Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri sits on the field in Houston before a 2019 playoff game.

Adam Vinatieri Spots Mechanical Flaw, Will Change His Kicking Schedule In Practice

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INDIANAPOLIS – After reviewing film of arguably the worst game of his NFL career, Adam Vinatieri has noticed some technique corrections that are needed.

Vinny missed 3 kicks for the first time in his career, pushing an extra point to the right from 33 yards out, and then pulling a 46-yard field goal and a 29-yard field goal to the left.

“When we watched the tape, there’s a few things he’s going to get at this week that we are going to clean up,” Colts special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone says. “A few things mechanically, technique wise that he saw.

“He’s the best self-corrector, you could say ‘self-diagnoser.’ You don’t see repeated mistakes often, once he makes the correction. He knows what he has to work on this week and we are going to work on those in practice.”

Ventrone said the Colts will also have Vinatieri kick in 2 days of practice this week, versus the 1-day workload he had last week.

While Ventrone, the second-year special teams coordinator who actually played with Vinatieri in New England, remains adamant that he hadn’t seen any practice trends leading to what we saw on Sunday, recent game settings have not been kind to Vinny.

While many want to chalk this up as just a one game issue for Vinatieri, it’s not.

In his last 4 games played (all outdoors), Vinatieri has missed 3 extra points (going 8-of-11 on PATs) and 3 field goals (going 3-of-6 on FGs).

The missed field goals have been from 44, 29 and 23 yards, along with the trio of 33-yard extra points missed.

That’s 5 missed kicks inside of 35 yards in the last 4 games played, or 9 points that are typically automatic for the NFL’s all-time leading scorer.

Across the entire 2018 season, Vinatieri finished 17th in field goal percentage (85.2{6b2ff7b5569ff897856daea25146c3aa8bbdaa11543b2f3ed231dcc2b0b9fe17}, his lowest mark in 6 seasons) and 24th in extra point percentage.

Vinny, who turns 47 years old in December, signed a 1-year extension with the Colts earlier this year.

Coming into Vinny’s 24th NFL season, Ventrone actually thought the future Hall of Famer was kicking better than he had the previous offseason.

“Honestly, I felt that this year hitting the ball he was ahead of where he was at this point last year, relative I would say to practice, consistency, getting the ball up, timing, all that stuff,” Ventrone says. “I felt like this year his leg, looked to me, more ready and stronger than it did last year.

“He’s hit the ball well in practice. He actually had a really good warmup prior to the (Chargers) game. Sometimes you have hiccups in the game. Obviously, we did in the kicking game this past game.”

Like his head coach mentioned earlier in the week, Ventrone made it clear that Vinny is kicking the ball at a more than adequate level in practice.

Ventrone firmly believes ‘father time’ has not caught up to his kicker.

“Truly, if anybody watched him kick throughout the week and then the pre-game, I truly don’t believe that. I really don’t,” the special teams coordinator says. “I don’t see him tapering off at all, to be honest.

“Now, like I said, if you could see the chain of events where he’s struggling in practice and struggling throughout the pre-game warmup and all that, there would be room for concern. But there’s no concern at all.”

Whether it was in the immediacy just moments after the crushing overtime loss, or after a night of sleep on it, Frank Reich is not backing down from his belief in Vinatieri.

Reich pointed out that he’s seen evidence here in 2019, more so in practice, of Vinny still kicking at a high level.

“Obviously, Adam didn’t have his best day, but I’ll just keep putting it into context (of) this guy is an elite, elite player. Not just ‘was’. I see it every day in practice that he kicks. I have watched him in pregame, I have seen him every day in practice,” Reich said earlier this week.

“No concerns that there is any deteriorating of anything physically, and certainly not mentally. This guy is the toughest mental athlete I have ever been around. So, no worries.”


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