Inside Marshall Sports

Should coaches ice the kicker?

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This isn’t meant as a second-guess of Doc Holliday, rather the “conventional wisdom” on the topic.

Should you ever “ice” the kicker by calling a timeout before his late-in-half or critical late-in-game field goal? The more I see it done — and the more I see kickers boot the ball through the uprights anyway — I’m beginning to think NOT.

Marshall called timeout as East Carolina kicker Mike Barbour lined up a 40-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the first half. The kick would give ECU a 20-10 halftime lead, with the Pirates getting the ball to start the second half.

Barbour made the kick after the timeout, which I think *helped* his cause.

Here is my thinking: No matter how long the kicker has been warming up on the sidelines, he experiences a quick change and rush of adrenaline when called upon. Some kickers handle it better than others, but I think his chances of rushing his kick, getting off his mechanics, etc., are higher when his heart rate is up and he’s excited.

Call a timeout and the guy gets a minute to settle down. The good ones use it, too — former ECU kicker Ben Hartman and coach Skip Holtz used to tell each other bad jokes. I figure Hartman’s pulse dropped to about 10 beats a minute by the time those timeouts ended. Most kickers use the time to get their mechanics back down.

I say it’s time to rush the kickers, not try to “ice” them. It would save us all a minute of our lives.