their "swagger," it can be career ending. Just ask Mike Vanderjagt.

LonghornsLegend
10-14-2010, 12:06 AM
Thanks for the response Goosemahn, outside opinions are definately welcome. Spot on with Vanderjagt, this case could have very easily ended up that way. But then with the Hartley case, they didn't let him lose as many games, and instead of cutting him they kept him around and gave him another shot. Maybe it was because Folk had an injury and Hartley didn't, but just interesting how they handled it with him.

igglefanz
10-14-2010, 01:28 AM
I think as a whole really the only mistake Dallas made was putting total faith into Buehler. In college he was just average as best as a field goal kicker and even then anything from 30-50 yards he was 16 for 23 in his college career.

For example compare Sr seasons for him and Graham Gano for Washington. In college Gano was automatic within 50 yards only missing 2 times over 50 yards. In one year he was 24-26 overall 19-19 for anything under 50 and 5-7 on anything 50 plus . Buehler was 9-13 overall, none attempted from 50 plus. The kid has an amazing leg but only hit 70% of his field goals his sr year. In the long run I think even though gano himself has missed 3 (( 2 of which were over 50 yards))fg's this year will be a much better kicker then Buehler.

I know we don't get to see all of the practices and Buehler may of put a show on and had a great preseason i think he was what 9-10? But even then Kicking a field goal in a game when all the pressure is on and kicking in different stadiums all add up to alot of things that can effect how good someone is.

Kickers can totally loose it but also if you look at some even like Akers and Vinetari have had a season that is horrid but rebound. Kicking is totally subject to mechanics more then a qb pass is and one lil thing is off and can turn a 90% fg kicker into a 60%. the thing is even I had bought the preseason hype I thought Dallas right now would be sitting on top of the division or close to it. You cannot have a kicker you dont have faith in a super bowl contender and Dallas appeared ready to win now. They felt Folk was going to cost them so they sent him packing.

So as a whole the only thing i question is them feeling that Buehler was the total answer. They must of saw something we didn't. Who knows maybe he will pull it together but I think you have as of right now a kicker that is gonna scare you with each attempt from 35 plus but is as scary as a lb on special teams and will lead the league in TB.

J-Mike88
10-14-2010, 06:52 AM
This is an interesting topic for me as a Packer fan, because it parallels our own Mason Crosby.

In 2007, the year both our teams were great and should have gone to the Super Bowl, we both won some games with our kickers coming thru with clutch game-winners, and both guys were great. We thought our Crosby should have been the Pro Bowler, but Folk got it.

In 2008, he missed his biggest kicks, including a 50+ yarder on the final play at Minnesota which would have won the game. That kick was hit well, just didn't hook an inch. That game was a huge 2-game swing.

Last year, Crosby struggled badly, and some people thought they should get rid of him. But McCarthy knows how physically talented he is, and he's stuck with him.

Again last week, as you guys saw, he hit the post from 50+ yards at the end of the game with a kick that would have won the game at Washington. He also missed a 45 yarder earlier in the 2nd half. Either kick made would have won the game.

You guys took the opposite decision with Folk, which surprised me.

These guys have huge legs and have made the clutch kicks before (I'll never forget the one Folk made at Buffalo to steal that game in 07). But like in golf, with the putting, it's almost all mental.

Some great putters sometimes get stretches where they cannot buy a putt. Same in hoops with even a great shooter like Ray Allen. He has games where he can't miss. But then one where he can't hit anything.

I hate kickers for the most part. Scott Norwood haunts Bills fans forever. Adam Vinitiri made Tom Brady seem like Joe Montana. Reverse those guys, and the fortunes of millions change.

I think you guys handled Folk wrong, but I still don't even know if my team did the right thing sticking with Crosby because his misses have cost us some huge games.

D-Unit
10-14-2010, 11:22 AM
By cutting Folk, it allowed us to keep someone else on the roster. But who? Hard to say.

Seeing Folk have so much success is not an easy pill to swallow, but we did the right thing. Kickers are replaceable. Even if Buehler doesn't work out as our FG kicker, he'll still be kept as our KO specialist. We can always find another kicker. Look at Wash... they got Gano off the street.

brat316
10-14-2010, 11:24 AM
By cutting Folk, it allowed us to keep someone else on the roster. But who? Hard to say.

Seeing Folk have so much success is not an easy pill to swallow, but we did the right thing. Kickers are replaceable. Even if Buehler doesn't work out as our FG kicker, he'll still be kept as our KO specialist. We can always find another kicker. Look at Wash... they got Gano off the street.

No not off the street, he played for the UFL development league.

LonghornsLegend
10-14-2010, 12:10 PM
No not off the street, he played for the UFL development league.

Lol that's essentially the same thing honestly. I mean, he wasn't bagging groceries, but he wasn't on an NFL roster either, or coming out of College.

brat316
10-14-2010, 12:20 PM
Lol that's essentially the same thing honestly. I mean, he wasn't bagging groceries, but he wasn't on an NFL roster either, or coming out of College.

I don't know why he wasn't drafted. I saw one or two UFL games, and he was in those. Man he was nailing that ball from 50 yards out, I'm surprised no one took a flyer or picked him up as UDFA.

thule
10-14-2010, 01:15 PM
By cutting Folk, it allowed us to keep someone else on the roster. But who? Hard to say.

Seeing Folk have so much success is not an easy pill to swallow, but we did the right thing. Kickers are replaceable. Even if Buehler doesn't work out as our FG kicker, he'll still be kept as our KO specialist. We can always find another kicker. Look at Wash... they got Gano off the street.

Michael Hamlin....not sure who we called up from the practice squad after we cut him last year....probably one of those joker interior OL.

D-Unit
10-14-2010, 01:29 PM
Michael Hamlin....not sure who we called up from the practice squad after we cut him last year....probably one of those joker interior OL.
It's still hard to claim that we cut Folk for Hamlin or any other player in particular. Folk wasn't on the list of final cuts. A lot of guys battled in training camp for a spot on the roster. It's not like we said, ok... now that we cut Folk, we can keep Hamlin. ... or we can keep Josh Brent... or Barry Church. It's not that easy to pin point.

But yeah... we did keep some jokers. :D

LizardState
10-15-2010, 10:05 AM
Voted No, some patience for him to fully recover from the injury that required surgery was in order. Dallas has rushed way too many players back into the starting lineup too soon after an injury & had horrible results -- see Marc Colombo vs. the Vikes in last yr's playoffs where he did his turnstile & whiff pass blocking techniques.

I think the stigma of Vandereffup was lingering in Dallas & that was a big factor in giving Folk the hook too soon. Folk btw isn't half bad in his new gig, I always liked him & wish him the best (except when they play the Cowboys).

Looking to the future I still believe they s/b auditioning kickers b/c Buehler just isn't getting it. Yeah you have to give kickers a chance to get out of a slump but they have to make changes themselves to get out of it too, & with him I don't see a whole lot of alteration of his stance, approach, or addressing the ball techniques -- it's Wk. 6 & he's still missing the chip shots & PATs are iffy. This is what's making fans think he won't be good for anything but KOs.

So I direct the coaching staff attn. once again to Kai Forbath, UCLA. Kickers are the most undervalued commodity in the NFL & GMs seem to think drafting one higher than the 5th rd. is a major gamble. But when you're fixing holes as Dallas is, you fix the biggest hole 1st through which you're bleeding to death & I think that's the kicking game.