On Wednesday morning, Graham Gano put aside his kicking job to go be a good father. On Friday, he put aside being a father to go be a good kicker.
Fortunately for him, timing was on his side.
“My wife and I knew that the due date was [August] 24th, and I would be in Baltimore then,” he said. “And she started to have the feelings that [Bryson] was gonna come soon, so we just started praying, ‘Lord, just let me be there for it.’”
Midway through practice on Wednesday, those prayers were answered
“I was super excited because I knew I was gonna be able to be there and make the game,” he said with a big smile. “It’s been a crazy week, but it’s been for the best.”
Gano got all of the opportunities on kickoffs and field goals tonight, as backup kicker Clint Stitser had no time to workout with the team. Somehow, Gano was able to maintain his focus.
“[Bryson] was definitely on my mind–and my wife–when I was out there,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m fully focused on kicking the ball. So I think that that’s just extra motivation, extra push for me. It felt good, and now I’m going home to see my son and my wife.”
Gano went 3-for-3 tonight in field goals, hitting home from 26, 27, and 28 yards, to continue a perfect preseason. Part of that credit goes to his holder, Sav Rocca.
Or as Rocca himself jokingly pointed out: “An awesome holder!”
Gano responded, saying, “Yeah, he’s a…how do you say ‘yes’ in Australian?”
Rocca paused for a moment before saying, “Yes.”
“Yes!” said Gano with a laugh. “He’s a great holder. He’s a great mate, and he’s done a good job. And Nick [Sundberg], y’know, Nick has really improved a whole bunch. He worked hard this offseason, and y’know, Sav has done a good job.”
Gano added four touchbacks to his line for the night, and would have had another had it not been for an ill-advised return.
“I think he brought it out from nine deep, and that was a mistake,” Gano said with a smile. “I think we hit him at the 14 [yard line]. Our coverage unit’s too good for that. Hopefully we can keep that up and our coverage team is gonna be good all year.”
Tags: birth, graham gano, nick sundberg, preseason, sav rocca
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