On Sunday former Kansas City Chiefs great Nick Lowery was honored for his service to the club. If you're a Chiefs fan over 20 years old, then you remember Lowery, the reliable kicker from 1980-93. He was one of the longest tenured members of the club and a career 80% kicker, leading the league in field goal percentage on three occasions while with the Chiefs.
And if you're under 20 years old, then surely you've heard us say over the years, 'It sure would be nice to have another Lowery'.
Lowery appeared on Channel 41, the local NBC affiliate, last night, and talked about his time in the NFL and touched a little bit on the Chiefs current kicker, Ryan Succop.
Lowery noted that it's unusual for a kicker to come in and kick well right away. He was in the league a couple of years, with a couple of teams, before he found his rhythm with the Chiefs in the early 80s. He said the pressure is so much that many times a young player, like Succop, just isn't ready mentally.
Lowery said he talked to Succop prior to yesterday's game and stressed confidence. There's no doubt the physical ability is there. He's demonstrated early that he has the leg to make a lot of kicks. Succop's 6'3", 224 pound frame reminds me of the 6'4", 215 pound Lowery.
Succop has attempted a field goal in four of the Chiefs first five games only missing once. Of course, that miss came in yesterday's 26-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Long snapper Thomas Gafford and guard Mike Goff allowed Cowboys' nose tackle Jay Ratliff through the middle of the line where he blocked the kick. Succop can hardly be faulted for the kick, but that doesn't mean we know what happened.
“We blocked it the way we always block,” Gafford said via Bob Gretz after the game. “Mike and I had no idea what happened. None. I’m still not sure.”
In a preseason game at Arrowhead, Succop missed two field goals. After the game, I was impressed that he came right out and answered all the questions we had for him. As a kicker, you have one job, and when you don't get it done, everyone in the building knows.
Yesterday, however, I waited until nearly all the players had left the locker room waiting on Succop. I wanted to hear what he said about the blocked kick. It got to the point where I couldn't wait any longer and I'm still not quite sure if he faced any reporters after the game.