Well, it’s a question that people keep asking me, and Coach Zorn addressed it in his press conference today. So here’s what he had to say about Shaun Suisham‘s struggles in the second half of the season, and his own peculiar decision to attempt a 54 yard field goal last night:
- “If there was no wind, normally we’ll kick a 52 or 53 yard field goal, if there’s no wind. And we had the wind behind us. And pregame, I was out there very early and I was watching cause I wanted to see how the wind was affecting – really against the wind, but – and he was going both ways, and when he was kicking with the wind, he was just ripping ’em. He really was. And yet on this one, again, he got a little bit underneath the ball and it fell short.
“The only concern I have is wanting him to start getting into a rhythm. That’s the only concern I have. We’ve asked him to do a lot on kickoffs and he’s really been outstanding, to be honest with you, except for the one out of bounds. That wasn’t very good, he tried to go beyond where he should’ve.
“We’ll address that more than likely in the offseason. Usually we’ll have another kicker come in to compete and all that kind of stuff, but that’ll be more natural. He’ll just see another kicker to compete against and they’ll go at it. But as soon as he finds his rhythm, I think he’ll be lights out again. I have confidence in him, and he’s just finding his way.
“Remember this: for me, it’s the same issue as Ryan Plackemeier. Here’s a guy with great talent, came in here, was kicking horribly. He knew it, we knew it, what are we gonna do about it? Do we just move him on and just get the next guy in? There’s kind of a group of punters and a group of kickers and they all rotate until they find a home, and what the do when they find a home, you know what they do? They get coached and they find their rhythm.”
So there you go. I’m a little skeptical of his assertion that Suisham — at this point in the season — is rock solid from 52 with no wind, but other than that it sounds like what you’d expect. Get your bets in on next season’s training camp kicker battle now.