The New York Giants have quite the competition going on for their placekicking job as youngster Aldrick Rosas and veteran Mike Nugent engage in “whatever you do, I can match” slugfest.
“We have one hell of a battle going on at the kicker spot,” coach Ben McAdoo said on a conference call Saturday.
The two placekickers matched either kick for kick Friday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rosas making 27 and 52-yard field goals. Nugent good from 30 ad 435 yards. Both also hit their kickoffs well, with the strong-legged Rosas perhaps having an advantage there.
“We’re both looking really great. We’re both hitting the ball really great,” Rosas said after Friday’s game It’s competition and it’s making us both better.”
Rosas said he “felt good” about the 52-yarder.
“I really don’t look at the spot or how far it is when I’m walking out there. I just look at my spot and swing away,” he said. “When I step out there it looks a little longer but I never really look at the distance. I trust my leg and my capabilities. I just go out and swing.”
Rosas said he would be confident in his abilities out to as many as 60 yards.
“Anywhere inside 60 I feel great. Throw me out there,” he said.
While Rosas has never kicked in a regular-season game, the 35-year-old Nugent has been at this since 2005.
“I’d be lying if I said that every kick feels exactly the same,” Nugent said. “I think if you were 100 percent over 50, then you’re hitting every ball exactly how you want. I feel that that is one thing I can work on. Hitting the same exact ball whether it is 20, 50 or 55 yards.
“It was one of those days where I just wanted to go out and be consistent. Over the years, I learned that you are going to keep playing this game every day if you’re the same player every day. That’s what I’ve been trying to focus on. Just being the same guy every day. I’ve had some times where it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster and that one kick affected another. I’m just trying to take it one step at a time and making sure I’m ready to go the whole game.”
McAdoo Conference Call Takeaways
More takeaways from McAdoo’s conference call with media on Saturday.
On the competition between backup quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson ...
“I think when you take a look at both quarterbacks, I think they both did some good things in the ball game, but there were definitely some inconsistencies.”
On the rough night experienced by rookie left tackle Chad Wheeler ...
“I want to see the young guy continue to play and continue to develop. Keep Chad in the mix. We need to keep pushing the starters there as well.”
On the play Friday of defensive tackle Jay Bromley ...
“I think Jay’s improving. He’s playing with some hostility out there, he’s playing aggressive, playing physical football.”
On the tight ends ...
“I thought Rhett [Ellison] came out, he had a good start in a Giants uniform. Was pretty good at the point of attack and caught the ball well, which was nice to see. Evan [Engram] seemed to play with some speed down the middle of the field, but needs to be sharper in his assignments.
“Jerell [Adams] played with some good speed yesterday. [Will] Tye had some wiggle, did some good things on special teams, which will help him. [Matt] LaCosse got in there later on in the ball game, we need to get him to stay on his feet. He slipped down a few times. A couple guys did yesterday in the game and he needs to stay on his feet a little bit better, but he’ll have plenty of opportunities moving forward.”
On the play of rookie fullback Shane Smith ...
“I liked what Shane did on special teams. I think he has some fluidity to him for a fullback, for a big guy. That always helps because he’s going to have to be a special teams contributor if he has a chance. I think he can be sharper in his details from the fullback spot, and it’ll get better there over time in the next three weeks.
On the running game, which generated 3.5 yards per carry Friday ...
“I saw some hits and some misses. We had some inconsistencies. We wanted to try and get some outside zone going in the ballgame just to work it, and it’s always tough to do that when you’re playing a 3-4 (defensive alignment) team. When they’re a two-gap mentality, it’s a challenge, but that’s what we decided to do, to put our guys to the test. We had some positives and some negatives to go with that, but we got a good evaluation on them. The downhill run game was better than the stretch game. We had some opportunities: first play of the ballgame, Paul Perkins was one-on-one with the safety, and we need more than seven yards there. He has to make him miss, and he has to run him over. We have to at least get a first down on that play.”