Why Patriots’ Quinn Nordin Compares Kicking To Cornhole, NASCAR

'I like to relate kicking to cornhole'

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FOXBORO, Mass. — What do cornhole and stock-car racing have in common? Not much. Unless you’re Quinn Nordin.

Nordin, who won a New England Patriots roster spot as an undrafted rookie kicker this week, shared an entertaining explanation of why both of those seemingly unrelated sports are similar to his chosen profession.

“I like to relate kicking to cornhole,” Nordin said Thursday. “When I set up, I kind of lean a little bit, try to take all the motion out of it. Cornhole and NASCAR — those are two things I compare kicking to. Throwing (cornhole bags) is like the mechanics of kicking — being smooth, a repeatable motion, at a very small target. And then mentally, when you’re driving around a NASCAR track, you have to stay focused the whole time.

“There’s a saying (that) if you put a robot in a car, it would be able to do the same thing around a track a million times in a row, but when you put a person in a car, sometimes it can’t — one lap’s faster, one lap’s slower. So I guess to me, why is it when you make a machine kick a football, it goes in every time, but when a person does it, there’s errors and stuff like that?”

Is Nordin trying to be a machine for the Patriots?

“We’ll see,” he replied, smiling.

We’ll also see whether Nordin remains New England’s full-time kicker throughout the 2021 season — or even through to next Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins. The big-legged Michigan product went just 10-for-15 on kicks during the preseason, and the man he beat out, veteran Nick Folk, re-signed to the practice squad and can be elevated to the active roster at any time.

Nordin, who spent cutdown day playing mobile Monopoly with former college teammate Carlo Kemp, said he’s not thinking that far ahead.

“I’m just focused on today,” he said. “Today (in practice) we had a lot of situational football, and I was focused on, how can I have the best practice today? What can I do from our last practice to now to get better?

“I’m going to go into the (bye) weekend, enjoy a couple of days off, kind of refresh the body, but when Monday comes, I’m going to worry about Monday. Then get to Tuesday, and hopefully I get to the end of the week.”

Special teams coordinator Cam Achord pointed to Nordin’s “mental toughness” and upside when explaining why he made the 53-man roster over the 36-year-old Folk.

“A rookie is going to continue to improve, usually, or a younger player, where a veteran or a guy that’s has been here a few years, you know what they’re going to be,” Achord said Wednesday. “So you have to take that into account.”

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