FOXBORO — There are nuances that the layman won’t know about, but the week of preparation for kicker Stephen Gostkowski remains consistent.
It’s the nature of the position. It can be tougher when Mother Nature saddles him with inconsistent conditions like he will see in New England, but Gostkowski is in his 12th year with the Patriots, so he’s pretty much seen it all.
“When you kick and punt, all the practices are pretty much the same,” he said Wednesday. “Just work on the fundamentals. Work on staying in rhythm, staying in tune with the timing and everything. That’s about it.”
Gostkowski’s production this season has shown he has those facets down. He’s made 37-of-40 field goal attempts, 45-of-47 extra points and the longest kick (62 yards) in the league this season.
Like a lot of positions on the field, but especially his, the misses tend to get more attention than the makes. In that respect, he’s a victim of his own success.
“It’s really something to be proud of that he’s so consistent and it’s expected almost when it’s a guy that’s achieved that level of success so many times,” long snapper Joe Cardona said. “But it doesn’t diminish how hard it is to really succeed and to be that consistent year-in, year-out. It’s a lot of hard work realized. And it’s a credit to (Ryan Allen)’s holding.”
Don’t forget Cardona’s snapping and the blocking in front of Gostkowski, but the points don’t go up unless the kicker executes his end.
“It’s really something that Steve’s been able to maximize (through) his practice and that helps him perform when conditions are tough and moments are big,” Cardona said.
If Gostkowski doesn’t always have the confidence of a fanbase that expects perfection in every aspect, his teammates don’t share that opinion, according to special teamer Matthew Slater.
For the Solders, chemo treatments are a family affair. Lexi, baby sister Charlie, and dad Nate support Hudson during his treatment.
For Nate, Lexi and Hudson Solder, a Patriots’ off-day means facing their biggest challenge
Cornerback #24 Stephon Gilmore runs through a drill during practice at Gillette Stadium.
Stephon Gilmore ‘excited’ for his long-awaited playoff debut
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels watches quarterback #12 Tom Brady throw the ball during practice at Gillette Stadium.
There are no snow days for Bill Belichick’s Patriots
“All of us in this locker room understand how fortunate we are to have a kicker like Stephen,” Slater said. “He is the best at his position in the league. He’s been consistent throughout his career and none of us here take that for granted. How he’s viewed on the outside, it is what it is as it is with any other player, but in this locker room, he is a guy that we are really thankful to have here and thankful for his consistency and professionalism and the way he works every day.”
Like the weather, the pressure of kicking in this market comes with the territory. Gostkowski knows that.
“It’s really just about focusing on feeling good and feeling confident enough when you come up (to kick),” he said.