Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Replacing Henery no easy task

So called football purists would scoff at any mention of a kicker. Think about it, every time a tea loses a game as a result of a kicker missng a makeable field goal you hear someone bristle, "The game should never come down to a kicker."

True, you want to get touchdowns instead of field goals but such a statement also misses the point because a kicker is on the roster just like everyone else so why should he be exempt from doing his job? Why is it that we have no problem criticizing a running back for fumbling or a quarterback for throwing an interception? Yet we want to give a kicker a free pass.

Anyhow, the last three seasons, Nebraska football fans did not have to worry about that situation from 2008-2010 primarily because more often than not Alex Henery was te Huskers biggest offensive weapon. That statement is as much an indictment on the Husker offense as it is a compliment to Henery's incredible talent. He set an NCAA record by converting on 89.5% of his field goal attempts in his college football career.

Henery was first-team All-American in 2010 and was the winner of the Guy Chamerlin Trophy as well. Henery was taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brett Maher and Mauro Bondi will somehow split up the jobs of punting, place-kicking, and kickoffs between them. At this point it appears as though Maher will punt and Bondi will place-kick but the competition is officially still open for all of the jobs.

No matter who ends up trying to fill Henery's famous shoes, their success or failure will have a large impact on how well Nebraska does this season. If the offense improves, it will take some of the pressure off of the new guys and that may be the best thing Nebraska can do to help offset the loss of Henery.

However, at some point a clutch field goal will be needed.

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