Sunday, December 22, 2013
Nick Novak owes success to preparation
By Eric D. Williams
SAN DIEGO -- Consistency is the key to any kicker’s success -- the ability to repeat the same motion over and over so it becomes second nature.
San Diego kicker Nick Novak is in a pretty good groove right now. The University of Maryland product has missed just one field goal this season, and has had two others blocked.
“Give him a lot of credit,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “He’s very reliable. He’s just doing his job the way it’s supposed to be done.”
Novak made four field goals against Oakland from 48, 33, 28 and 27 yards, respectively. His 32 field goals ties him for second most in a single season in Chargers’ franchise history with Nate Kaeding (2009). John Carney holds the record with 34 field goals made in the 1994 season.
“I’ve just been confident the last three years in having a technique and swing thoughts that I can rely on,” Novak said.
Novak also said having the same holder in punter Mike Scifres and long snapper in Mike Windt has helped create a consistent approach for every kick.
Not only has Novak been solid on field goals, he also like to run down and mix it up on kickoffs.
At 6-0 and 198 pounds, it’s not unusual for Novak to run down near the wedge as a safety guy ready to make a tackle. Novak has four special teams tackles this season, including three in one game at Kansas City in Week 12.
“Eleven guys is better than 10 covering,” Novak said. “Sometimes I get a little too deep. But I try to get right there in the gap, so when those guys come out there’s no room for them to juke me.”