2005-08-29

Kicking battle to be decided this week

Matt Bryant or Todd France?

In the next couple of days Gruden and the coaching staff are going to decide which kicker will earn the starting job and which guy will get cut. August 30 is the deadline for NFL teams to cut their rosters to 65 players.

In the preseason, Bryant has gone 3-4 with a long of 33 yards. Bryant missed a kick from 53 yards. France has gone 4-4 with a long of 49 yards.

Normally, like most people, I could care less about a couple of Manchester United rejects who couldn't tackle a real NFL player if their paycheck depended on it. But this is the only real position battle the Bucs have had in the preseason. Everyone, including Michael Pittman, knew that Carnell Williams would be the starter, and the o-line has been too beset by injuries for any real position battles. Throw in the fact that the Bucs had one of the worst kicking games in the league last season, and the kicking battle is the only real drama this preseason.

I think the 25 year old France will get the nod over the 30 year old Bryant. Both are good options but France has proven to be more accurate on longer field goals. The knock on France has been he has a weak leg on kickoffs, but Gramatica had the same problem and it was never a big deal. The Bucs are in a rebuilding year and going with the younger kicker fits perfectly with that philosophy. Plus, whenever France misses a field goal to win the game I can pull out the requisite "What else do you expect from a cheese eating, wine drinking, Eiffel tower building, surrender monkey?"

1 comment:

Scott said...

Manchested United rejects? Explain.

Also, I haven't seen anything that would indicate if Todd France is a good tackler or not. No one has run a kickoff back far enough to find out. For all we know, he's the next Kevin Butler.

/someone's gotta stick up for the kickers