When we're looking at kickers in the NFL, what's the first (and perhaps only) statistic that's mentioned?
Field goal accuracy.
That's all that matters, right? Either you're making the kicks or you're not.
Not so, according to Kansas City Chiefs special teams coach Steve Hoffman. While working out for the Chiefs last year, former MU kicker Jeff Wolfert said Hoffman told him he values leg strength more than accuracy.
"For a kicker who made 86.3 percent of his field goal attempts from inside of 50 yards in his collegiate career, it would be reasonable to assume that accuracy was translate to the pro game," Robert Mays of the Columbia Missourian wrote. "But in speaking with Chief's special teams coach Steve Hoffman following his tryout, Wolfert learned that accuracy wasn't as valued as he once thought. Hoffman told him that he wanted someone who could put kickoffs through the back of the endzone. He could teach anybody to kick field goals."
The Chiefs ended up drafting Ryan Succop and, judging by Hoffman's comments, it's easy to see why. At 6'3", 224 pounds, Succop has demonstrated a stronger leg than many other kickers.
Wolfert, 6'2", 185 pounds, may boot 'em through at a more than reasonable rate under 50 yards, but kickoffs are an area that NFL personnel men apparently value higher than we might have previously thought.
(H/T WTexKC for the first FanShot)