Tynes Kicks Recent Criticism

Lawrence Tynes, the Scottish-born place kicker of the Kansas City Chiefs has been battling pressure and frustration his entire career. After spending several unsuccessful training camps with the Chiefs and stints in the NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League, the Troy State University alum settled in the Chiefs place kicker job a year ago, beating out future Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen.

Tynes has mixed results in his first NFL season, making several clutch kicks for the Chiefs and missing others. That inconsistency continued into this year's training camp, where Tynes has still missed some shorter kicks. Tynes' frustration persisted in an up and down initial preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, where he missed his first field goal attempt, a makeable 38 yard try, but nailed a 51 yard field goal later. On the ensuing kickoff, Tynes kicked the ball out of bounds. It's the sort of play you don't expect a veteran to make and was terribly frustrating to Chiefs' head coach Dick Vermeil.

"I believe he's a good kicker. I was really pleased with the kickoffs, other than the one he kicked out of bounds. I loved his 51-yarder and hated the short (miss). I think that's probably most coaches' attitude towards kicking. He just hasn't been as consistent on the practice field as he was last year. That worries me more than just the performance the other night."

Tynes handles the situation with class, like he always has in the past. He refused to allow blame to be placed on rookie punter Dustin Colquitt, who is now Tynes' holder. Colquitt has never held before, and Tynes is pleased with his efforts.

"He's doing fine," said Tynes. "I have no complaints. He's doing everything he needs to be doing. He's doing a good job."

Tynes indicated that the kick out of bounds was the result of being too excitable; after all, 51-yard field goals are not commonplace, even in today's NFL.

"I was just trying to kill it," Tynes said. "I was a little pumped up after the field goal, and then you try to put the kickoff through the uprights, too. It's happened before. Hopefully, it's the last time it happens, but I've done it before. I just have to calm myself down a bit and swing like I did on the ones before."

Tynes and Coach Vermeil have had a tumultuous relationship. It could be argued that of all the players on the roster, Tynes catches the most flak. Vermeil has never been shy about letting everyone inside and outside the Chiefs organization know when he is displeased with his placekicker. Despite this, he has a healthy outlook and won't allow the pressure to cause him to fold.

"It's just the nature of the business. I think anybody gets ridden if you don't do your job. If you do well, he's going to pat you on the back. He's notorious for being hard on kickers, and it doesn't bother me. I can deal with it. I've had tough coaches all through college and high school, so he's just the same as those guys."

After the Vikings game, Tynes had a brush with the law, when he was charged with assault for allegedly punching a bouncer at a River Falls bar. Despite his recent displeasure with his placekicker, Coach Vermeil stood up for the embattled Tynes.

"We treat him like anyone who has his right to be heard and evaluated, especially since we know our players so well, especially the kids who have been around. The least likely to have a problem normally is your kicker, and it isn't always his fault. But, automatically, it's their name because no one else knows anybody else who's involved. That's a price they have to pay, and a discipline they have to learn to handle in different kinds of environments. Believe me, if the situation comes up again the lesson he learned from there will be to walk away."

The fans of the Kansas City Chiefs have every reason to believe Tynes will handle the situation with the same class he's shown in the past.

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