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Who is Tom Obarski? Let’s learn more about the Giants’ fill-in placekicker

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(Updated with Obarski quotes) Untested kicker goes from roster afterthought to probable Week 1 fill-in for Josh Brown

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals
Tom Obarski
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With Wednesday’s news that New York Giants placekicker Josh Brown will be suspended for Week 1 of the 2016 regular season due to a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy Tom Obarski has gone from just a guy filling a 90-man roster spot to a player who could be important to the outcome of a critical NFC East game.

We profiled Obarski, who has never kicked in an NFL regular-season game, as part of our roster profile series.

There, we learned that Obarski was with the Cincinnati Bengals in training camp a year ago, making 5-of-7 preseason field goals. We learned that Obarski made only 44-of-63 field goals during his collegiate career at Concordia, but went 18-of-21 as a senior. He went 5-of-8 from outside 50 yards at Concordia.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Here is part of a report on Obarski from Dave-Te’ Thomas, written for Scout.com.

Obarski has good mechanics to handle the multiple kicking chores, connecting with the ball with pop on contact during kickoffs, field goals and extra points. He just needs to show marked improvement getting his kickoffs to sail through the end zone more (just 51-of-173) before he can be considered NFL caliber in this area. ...

Obarski is too inconsistent when asked to drive the ball deep on kick-offs, even when making attempts with the wind to his back. He shows adequate strength on contact with the ball, rarely driving his kickoffs deep or with any acceptable hang time.

As a placekicker, Obarski shows good snap-to-toe timing (1.29 second on field goals/1.21 on PATs). The ball can explode better off his foot as a placekicker and he has showed good improvement with his trajectory over the years (hang time was as low as 3.84 seconds earlier in his career, but his kickoffs averaged 4.28-4.54 seconds in 2014).

The ball jumps off his foot with good rise on field goals/PATs, as he can generate good lift upon contact. He just does not put nice air under his kick-offs and is prone to kicking line drives.

Obarski did not have any field goal or PAT opportunities last Friday against the Miami Dolphins. His one kickoff was an unimpressive low kicked that bounced well upfield and was was fielded at the 9-yard line.

On Thursday, Obarski called Brown “a great teammate” and “a great pro.” He also called Brown’s suspension “an unfortunate circumstance.”

“An opportunity like this is what you hope for,” Obarski said. “Over the past couple days it’s been more of that opportunity, but my preparation doesn’t change with anything.”

Coach Ben McAdoo said Thursday thaat Obarski has a “golden” opportunity and that he will see a lot of action Saturday against the Buffalo Bills.

“I would love to get lots of kicks and lots of opportunities and I think that's something that everyone hopes for, especially in preseason, to be able to go out and showcase yourself and take hold of any opportunity that's there, so as we go into this game this weekend, we'll continue to move forward in the preseason and take hold of any opportunity that's there,” Obarski said.

There is, of course, the possibility that the Giants could turn to a veteran kicker if a suitable one becomes available once roster cuts are made over the next couple of weeks. For now, though, Obarski looks like the Giants’ season-opening placekicker.