Written by Matthew Cannata
Caleb Sturgis was drafted in the fifth round in the 2013 NFL Draft. Kickers rarely are drafted that early and when they are, it means that they are coming in to be the starter, even if the team already has a kicker like the Dolphins did with Dan Carpenter.
After winning the job in training camp, Sturgis started off the season in tremendous fashion making his first ten attempts, but about halfway through, he started a downward spiral, missing several kicks in key situations and ending the season 26-for-34. With a year under his belt, Sturgis knows what to expect and is now accustomed to the routines of the NFL.
“I think I should have had a better year last year,” Sturgis said after practice Sunday. “Every chance I get out here I want to prove that they made a good decision having me as their kicker, and that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever lose. You always want to make them happy with how you perform.”
The Dolphins obviously are still very high on Sturgis, who earned NFL All-Rookie honors last season, as evidenced by the fact they didn’t bring in any competition for him in camp. But Sturgis says that doesn’t mean there’s any less pressure to perform.
“I think the one thing as a kicker, it’s kind of different from other positions where you have 90 guys on a roster, you have guys that are really fighting,” he said. “The guys outside of those 90 men, they’re real long shots. Kickers that are outside of the camps aren’t that much of a long shot. So you’re constantly fighting against whether it be the two kickers that are in every other camp or guys that aren’t even on teams right now. You’re constantly playing for your job.”
“Every day you go out there you want to hit every field goal,” Sturgis said. “You try. When you get in a rhythm where you’re hitting every field goal you make, you stay at a consistent level. I think the other thing is just being real conscious with how many kicks you take every day, how many to warm up, but every one counts because another big thing for us is health and if you’re healthy all the way through it makes everything a lot easier.”
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