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Folk Keeps Cool as the Temperature Rises

Posted by Randy Lange on June 19, 2012 – 12:26 pm

It may say something about the exclusive fraternity of NFL placekickers or the increasingly interwoven pro football storylines, but Nick Folk and Josh Brown got together this year before they were brought together formally as competitors for the Jets’ kicking job.

“We worked out in San Diego this offseason before this whole thing even went down,” Folk said of the signing of Brown early last month. “We picked up some things from each other, just by working with each other out there, then this happened. We’ve been good ever since. We’ve been pretty close, helping each other out. It’s been good so far and I think it’ll just get better come training camp.”

You might think Folk is guarding his words now that he’s facing some serious competition for his job from a kicker who is just as skilled and more experienced. But that’s not the way Nick rolls.

“He’s going to push me to the limit. He’s doing a great job. He’s been to the Super Bowl, had a bunch of great years in a row,” Folk said. “Having him here is good. We’re having a good time out there, which I think is important for everyone.”

In truth, as a sidebar to Rex Ryan IV, Sanchez/Tebow, Tony Sparano coordinating the offense and the Mike Pettine defense looking to rediscover its swagger, Folk vs. Brown should be a dandy Cortland competition in a little over a month.

Shortly after Brown arrived, we chatted in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room. In that story I put together a “tale of the instep” chart that showed how evenly matched this kick-off could be. Folk’s a little bigger, Brown’s older. Brown’s leg seems slightly stronger, Folk’s had far fewer kicks blocked in his career. Under last year’s kickoff rules, Brown had more touchbacks, Folk’s kicks had opponents starting drives slightly closer to their goal lines.

Another kicking angle I threw out in that piece, and again to Folk last week, was the clutch accuracy of both. Folk (94.9 percent) and Brown (90.4) are two of four NFL kickers since 1991 whose career fourth-quarter accuracy is above 90 percent.

“That’s not bad,” Folk agreed, then added, “You tell me all these things, then I start thinking about it, you know?”

Yeah, we know. But Folk also thinks about his crunch-time kicking quite a bit on his own, which has informed how he prepares in general for each season.

“I try to put myself in that situation as much as I can when I’m training,” he said. “I don’t know how other guys do it, but I just try to get myself mentally focused for that type of situation. That way, when it comes to that, it’s take a deep breath and let’s go have some fun,”

Specifically, the one-time Cowboy who was born in Hollywood, Calif., hasn’t been trading on his celebrating while training. He said this year he’s been concentrating on his right leg velocity.

“I’ve worked a little bit more this offseason on leg speed to complement my strength,” he said. “You’ve got to have that quickness in there, too. I’ve worked on a lot of leg speed, a lot of explosive stuff.”

Folk and Brown have been having fun so far, and Folk says that has nothing to do with tough-love special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff being away from practices after his latest left leg surgery.

“I haven’t seen Mike since it happened,” Folk said. “He’s trying to get his leg rehabbed so he can come back full-strength to training camp. And from what I hear, he’s doing a real good job. I wish him all the best. He’s a great coach. I have a lot of respect for him. And I think he’ll be excited to get back on the football field and get us all going in the direction he wants us to go.”

But while Westhoff was away, Ben Kotwica took over “teams” coordination at the OTAs and full-squad minicamp.

“Ben’s done a great job doing what Westy does,” Folk said. “I think the guys have responded really well to Ben and Ben’s responded well to the guys. It’s good for Mike to not be out here on his leg so he can actually rehab it. He trusts Ben to get it done and Ben’s been doing a great job.”

Then in five weeks in upstate New York, Folk and Brown will push each other to the limit.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 50 Comments »


50 Responses to “Folk Keeps Cool as the Temperature Rises”

  1. By Karan on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    We shoud sign Mat McBriar to compete with TJ Conley.

  2. By a57se on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Last year Brown didn’t attempt a FG 50 yards or longer and hit about 76% of his kicks MOSTLY playing in a DOME! Folk was 3 for 6 from 50 yards or longer which brought down his overall accuracy from 84% to about 76%. In other words you have Brown converting 76% in mostly ideal conditons inside of 50 yards while FOlk converted 84% inside 50 outdoors……….doesn’t sound like it is even close to me.
    Unless Folk forgets how to kick this offseason, he should win this battle easily.

  3. By IRA on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Last summer Novak pushed Folk to the limit. I think Brown could take this job. Just read that Folk’s younger brother Erik just signed with the Falcons.
    Randy, the other two kickers who had a 90% 4th QT success rate are Vanateri and Vanderjagt?

  4. By Randy Lange on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Ira, the other two kickers with career FG accuracy better than 90 percent since 1991 are Matt Prater (25-26, 96.2) and Stephen Gostkowski (41-43, 95.3). Then come Folk (37-39, 94.9) and Brown (68-73, 90.4).

  5. By Bennett on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Scjoe…They can say the are going to run all the want but this game is now wide open for a passing offense. If the get behind and are running out of time they are going to air it out just like they did against the Giants last year You want to beat the high powered “Brady” type pass happy high scoring offensive you are going to have to throw that potato. NFL has systematically devalued the running game in favor of the more “exciting” pass crazy elites with the rule changes. Me I liked the old school grind it out in the mud to eat time and set up the pass, GONE…to darn bad if you ask me

  6. By ron alexander on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I’m hopeing neither of these guys are kick’n for us this year.a57se is right on the money about these guys. Brown is pushing 100 years old and Folk makes every Jet fan run to the bathroom every time he lines up a kick. Lets hope sombody really good gets beat out by some young guy and falls into our lap(only way we’d get him as Tannenbaum is clueless and would only find him by accident!) Punting game also scares me, Randy, are there any unsigned free agent out there that punt?

  7. By IRA on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Randy,
    Thanks i am surprised. Wow Prater #’s are amazing and really all of those 4 players great job. 4th QT kicks in most cases there is something on the line. Guess they all have ice in their veins.

  8. By scjoe on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t think either one of them is the answer. They should have drafted the best available K with one of those compensatory picks or their 7th round pick. The constant recycling of kickers and punters has not worked for this team. They are consistently in the mid to low portion of the stats. That is to important of an element to continue to do that.

  9. By IRA on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Both kickers were hitting 50 plus yd FG’s in practice last week. Lets wait and see what the summer brings out in both of them. Would love to have a PK that you can really count on from 50 plus. With 5 attempts or more Gould was 6-6, Dawson 7-8, Scobee 5-6 and Bironas 6-7. BTW Folk is 7-14 on FG’s of 50 plus for his career.

  10. By SCfromNY on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Parcells once said about kickers,”They are not football players, they are kickers”. While a slight exaggeration but with all the improvement in players skills and physical attributes at other position the kickers need to improve. Unless you want a return with the shorter field all kickoffs should be in the end zone. Brown is just another Jet attempt to pick up a familiar “name” past his prime.

  11. By Bennett on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    The had a bit on Sanchez on ESPN last night, showed a clip of him misssing a wide open reciever (on the run) by a mile, than mentioned he is #2 in turnoovers in the whole NFL ( who the heck is #1 ) mentioned when he has 3 or more turnovers in a game the Jets lose them all (9 so far ) Then the turned it over to 3 idiot pundits with a woman who has absolutley no knowledge of the game as a moderator. The idiot pundits more or less said Sanchez is not as bad as he looks ( that makes alot of sense) and more or less the Jets are stuck with him and Tebow is no alternative. The idiot female moderator just smiled alot then the all agrreed that Tebow while no alternative is still a good “football player ” (what ever that means)

  12. By Bennett on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    So than the went to a huge block of commercials and back to the moderator who was just giddy in her ignorance and I said to myself “Why are you watching this ” than I turned on the local news and all it was was one barbaric crime story after another with interludes of a smiling weather guy and huge blocks of idiotic commercials. Yeah I know… Whats the point here???… there is none just mussings..s’ all.

  13. By Karan on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Percy Harwin requests a trade, I would trade for him and give the Vikings Wayne Hunter or Vlad Ducasse haha. But really guys, look into this trade for Harwin, he’s a really good receiver and fast.

  14. By IRA on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Karan,
    Not a bad idea and maybe they look into it. They showed a lot of interest in Harvin the year he was drafted. I just don’t think it would make sense to pay two WR’s top money. Plus i believe they will be running the ball about 55-58% of the time so i think they will be fine with the group they have. I would love some veteran insurance but have no problem going into camp with the current group. There are some players like White, Pollard, Ganaway and Jackson that could surprise us and be able to contribute.

  15. By GaryC on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    to karan, harvin is good but has serious concussion issues, jets should pass on him.

  16. By davetharave on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t understand the dump Folk talk, it’s been that way since he was with the Cowboys when he missed some kicks but that was early in his career. Some have him pegged as a choker but I don’t see it; all kickers miss kicks and sometimes they miss big ones; it happens. I see steady year over year improvement from Nick as well as an ability to bounce back from miscues. Until he has a serious lapse or other issue I wouldn’t replace him, hoping for better; you might get worse or much worse. Is it worth the risk ? Plus he’s a Jet and wants to be here; maybe he’s not perfect but he’s certainly good enough.

  17. By IRA on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Just reading about the Jags and still shake my head why the Jets traded Lowery. He always came up with a big play either a pick, sack or fumble recovery. Good ST player. Guess it came down to money. Can’t pay your 4th safety veteran money. This came back to bite them.
    I still scratch my head at the way they make up the schedule at times. The Jags have a stretch late in the year when they play 4 games in a row against AFC East teams. I don’t see the attraction of that. BTW Justin Blackmon is the only two-time Biletnikoff Award winner in NCAA history.

  18. By Tom Spicer on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    There is a article on NFL.com about the Jets switching to a 4 – 3 D some of you might be interested in.

  19. By Tom Spicer on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Gary C, I know that Harvin had bad migraines but I never heard of him having a cuncussion?

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Vikes aren’t trading Harvin, his migraines are chronic and a real handicap, and Kerley is going to be our Harvin anyway. scjoe, agree about the inability to find a K or P who can stick around and once again, notice how few K’s the Pats have had in recent yrs, and two of the best. Bennett, agree about the news but totally disagree about passing vs. running. I like watching the run game and you gotta have one, but there was never any football more exciting than the pass-happy (and pass-smart) AFL of the late ’60s and that’s the direction the merged NFL went in afterward. Not to mention you can actually win a SB with a passing game…

  21. By Jake98660 on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    HARVIN HAS MIGRAINE HEADACHE ISSUES, BUT BESIDES THAT HE IS VERY DURABLE. THE KID HAS GREAT BALL SKILLS AND CAN SPREAD THE FIELD. HE WOULD BE A GREAT ADDITION

  22. By ron alexander on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Hey guys, mabey we can trade Santonio Headache Holmes for Percey headache Harvin? worth a try isn’t it?Enough about the kickers already! DAVETHERAVE/ good point about Folk, I’m not a big fan but he’s not the worst kicker in the league so I can live with him.(but he still makes me nervous!) IRA, dont forget Lowrey was never much of a tackler. safty’s that dont tackle are like wide recivers that dont catch the ball, useless! I dont think he’s much if any of an upgrade over the kids we drafted this year. He can certianly cover better than E.Smith but most of our grand parents probably would too! Bennet, whats up my man?(that was weird!)better stay away from late nite t.v?

  23. By GaryC on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Tom and Jake, I knew he had some issues,but migraines can be just as dibilitating and I for one would not take the chance.

  24. By scjoe on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Lets put a lid on the Percy Harvin talk. Even if they were interested (which I don’t believe they are) there is no way they get him under the cap. Can you imagine the fall out (myself included) if somehow they did manage to get him under the cap and give up still more draft picks, another WR, with health issues besides, with all the other needs?

  25. By jetsfan80 on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    The Vikes are def not letting Harvin go. And if his gripe stems back to money, do we really want another headache, no pun intended, with contract disputes. As for a kicker, I would like to say there are better kickers on the free agent market right now, but no names come to mind…anyone? I say let these guys compete for it. Winner take all. If it’s too close to call, go with Folk who’s had more experience kicking outdoors. Spicer, good article on NFL.com. I’m interested to see the different schemes they will use this yr. Also want to see if Hunter will perform well or struggle like last yr. If he struggles again, Tebow starts by week 2 b/c Mario Williams will put Sanchez on a stretcher. Then we’ll really see inaccurate passes.

  26. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    ron a, I can’t resist — you’re suggesting that we trade one headache at WR for another?

  27. By IRA on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry Ron,
    Lowery was a solid player just off the top of my head the 2 picks for TD’s vs the vikings and Bears and the fumble recovery in Den to seal the win. Sorry what other safeties last year made those plays?

  28. By SCfromNY on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    Trade Tebow for Percy! This would give us another good receiver. The Tebow headache would be in Minnesota where they will need some good PR. McElroy will move to backup where we need a real QB.

  29. By scjoe on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    A couple of “funny” if not good articles on ESPN NY today featuring Plax. He is now interested in playing for the Carolina Panthers this season, I think that makes team # 12 he is interested in playing for this year. Also nice to see how much of a fan he was/is of the two NY Jets QBs. Good luck Plax, there is still another few weeks before camps open, maybe you can solicit the other 20 teams you would “like to play for this season”

  30. By Jake98660 on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    I really like Dwight Lowery, I remeber when the Jets drafted him in the 4th round out of San Jose State. He got the start opposite Revis his rookie season at corner. He was way better at safety then corner, that’s for sure. Pierre Garcon destroyed him in the AFC Championship game at the slot corner position. He the Jets have a chance t bring him back I would be for it as a situational safety. I’m sure he wants out of Jacksonville..

  31. By wayne on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    Nick Folk this nasty habit of inexplicably missing 20 yarders Bad, bad habit.

  32. By IRA on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    So Plax won’t give Sanchez any love. Wow what a surprise. Guess getting them to two AFC Title Games in his first two years with the help of a very good D and running game doesn’t count. Guess havng a lead at halftime vs the Colts and just needing one more possession vs Pitt means nothing. Is Sanchez perfect or a top 5 QB right now? No and and maybe he never will be. To me that doesn’t mean anything. Sure he needs to shore up some parts of his game but i know he can lead the Jets to a SB with the right supporting cast and improvement in his game.
    GO JETS!!!!

  33. By since shea on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    We need to stop thinking about exchanging one role player for another! Folk? He’s fine! 94% vs. 90% ??? Are we kidding? One headache receiver for another? Really? Sanchez got his butt kicked last year b/c we were inept at pass protection. When the O line worked, we ran and threw the rock and got into 2 AFC champ games. When O line ineptitude struck last year, led by Wayne Hunter, we barely made it to 8-8. All of a sudden, Sanchez is NG? I dont think so! Why is our team hyping Hunter that he will be good this year? Lets stop making insignificant role player changes, build some chemistry in part through longevity(do we look for a franchise QB every 3 years?), and fix the real problems! Pass Protection! Run Blocking! O LIne!

  34. By GaryC on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    it does make you wonder what the jets saw in Plastico that other teams don’t see,was it a super bowl winning catch,osmosis not withstanding,it did very little to help the jets win,that well dried up a long time ago,it evaporated at the correctional facility.

  35. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    Ira and since shea, it’s not that Sanchez isn’t any good, it’s that so far he’s not nearly good enough — as everyone on this site would finally admit if we suddenly traded for, say, Cam Newton.

  36. By GaryC on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    don’t want to hear anything about cam newton, he also was a turnover machine and did not get his team to the playoffs,but already nfl sites have him going to canton already.

  37. By Karan on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    Sanchez is the man for this team, he must improve, he knows it and hopefully he makes that big leap next season. 4-2 and two title games certainly isn’t a fluke. Yes, the D was awesome as was the O-line, but falcons have also had a solid team the last few years and Matt Ryan has 0 playoff wins. Jets just need to fix this O-line, its dissapointing that they havent done enough and the players need to get a better grasp of this sytem. I hope its a good playbook, one that works. I have no worries that this is definietly a better playbook, thats for sure, anything better than Schottenheimers offense is better, feel bad for Sam Bradford now. And lets just hope Tebow brings out the best in Sanchez.

  38. By Tom Spicer on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    Tom 64, IRA’S point was is Mark a elite QB no he is not. But can a team win a Super Bowl with him at QB 100% yes they can if he has the right guys around him. He proved it with 2 AFC championship games as we all know in 1 of those games we had a 17 point lead with 2 minutes left in the half with that kind of lead with a half left to go. We should have won that game Rex’s D got rocked in the 2nd half. The next year late in the 4th quarter we come all the way back from 24 to 0 to have the ball 1st & goal from the 2 & 2nd & goal from the 1. We punch it in we win that game in the 2nd half they could not move te ball on us. We can get it done with him I can not say the same if Tebow is the starting QB.

  39. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, Newton did things in his first few games on a truly terrible team that Sanchez has yet to do on a great team. Let’s not even discuss what the Jets’ O would be like with Newton at QB instead of MS, it’s too much of a mismatch. Spicer, MS has had some great moments and also some terrible ones, as shown in your examples. Against IND, he kept us in the game. Against PIT, he very much took us out of the game in the first half, so he doesn’t get any great credit for “almost” bringing us back in the second. I’m not convinced that either MS, Tebow, or McElroy are on their way to elite status, which is where we need to get at QB. Any team can win with “the right guys around” the QB, but the elite QB wins with the WRONG guys around him!

  40. By SCfromNY on Jun 23, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to think Sanchez could take us to the SB. I would also like to think Cindy Crawford will stop by. I agree you do not need an elite QB to get to the SB. Dilfer got there. Smith almost got there but neither of them or other “good” QBs have the same problem Sanchez has. His only talks about confidence. He gets rattled too easy, tends to sulk, and as many have said stares into the ground and throws the ball. Unfortunately our backup looks up but throws into the ground. Nothing good will happen until we win the division and that means sweeping the Pats, playing in the first half, and not choking.

  41. By Jake98660 on Jun 24, 2012 | Reply

    I’m going to hazard a guess that Cam Newton is going to end up like Vince Young. Amazing, game changer in College, had a decent first year that some how got labeled Hall of Fame worthy, got rewarded with the Madden 08 cover. After that first season, Vince Young couldn’t handle the pressure, because his built up ego wouldn’t fathom that things weren’t going his way, and the media that painted him as the player who was going to revolutionize the QB position, wasn’t praising the ground he walked on, and then lost his starting job to Kerry Collins. Cam Newton will end up the same way as Young, maybe a few things will be different but 5 years from now the story will be the same. He already has the mentality of a pre-madana.

  42. By SCfromNY on Jun 24, 2012 | Reply

    I have to disagree about Sanchez and the defeat in Pitt. That was a team effort for which I give a huge share of blame to the coaching staff. The Jets played their “SB” the week before in NE and came out flat for the first half. Good coaching and leadership should have anticipated this. Sanchez IMO very small chance to become elite but I will not say absolutly no till 2012 is over. Tebow will never be elite. McElroy is very accurate and leads receivers which leads to YAC. His arm is not super but neither was Montana’s so I will keep an open mind on him as long as the Jets don’t dump him.

  43. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 24, 2012 | Reply

    We’re not beating NE during the season, much less knocking them out of the post-season, until we have a QB in the same class as the one they have. It’s just fantasy to think that you can just ground and pound or whatever your way past a team with a QB like that, as even Eli’s shredding of us last yr should’ve made clear once and for all. Jake, your “guess” about Newton is almost enough for me to go Sharpton on you — I mean, what is it about Newton and Young that makes you think they’re gonna have the same career? What sense does this make? Newton had one of the most unique first yrs for a QB I’ve ever seen, showed skills way beyond what Young ever has, and besides he’s his own guy not somebody else. I’d take him in a heartbeat.

  44. By GaryC on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    jet fan tom, the proof is in the pudding, 4 playoff victores to none, sanchez compared to newton,and sorry the jets did not have a great team,Jake makes a good point about comparing Young to Newton,let’s see if cam newton becomes fig newton before you have him going to canton also.

  45. By SCfromNY on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    You do not need a “Brady like” QB to win a SB or take the division. You need a QB who is accurate, does not get rattled, and can see the field.It is nice to bee able to ground and pound in the 4th quarter to seal a game but if your offense has all those 3 and outs your defense will be wasted by the end of the game. Eli did not “shred” the Jets last year but made the most of opportunities and did not sulk when he wasn’t doing well. I would like to think Sanchez will improve in his 4th year but when you see QBs like Newton and Dalton throw against NFL defenses their first year so have to wonder.

  46. By scjoe on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    64, the Newton to Young comparison falls under the “Gholston syndrome” any 6’4″ 260lb OLB who the Jets select will be compared to Gholston. Don’t ask me why, but that seems to be a pattern.

  47. By GaryC on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    newton, had steve smith,d’angelo williams,johnathan stewart,greg olson and a line that has jordan gross and ryan kalil and some of our posters say he had nothing around him,sanchez should of been so lucky in his first year,right jet fan tom,he had guys around him that you disliked in thomas jones and cotchery and an overrated keller in your words,chansi stuckey.I say sanchez accomplished quite a bit his first year with no offensive talent around him,unlike what Newton had.

  48. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, anyone who can’t see the massive gifts that Newton displayed on a terrible team simply doesn’t know how to watch football. And you seem to be forgetting that for a good part of his career so far, Sanchez has been one of the weakest links in this team — certainly for the last three games of last year, when he needed to step up. SCfromNY, if you’d have rather been on the Jets end of the last Jet-Giant game, that’s your weird preference. Me, I’d like to see us throwing the 99-yarders for a change. But at least you’re honest about how much better Newton and even Dalton looked last year than Sanchez.

  49. By jetsfan80 on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    Cam Newton shows tremendous upside at QB. But Newton will certainly not be sneaking up on any defenses this year. They’ll be more prepared for him this year than last. Jury’s still out because it’s only one season. I’ll let you know after this season whether I think he’s elite or not.

  50. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jun 25, 2012 | Reply

    That’s no stellar list of WRs on Carolina in anyone’s book, GaryC, and Sanchez had the best OL in the league his first yr and good pair of runners, if one that was wearing out in TJ. jetsfan80, of course Newton won’t be sneaking up on any D’s this yr, they’ve got tape on him. He didn’t even sneak up on any D’s in the second half of last yr. Now the challenge comes in seeing how he adjusts. Heck, Sanchez has almost never looked as good as he did in the first 4 or 5 games of 2009…before they got tape on HIM!

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