Today’s practice ended as many before it have: with the kicker booting a field goal through the uprights.
The difference today is that it wasn’t put through by Redskins kicker Graham Gano; he was nowhere in sight. Instead, it was put through–with thunder from Down Under–by punter Sav Rocca.
Gano had been at practice early on, and there weren’t any plays where he had an injury, so I turned to Rocca for some insight.
Two words: “Baby time.”
Apparently Gano had come to practice this morning, knowing that his wife was due with their first child at any time. Once he got the call, he hustled out to be on daddy duty.
“Well, he’s there,” Rocca corrected himself. ”I don’t know if he’s a dad right now, but it’s gonna be very soon. He was here.”
Once that was cleared up, I asked Rocca–one of the best goal kickers in Aussie Rules history–what it was like to practice his field goals, kickoffs and onside kicks.
“It’s actually a little bit different to what I’m used to,” he explained. ”It’s more of a soccer style [for placekicking], compared to when you drop it from our hands normally [for punting].”
As he informed me, not all oblong balls are created equal. ”Y’know, when I first got here four years ago, I could not hit one from 20 yards,” he said. ”It’s something that I’ve worked on and wanted to get better at. At least now, if it’s called upon like today, it can look half decent.”
Rocca did look at least ‘half decent’ today, and could be an in-house option if Gano is delayed for Friday’s game. Regardless, Rocca looks to be a decent insurance policy.
“It’s just–you never know in this league,” Rocca said. ”If Gano has an injury, or something cockeyed happened one way or another, someone’s gonna have to do it.”
“I’m nowhere near his standards, but it’s something that I can fill in for, for the day.”
Too bad he isn’t allowed to kick field goals punt-style:
Tags: australian football, field goals, graham gano, sav rocca, special teams, washington redskins
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