Cowboy Kicker Ready If It Comes Down To Him

Dan Bailey is a rookie, but he is also a veteran. The Mustang , Okla., native and high school graduate of Covenant Christian that transferred to Oklahoma State after a semester at Arkansas started out handling kickoffs with the Kansas State game last season. He later picked up the placements and finished 20-for-20 on extra points and two-for-four on field goals.

Bailey saw firsthand what happened last season to popular kicker Jason Ricks. A field goal missed against Texas sent Ricks into a mental slump he could come out of.

Knowing that, Bailey is like any other kicker in that he thinks of the game-winning kick and the opportunity.

"Right, it's kind of a love-hate deal," explained the former individual state champion in golf. "You'd love to be the guy that makes a game winning field goal, but you definitely don't want to be the guy that misses. I think if anything you kind of dream of the opportunity to get that chance, but you want to make it."

The key is the frame of mind. You have to be focused but stay loose mentally all at the same time. If you wind up too tight then you can have problems. You can't over-think kicks..

"Of course, the main part is mental," said Bailey. "You want to think about it a little, but you don't want to think too much. You just want to go out there and do your job. You do it just like in practice and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You aren't going to make them all but you try to go out there and relax."

For the opener in Seattle on Saturday against Washington State the experience from last season really helps. Keep it simple in Seattle and keep the ball between those pipes.

"I think it will help out a lot and I think it is going to be a lot of fun playing in an NFL stadium," added Bailey. "I think game experience is going to help a lot and I'm going to go out and enjoy it."

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