I went to San Diego to kick for former NFL kicker and kicking coach, Michael Husted. Husted and Louie Aguiar run one of the top Free Agent kicking combines in all of the country (which I attended this last year) and Michael has both NFL experience and is a well-respected kicking coach.
My goal was to show Michael how much my kicking skills had improved since his combine. And, I also wanted to get his ‘professional’ evaluation on where I stood regarding in terms of being an NFL kicker.
If anyone could give me a ‘reality’ check, it would be Michael.
Nick has played on numerous NFL teams and was just recently released by the New York Jets after pushing Nick Folk during the preseason.
Nick lives in San Diego, so it wasn’t a stretch for Michael to invite him out for an afternoon of kicking in the San Diego sun. However it is my suspicion that Michael asked Nick to come and kick with me so he could see how I would kick under the pressure of kicking against an NFL kicker.
And this makes total sense. I asked Michael for a ‘professional’ evaluation, and kicking under ‘pressure’ is certainly part of the game!
Once I got on the field with Nick, I was very impressed with his consistency and professionalism. He hits the same kick every time and I could see why he is usually one of the top three or four individuals called when an NFL team is looking for a new kicker.
We kicked approximately 25 field goals with a snap and hold & 10-12 kickoffs. I was very pleased with how I performed and the kicking session just confirmed the confidence I have in my ability to be on an NFL roster. Michael said that after watching me kick, he shared my confidence as well.
After finishing the workout, I talked with Nick about the life of a Free Agent Kicker and what his experiences have been through the years. I really appreciated his openness with me and I learned a few things that will help me in my efforts to get signed to a Pro team.
But the day’s surprises were not over yet.
And just when you thought there couldn’t be ANY more surprises…there was still one to go.
And I say ‘ironically’ because just a few minutes before I was talking with Nick about his missed opportunity with the Chargers last year. That came when he was about to sign with the Chargers last year when Kaeding was injured, but unfortunately he was still under contract in the UFL.
So the first thing that Michael Husted did was call Nick to let him know of the injury. About five minutes later Nick walked in the door of the restaurant to learn more about Kaeding’s injury.
And about 24 hours later he signed a two-year deal with the Chargers!
Well, this was just quite the day.
My original goal was to come to San Diego to meet with Michael Husted and a get a sense of my potential as an NFL kicker. But it turned out I got so much more.
Yes, I am now quite comfortable and confident in my ability to play for an NFL team. But now, I am also more experienced how quickly –and unexpectedly- things can happen for a kicker.
None of us were even remotely thinking that Nick would get signed to an NFL team within 24 hours of our working out on that high school field in San Diego. But he did. And that is how quickly it can happen. And that is inspiring.
I want to thank Michael Husted for setting up this workout with Nick. He could have just had me come to the field, watched me kick, gave me his opinion and left it at that. However Michael went the extra step to ensure that his evaluation of my NFL ‘potential’ was going to be a ‘real’ evaluation.
I also want thank Nick for coming out to kick with me. That’s not something he had to do. And I want to wish him the best of luck this weekend when the Chargers play at New England this Sunday to play the Patriots!
He’s a great guy and I hope he has a great career.
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