Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson is getting ready for his third year in the NFL. After having a solid season with the Silver and Black in 2018, he regressed last year. For the moment, he’s getting ready for the 2020 season amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Carlson struggled last year after an efficient 2018. He connected just 73.1% of his kicks in 2019, a subpar number nowadays. Moreover, he was 27th in the league in field goals made. In spite of his struggle, the third-year kicker isn’t looking back, and instead, he’s working on his craft. In a recent conversation with Tashan Reed of the Athletic, Carlson talked about his family, how he’s preparing for the season and his offseason routine.
One of his priorities has been his family. He and his wife are expecting a baby. In the meantime, they’re decorating and painting their house in Alabama since he doesn’t have to report to the team’s facilities. “That’s been fun to be able to have this time to do that with my wife as we are waiting for the baby to arrive.”
That doesn’t mean Carlson has been slacking. He’s been traveling two hours once a week to meet Raiders punter A.J. Cole, who’s helping with holder duties. Regarding his current practice habits, the kicker said, “It’s definitely different as far as meetings go and not being able to kick and practice with the team.” He later added, “we just want to continue to get an advantage for once camp rolls around and make sure that our operation is already smooth.”
Raiders: Carlson Knows the Pressure that Comes with Kicking
Carlson is aware of the attention kickers in spite of being just one out of 11 players in special teams. When things go great, fans take for granted the position and see extra points as automatic. The same goes for field goals. When kickers make them, fans already want to move on. However, when they miss one in key moments, they become the sole carriers of blame.
“People don’t really look at the other 10 guys on the field even though they have just as important of a role. We all have to work together there. It does really highlight your performance and it’s very black and white and make or miss. People don’t really see everything that goes into it, but that’s also part of the fun is that it does vary according to the situation depending on the pressure and position.”
Ahead of his third year, Carlson acknowledges his past mistakes and is looking forward to move on. “I think I’ve learned a lot the last two years through the ups and downs. Hopefully, this next season I can prove that it’s something that’s in the rearview mirror and that I can learn from those mistakes and move forward.”
Through the conversation, Carlson discusses his time as a kicker in both High School and Auburn. Furthermore, he explores his family’s original interest for football. He then closes the interview with his plans for this season.
“I’m just trying to get better technically, mentally, physically and put it all together for 16-plus weeks of a season. Then I think as a team, as well, we’re hoping to make a good playoff run.”
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Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press