In Their Words: Brett Conway

Brett Conway endured the highs and lows of a kicker, all within a few minutes in Washington's win over Carolina. It's life that's full of pressure, but also fun. At least for Conway. He knows he can't be perfect. He knows he must be pretty close. Through six games, Conway had made seven of nine field goals. The one he missed (against Dallas) hurt Washington. The other one nearly ruined a victory.

''I enjoy the life of a kicker. It's a big fallacy that everyone thinks kickers are alienated and weird and hang out by themselves. We're certainly different because we don't beat our brains in every day like they do. We have much more down time. But our jobs are more pressure packed. Ours is a skill as opposed to what they're doing which is a lot of athleticism. I've enjoyed it. It's taken me a lot of places and I've gotten to meet a lot of people. It's not how everyone pictures it where the kicker is off by themselves and no one likes the kicker. I've never been on a team where it's like that.

''I'm into all kinds of stuff that I guess the 'normal' kicker is not into. Like motorcycles. It's a release, especially this week to get away from everything, hop on take a ride and cool off a little bit.

''There's a rush before the kick that you have to try and control. There's a rush after the kick that you don't have to try and control. It's a relieving feeling and after the game there's a big rush.

''I don't know if I thrive on pressure, but you need to be able to deal with it and the people that deal with it stay in the league a long time. You're like a closer in baseball. But it doesn't matter if that kick is in the first quarter. That kick can be just as important as when you're kicking with 40-some seconds left.

''My heart dropped after I missed that kick. The biggest thing is letting my teammates down after they'd worked so hard the whole game. There were plenty of mistakes made. People fumbled, guys missed blocks. But they play 70 plays. I play five, six, seven plays. Mine are under a magnifying glass. You try to forget about it and do the best you can and concentrate on the positives.

''Marty told me to stay in it, that we'd turn around, get the ball and drive downfield and it was up to me to win the game. You have to be prepared for the next kick rather than think about the one you just missed.

''I've missed before and I'll miss again. I'll make another one and I'm going to make another one after I miss one. It's just another kick. You have to block everything out. It's tough, but I think about how well I'd been kicking in practice and in games. You focus on the good things. Otherwise it will affect my next kick.

''But you're still a little worried. You've just missed another short one. That's where it gets tough and you can start playing mind games with yourself. You've got to say, 'Hey, it's up to me now.' You have to put everything behind me and this is my job and I'm going to win the game.

''It felt good to make that kick, but it was kind of bittersweet. Still to this day I don't know how I missed that kick. It was right over the upright and I've seen that called good 75 percent of the time. But I should have put it right down the middle.''

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