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Vanderjagt's CFL issue: Practice goalposts

7/2/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

For those who, on rare occasion, actually ponder the differences between the NFL and CFL, we have an addition to the larger playing area, the 12th player on both sides, the one less down to gain a new set and the rouge: The ability to prepare for a game without having a set of goalposts for the kicker.

Mike Vanderjagt may famously carry the "idiot kicker" tag once put on him by Peyton Manning, but it seems Vanderjagt's Toronto Argonauts rookie head coach Rick Stubler is making a bid for a similar, sticky nickname.

The former Colts kicker, who didn't make it as a Dallas Cowboy in 2006, missed his first three field goal attempts in his first game back in the CFL, where he was kicker and punter for Toronto in 1996-97. He did recover to hit his last two tries in a 23-16 win in Winnipeg last Friday.

The Toronto Sun's Frank Zicarelli explains in his notebook that field goals in the CFL are attempted from wider hashmarks, then lets Stubler make the stunning admission about the team's camp practice site being without goalposts, something he promises to address.

"We had two days all of camp where we went some place that had goal posts," Stubler said. "That's a coaching fault and I'll take that."

Don't be too hard on yourself coach. Most kickers are at least 80 percent after significant practice without goal posts. OK, maybe 75 percent.