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Miami Dolphins Just for Kicks: Kicker Battle Looming?

New Staff Writer Jim Driano breaks down an unexpected kicking battle between Miami Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks and recent UDFA Marshall Koehn.

Even though the season is still months away and the Miami Dolphins' final roster is far from set, I wanted to ‘kick around’ some thoughts on who our place kicker will be.

Last year we had free agent rookie, Andrew Franks, handling field goals and kick-offs, after beating out the incumbent Caleb Sturgis.  Franks did a pretty fair job with the field goals, converting 13 of the 16 kicks he attempted.  Further, all of his misses came from over 40 yards, with one coming from over 50 yards, while also making one from 53 yards.

Interestingly enough, Franks missed the same number of extra points (3), in 36 attempts as he did field goals.  Even though the extra points were moved back and are now more like field goals (32 yards), this is still concerning.  With the Dolphins offense being somewhat less than a juggernaut, points are at a premium.  Of course Franks didn’t lose any games with any of his misses but he didn’t win any either.  Franks does have a strong leg which led to 44 of his 66 kick-offs resulting in touchbacks.  He is still unproven but hopefully with a year under his belt, he can clean up some of the issues with missing extra points and become more consistent.   Franks certainly has the brain power to figure this out, being an engineering major in college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Now before Franks starts to feel too comfortable, he recently found out he is going to have competition in the likes of Marshall Koehn, out of Iowa.

Koehn is the new free agent rookie looking to beat out the incumbent second year kicker.  He also boasts a strong leg.  In fact, these guys are very much alike in stats and structure.  Like Franks, Koehn is 6ft tall and over 200 lbs.  He also boasts an 80% field goal rate going 16-20 with a long of 57 yards (a game winner).  Koehn is also a fantastic athlete, running one of the fastest, if not the fastest 40 time of any kicker ever.  Koehn sports 4.6 speed along with an ability to punt, which he did more than a handful of times at Iowa, averaging over 40 yards per punt.

Those are some of the good stats.  Unfortunately, like Franks, Koehn has a propensity to miss extra points.  And these extra points are of the 20 yard type.  Last year Koehn missed 6 PATs out of the 53 he attempted.  However, the biggest knock on Koehn is he doesn’t appear to get enough depth on his kick-offs.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I would say Franks has a slight edge just because of experience and maybe a slightly stronger leg, but anything can happen.  One thing is for sure, only one kicker will be on the active roster come game 1 in Seattle.  So, who do you think it will be?



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