Patriots Staff Keeping Sharp Eye on Stephen Gostkowski’s Kick Count


Aug 3, 2010

FOXBORO, Mass. — Stephen Gostkowski is on a kick count.

The Patriots' coaching staff accounts for every one of his kickoffs and field-goal attempts, so they can always chart his progress and tendencies. It's detailed, too, measuring situations, weather and any other type of variable that could help the team on game days.

If the fifth-year kicker struggles in the rain, dominates from the right hash mark or can't find the goal posts from 45 yards out on windy days, the Patriots certainly know about it.

"We chart everything," Gostkowski said. "That’s something we've always done since I've been here."

After Tuesday morning's walkthrough, Gostkowski said he had converted 26 field goals (out of either 29 or 30, he wasn’t sure) during the first five and a half days of training camp, which is between 88-90 percent — a number that is higher than his career percentage (85.1). Those totals have amounted during team drills, not his side work that often focuses more on kicking motion than attention to conversion.

Gostkowski is happy with his performance to this point in camp, but like everyone else, he's hoping to be on course to get better. His goal is to improve each week to get to peak form by the Sept. 12 season opener.

"I looked at the kicks I've missed, and the ones I've missed are by a hair, and that means I'm close," Gostkowski said. "You'd rather be missing close than shanking the ball all over the place. The good thing is the times I've missed I've come back and made the next one. You can take that as a positive. You're always upset when you don’t do your job right every time, but you've got to manage your expectations. I didn’t expect to come out the first week of camp and be in midseason form.

"If I'm at 88 percent now, hopefully next week I'm at 90 percent, and hopefully the next week I can keep improving."

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