Nick Folk justifies roster spot

September, 8, 2013
9/08/13
7:42
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nick Folk, who has spent the offseason fending off competition New York Jets management brought in to test him, validated his presence on the roster Sunday by making two fourth-quarter field goals in an 18-17 win for the Jets against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"That was John (General Manager John Idzik’s) mantra all year -- competition at every position. Some guys were fighting for jobs into the third, even fourth preseason game. It was a learning experience for me in the preseason. I didn't make the game winner against the Giants. Today I happen to hit it pretty good and it went through for me."

Folk hit a 30-yard field goal with 5:05 remaining for a 15-14 lead, and then a 48-yard field goal with two seconds left for the win. The placement of the second was aided by a personal foul on Lavonte David, who pushed quarterback Geno Smith as he ran out of bounds.

"When you go from 63 to 48, you can ... I don't want to say change your mechanics, but I can slow myself down,” Folk said. “I can make it nice and smooth, as opposed to getting after a long one. When you're that far, you have tendency to let it fly. From 48, you can hit it like an extra point. That's when I told myself when I went out there: It's like an extra point."

Folk said he tried to hit the ball as cleanly though the middle of the uprights as he could, to keep everyone from stressing out. After a split second, the officials signaled that it was good.
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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