Kickers don’t often get much glory. Sure they have the moments kicking the game winners. The highest of highs. If they miss it can be the lowest of lows though. Miss a game winner and the whole team loss is suddenly on you.
When it comes to the ‘routine’ moments like non game-winning field goals and extra points they don’t garner too much attention.
There is an argument after all that if your kicker comes out it’s because the Offense has failed to deliver. I’m not convinced. Football is a team game and Special-teams are an important facet of the whole team.
Sure Fire points on the board
Some time ago I read an article about the Kansas City team that won Superbowl IV. In an interview about the game a Chiefs lineman was at pains to point out that the first three scores of the game came from the boot of Chiefs kicker Jan Stenerud.
Essentially he went on to argue that they were so confident in Stenerud making those kicks that each time they lined up, including for the opening 48 yarder, they already felt like they had points on the board.
Surely every time Lewis Ward trots out to try a kick for the Ottawa Redblacks right now that is how his teammates must feel too. Ward has now connected on 37 straight Field Goals.
In his first outing for the Redblacks, Ward missed one attempt going 3 of 4 in that game. Since then hitting those 37 straight has produced a record single-season mark for consecutive field goals
I am sure there are plenty of kickers around who would love his current 97.6% strike rate! https://www.cfl.ca/players/lewis-ward/163159/
During the game on Saturday against Edmonton Ward went 7 for 7. He hit from 27, 32, 20,40, 20, 40 and 22 yards. They may not all be the longest kicks, but the consistency is amazing. Especially when you consider this is his second 7 for 7 having done the same against Hamilton earlier in the season.
The point of the Jan Stenerud reference above was that his team-mates saw him as a weapon. The Redblacks fans must be seeing Lewis Ward the same way.
In his rookie season, Ward has made people sit up and take notice. Along with everybody else we’ve already been impressed at Ninety-Nine yards this season: http://ninetynineyards.com/2018/08/07/lewis-ward-kicking-up-a-storm-in-the-cfl/
Unless his form falls of a cliff you have to believe Ward is a lock for Rookie of the Year in the CFL this year. Not too shabby for a player who wasn’t expected to make the team out of training camp.
There was a time when successful players attracted a fun nickname. Look in the archives and there are plenty of them but, being a fan of special teams I always liked Lou ‘the toe’ Groza in the NFL and the CFL’s very own ‘Robokicker’ http://www.nflgirluk.com/2018/04/06/robokicker-and-the-kick/
Maybe we should be thinking of one for Lewis Ward too. ‘Lethal Lewis’, Lewis ‘the leg’, ‘Mr consistent’? Who knows? Wherever he goes from here its been an impressive opening season for Ward and it’s hopefully going to be fun watching his career continue.
Original image from https://www.ottawaredblacks.com/