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Archive for Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chiefs’ Tynes finds groove

October 27, 2005

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— Anyone who ever has suffered the embarrassment of getting chewed out in front of co-workers can take heart from Lawrence Tynes, Kansas City's poker-faced, never-say-die place-kicker.

Just a couple of months after coach Dick Vermeil publicly berated him, Tynes is the AFC special teams player of the week. He kicked three field goals in Kansas City's 30-20 victory Friday at Miami and seems to be reaching a new plateau - crossing a barrier, as Vermeil likes to say.

But he seemed headed for unemployment after an exhibition game against Arizona, consigned to that inglorious heap of would-be kickers who had their chance at the big time and blew it. Tynes misfired on a couple of makable field-goal attempts, and a disgusted Vermeil told reporters, "He's in the tank."

"You don't do that in the National Football League," Vermeil said.

Notorious for not getting along with kickers, Vermeil made it clear he would be casting a wide net for potential replacements for the NFL's first Scottish-born player.

He even associated Tynes and struggling kickers to a sickness.

"I've been through this so many times it seems like I have that disease, that I should know how to handle it by now," he said.

Of course, everyone hurried to the locker room to get a reaction from Tynes.

Instead of blowing up and letting off steam, he gritted his teeth and went back to work, confident he knew what the problem was.

Turns out he was right.

He and rookie punter Dustin Colquitt had not yet learned to work together on the delicate split-timing required between a kicker and holder. It doesn't take much to throw a kicker off.

"I knew and I think most of the people in this organization knew it wasn't just me," Tynes said. "We had an operational thing. I knew we were going to get through it. It wasn't something that was insurmountable."

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