JR: That's how I feel. I had 30 or 40 percent of the team come up to me and say ‘Don't worry about it, we could have scored.' But my job is to kick field goals. I can't do anything else than kick field goals and kickoffs. That's why I'm a lot harder on myself than everyone else is. It's great to know that the coaching staff still has confidence in me.
Q: This is kind of the first rough stretch you've had since you've been here.
JR: I haven't played a whole year. I played six last year, eight counting the playoffs, but those don't count in your numbers. Who knows what could have happened last year. It's not that I'm a bad kicker, my goal is 75 percent and I'm not there right now. I have a chance to get there in two games. Just because it's a tough place to kick doesn't mean it's impossible. All these things you hear about another kicker failing there, that means nothing.
Q: Are you jealous of the guys who get to kick 10 games in a dome?
JR: A little bit, but that's like the receivers here bundled up and watching Miami and they're out there breaking a sweat. It's not a big deal to me. I'm happy to be on this team. I love this team.
Q: Did you call or talk to other kickers?
JR: Yeah. I'm really good friends with John Carney. I talk to other kickers who aren't in the league, some older guys who taught me how to kick. I keep in touch with a lot of guys who aren't in the league and a few guys who are in the league. They all say the same thing, don't worry about it. In my eyes, there's no such thing as a slump. You don't have time for a slump. In college, you might get another chance. In the NFL, you won't get another chance. I'll get it turned around.
Q: It's kind of like a golf swing, isn't it? The physics are the same.
JR: I'd say it's similar. I'm not a huge golfer, so I couldn't really compare. But the hitch, the angle and keeping your head down, all play a part in it.
Q: Do you look at film of yourself when you're going good and compare?
JR: Most of my misses this year, with the exception of maybe not hitting the ball as solidly as I can, my mechanics are fine. Look around the league, it's crazy. Half the kickers are at 90 to 100 percent and it's a great year for kickers, and some have missed eight or nine kicks that they aren't supposed to. I have high expectations for myself, so I don't feel I should be one of those guys missing nine kicks. But it's the reality. I have to overcome it and move on.
Q: Did you say you don't watch film of yourself?
JR: No, I do. I watch film every time I kick. Everything looks fine. There's nothing that's off or anything. I'm not real worried about it.
Q: You figure if you're hitting it solidly, your mechanics are pretty good?
JR: At this time of the year, the balls are so hard and so cold, that's why my 40-yarder a couple of weeks ago almost was short. From 47, I hit it solid and was short. There's no room for error in kicking. It's not 90 degrees every day.
Q: People's expectations for kickers have risen over the years too. Back in the '60s, 50 percent was considered good because everyone was a straight-on kicker.
JR: Yeah, expectations have risen. I don't think there's one guy in this league who doesn't want to be in the 80 percentile mark. It's a tough goal because you play in so many conditions over 16 games, the playoffs, everything. All you can do is your best. That's all anyone can ask.
Q: That's pretty much the norm now, 80 percent and it used to be the record?
JR: Yeah. Now you look around the league and there's one guy who's perfect, another guy over 90 percent. Through 14 games, that's unbelievable. I'm not saying it can't be done, but to have 30-plus kicks and not to miss one, I don't care if they're all 10-yard field goals, that's remarkable.
Q: You're allowed to clear a spot on a kick, right?
Q: But you guys didn't.
JR: The reason you saw that was on his first kick, they had just cleared that because it was on their first drive, so he had a little bit of footing. He looked like he had been there before. Me, mentally, I was fine, but you could see in my stance, I was concerned with my footing. I didn't want to slip. On his second kick, a timeout was called. I didn't have that kind of time. Icleared a little spot for myself, but the other guys had to worry about their own spots. That's not an excuse. People have asked me about that. It's not that our guys don't care. It's my job to kick it.