Comparing our kickers from Fan Day performance

Submitted by Bag of Marbles on August 18th, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Towards the end of Fan Day on Saturday, Brady Hoke and Dan Ferrigno had the kicking unit out on the field kicking field goals for the crowd, presumably to simulate a pressure situation. From what I saw, Broekhuizen and Gibbons were actually more impressive than Wile in terms of leg strength. Wile started looking shaky at about the 25/30 yard line, which, granted, is still a decent range, but not as good as he was hyped to be. Couldn't really judge accuracy too much among the three because they didn't do a whole lot of kicks, but Wile wasn't noticeably better than Broekhuizen or Gibbons. Anyone else there to see this?

Either way, I'm wondering whether we should dial down our expectations for Wile being a fast remedy for our kicking problems. If someone with a more experienced eye can lend some insight regarding the Fan Day kicking performance, that would be good, too. 



August 18th, 2011 at 1:46 PM ^

True, with that said, I was impressed with the leg strength.  I saw 45-50 yarders being made with still some distance to be had.  Granted, it was not a game situation, but still.

Outside of Mattison as D-Coord, I think Ferrigno has been the single most important hire of Hoke's staff.  Many games are won or lost on extra points and field goals.

Mitch Cumstein

August 18th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

I'm not sure anyone is expecting 40-50 yrd field goals to be hit with regularity.  I think what we really need is consistency once we get inside the 20.  Knowing we can settle for 3 and have a pretty good chance of making it would make a big difference for our offense in my opinion. 


August 18th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

0-15 yard line: Must make.

16-20 yard line: Should make.

21-25 yard line: Makeable.

26-30 yard line: Toss up.

31 yard line +: Doubtful


Last year Michigan was 4 for 13 on field goals.

0-15 yard line: 1 for 2 (made in UCONN game).

16-20 yard line: 3 for 4 (made first in MSU game).

21-25 yard line: 0 for 7.

26-30 yard line: No attempts.

31 yard line +: No attempts.


August 18th, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

I'm not sure anyone is expecting 40-50 yrd field goals to be hit with regularity.

That may be, but it's a little depressing. College football kickers have been getting more and more accurate over the years. Most Big Ten kickers are very accurate from that range. Only when you get beyond 50 do they really start to struggle. If we're considering 40 yards a difficult kick, we're operating with a 1970s-era mentality. (Garrett Rivas is regularly mentioned as a guy who didn't have much leg, but he regularly made kicks of 40-45 yards.)


August 18th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

I would rather put it in Denard's hands on the 30 yard line in a 4th and short-medium situation anyways.

We just need someone automatic from 40 yds and in.  If that isnt too much to ask...please God.


August 18th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

99% from 30 yards or less is tough, still.  That means a kicker could miss less than 1 kick on average per year.  That isn't forgiving at all.  That includes blocked kicks, a holder not being able to get a ball down, a bad snap, etc. any of which may not be the kicker's fault.  I would put it at roughly 85-90% from 30 yards or less.

For the same reasons, I would put it at 75% from 30-40 yards, maybe even a little less.

From 40-45 yards, I would put it just over 50%.

Agree on 45+


August 18th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

I don't mind if Wile isn't appreciably better than Gibbons or Broekhuizen...  assuming that Gibbons and Broekhuizen have improved by about 800% over the summer.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:00 AM ^

Fan day is nothing compared to game day. Maybe slightly more pressure than practice but until there is a live defense coming at them in a situation that really matters, the pressure isn't on.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

Unless Wile is absolutely HORRIBLE there is no way he should sit behind Gibbons or Broekhuizen. All we heard last year was how good they did in practice during the week then they would bomb horribly in every game. In my opinion Hoke has to give Wile the first shot and if he struggles then you open it up but not until then.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:03 AM ^

Accuracy + height > leg strength. Although I'm sure height is correlated with leg strength. A good friend of mine tried out to walk on in 2007 and 2008, he was one of last 3 for 1 kicker spot. I helped him shag some balls when he practiced, he easily had the leg strength to put it in consistently from 45-50, but he just couldnt put enough height into his kicks. He told me that the coached cared most about was accuracy and the ability to get height on the ball.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

I think that this may be reading WAY too much into a brief work-out on Fan Day.  The kid has been involved in like 5 practices. 

By the time 9/3 gets here, we will have a kicker. 

Also, re: Gibbons, don't discount the kid.  Having a whole new coach with a totally different style may do wonders.  His issue was never his leg strength, and if RR was to be believed, he was hitting his FGs in practice.  It seemed to me that his issue was mental.

Perhaps RR and his staff's way of dealing with him, whatever that was, didn't work for him, and Hoke and staff's way will get better results.  This is in no way a criticism of RR - just a simple fact that some players respond differently to different types of coaching.  Ok, the hell with it, it actually IS a criticism.  When RR made the comment before the Wisco game (I think it was Wisco) that "hopefully we will find a kicker on the way to the game," that had to undermine his confidence.  If that was the public statement about it, I wonder what he said to the kid in practice.  It reminded me of the "Vince Lombardi couldn't do much with this defense" comment, that equally seemed to undermine the confidence of the D and the whole wingless Tate thing  that publicly humiliated a 19 year old kid. 

New coach, different style, different practice and game dynamic might mean different results.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

with you. That type of negative comment no doubt was meant to stir a better perfromance out of the kickers but that's one hell of a gamble to take with kids these days. A better gamble would have been some postive reinforcement that I have no doubt Hoke and his staff are blanketing all three of these kickers with. 


August 18th, 2011 at 11:12 AM ^

While I agree it may have been a harsh thing to say about the kicking situation. How was he supposed to respond to questions about the kicking. He couldn't exactly talk about it in glowing terms. If I remember correctly the kicking situation last year had this board melting down on a regular basis.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

1.  "How was he supposed to respond to questions about the kicking."

Well, I don't have the 20 years or so of BCS-level coaching experience that RR does, but let me try:

Q:  RR, your kicking game sucks.  Have you made any changes, have you worked it out, what's your plan, what are you going to do, etc. . . . ?

A:  Well, that's a fair question.  We have struggled in our kicking game.  But I have to tell you - we have two great kids at kicker.  Seth and Brandon have tremendous potential.  You guys only get to see a few kicks a week during the games, but I get to watch them kick thousands of kicks a week in practice and let me tell you, these guys are capable of making some big kicks for us.  Sure, they have struggled, but we have been working with them on making minor adjustments, and it is just a matter of time before both of them turn this around and become a huge strength for this team.

Hell of a lot better than "well, I hope we find a kicker on the way to the game."



2.  "If I remember correctly the kicking situation last year had this board melting down on a regular basis."

Sure, this board was melting down about the kicking.  But, there is a huge difference between having a bunch of random internet fans bitch about the kicking game and having your head coach basically say to national reporter that he thinks so low of you that he hopes to find a kicker on the way to the game.  Not only did it not help the kid's confidence, it showed a lack of loyalty.


August 18th, 2011 at 12:11 PM ^

I don't think what he said was productive and helpfull it was probably detrimental like you say. I agree with all that.  I remember quite often hearing that exact answer or something close to it when he was asked at the monday pressers about the kicking. Sorry if I don't hang the guy for cracking one time and calling a turd a turd. I guess I just enjoy it sometimes when coaches drop the coach speak and be honest and gut level.


August 18th, 2011 at 12:18 PM ^

I hear what you are saying - we all hate coach speak.  And if he was an NFL coach, dealing with high paid, older players, I would love it too.  But he was not.  He was a college coach dealing with kids.

And, while he did give the correct answer many times and only "cracked" once, to me, that's somewhat unacceptable.  He is the head coach, getting paid $2.5 million to deal with stupid media questions.  Should be able to do it without cracking.  And, if you are going to crack, don't do it in a way that demoralized the players on your team.

Also, he cracked more than once.  See the whole "vince lombardi comment, and the whole Tate wings thing"


August 18th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

When I said he only cracked once it was in refernce to the kicking. I didn't realise we were opening this up to his every interaction with the media. The Vince Lombardi and Tates wings things were both stupid and he shouldn't have gone there at all.

With the kicking situation it's different it was horrible and had to be horrible for anyone to have to try and defend over and over again when it was indefensible.


August 18th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

"it was horrible and had to be horrible for anyone to have to try and defend over and over again when it was indefensible."

I agree, but that's why he is being paid the big bucks.  That type of slip up is NEVER ok.  Undermining your players' confidence is never ok.  Throwing your players under the bus to the media is NEVER ok. 

I guess that I was making a broader point that if he was doing these types of things publicly, who knows what else was going on in private that further undermined their confidence levels.  All I am saying is don't write off our returning kickers just yet.


August 18th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

If you have confidence in Gibbons and his cohort to start this year I guess thats up to you . They didn't show me anything last year to make me think they could flip a switch this year. As far as the comment I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Blue in Yarmouth

August 18th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

From your statement "heard for a fact that..." implies that you heard from someone that RR said that. Now I am not saying he did or didn't, but your idea of what a fact is, is way off. What you are describing here is not fact at all, but hearsay, nothing more. The only fact is that you heard something. I'm just sayin' you shouldn't try to pass off what you heard as fact.


August 18th, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

instead of being a tool, you could believe me... and not try to disprove everything.. hilarious


Im from his hometown, and a family member of mine did business with one of his former high school coaches..  This is what came out of Broekhuizen's mouth and was told to his coach.. believe me or not i dont give a fuck


August 18th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

From a family member or anyone else, because he could have made it all up.  If he wants to bring some people to court to testify, it becomes a little closer to fact, but not a sure thing.  An audio tape of the conversation would about seal the deal...but with what they can do with electronics today....

Blue in Yarmouth

August 18th, 2011 at 1:02 PM ^

The fact that you can not see how the contents of your post is not anywhere near fact, makes this discussion pointless, but I will try one more time. The only fact in your post (and this may be fact or a lie on your part...I have no idea) is that you HEARD something from someone else, who heard it from someone else.

However, in your post you tried to pass that on as an event that definitely occurred when you not only didn't witness it, but the person that you heard it from didn't witness it either! Do you see why I have an issue with you claiming this as fact? If you can't I don't think there is hope for you.

Also, why am I a tool for knowing the difference between hearsay and fact? I would guess the person that couldn't distinguish between the two would wear that label.


August 18th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

So your whole argument is if it isn't a fact, then why believe it? 


If it is that hard for you to believe something then don't.  I know the guy and I believe that it is the truth what RR said to him. Like i said i don't give a shit if you believe it or not.  

Basically you said i Heard something from someone else.. who heard it from someone else..

I heard it from my father..  who does business with his coach..  

We know him, and he isn't going to lie when one of his former players says something like this to him.

Should i get ahold of my friend who went to hs with Seth and get him to confirm just for you?  Im sure he could email you or give you a call.  Just leave your details and ill make sure it happens


August 18th, 2011 at 9:25 PM ^

I was standing directly next to RichRod before every game in the tunnel, and I know for a fact that he didn't say this. Believe me or not, I don't give a shit. But I am telling you, I am RichRod, and I know for a fact that your father's friend's coach was the one in the tunnel who said this. I don't really care if you believe me or not. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that I am typing this as RichRod's wristband he wore during games and I was on his wrist at all times so I know for a fact that this isn't true.

You might as well head over to MLive with that weak heard-it-from-a-friend-who-heard-it-from-a-friend-REO Speedwagon shit.


August 18th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

They all looked good, honestly. Wile looked solid from long range, he only missed 1 during the time I was there. Then again, all of the kickers looked really good. Wile will probably start, how good he is just depends on how he plays in games, because like I said, they all looked good in practice.