Michael Dickson‘s doing some supplemental work in practice this week, in case he has to make NFL history on Sunday.
The Seahawks punter is polishing up his drop-kick skills, in case he has to fill in for kicker Sebastian Janikowski again this week.
Dickson kicked off twice that way (one good, one bad), but Janikowski was able to recover from a back injury to handle field goals and extra points last week against the Chiefs. The hope is that Janikowski will be fine, but Dickson is working on the mechanics of the play in case he’s needed.
“I was freaking out a bit because I have never really hit a drop-kick field goal with like the protection and everything,’’ Dickson said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “So we kind of worked on that [Wednesday in practice] and got used to it so I feel a little bit more comfortable now with that. Only really hit them messing around in warmups and during my kickoffs [before].”
No one has drop-kicked a field goal since at least 1941 according to league records, though Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie drop-kicked an extra point in 2006. Dickson has fooled around with it in pre-game warmups, and said he has hit one from 60 yards away. But that was on his own, without having to catch a snap or face a rush.
“We’re still kind of working through that,’’ Dickson said. “When we went out there we were going to do about 10 yards and try to keep the same kick depth [as a field goal]. But I’m kind of messing around with doing maybe a punt depth so it would give a little more time to spin the laces and get the laces right. It’s a slower get off time because you’ve got to drop it and then wait for it to bounce and then kick it. Just trying to see what works best.’’
Dickson has used his Australian rugby background to learn how to punt from different angles, and has proven to be a weapon in his own right as a rookie. And while no one wishes ill on Janikowski, it would be fascinating to see Dickson try to score in a way most of us have never seen.