Judging FG kickers

Just looking at % made by FG kickers.

Probably the most celebrated kickers of all time are Dave Cutler and Lui Passaglia.

Cutler was less than 60%
Passaglia kicked for 25 years and seems to have a career average of mid to low 70%. Only had one season over 80% and that was his last.

Now if the kicker is not at 80% he's not going to last long. Medlock and Whyte are at 86%. McCallum retired last year at 84% in his career.

What's made the difference? Did they try longer kicks back then? Or are kickers just better now?

Kickers are significantly better now. Interesting article here about the steady improvement of kickers over the years. Focused on the NFL, but I get the feeling the CFL follows the same trend.

Thanks. that’s really an interesting piece. Especially the acknowledgment that kicking has been the major reason for increased scoring. And how under valued they are.

In what other sport do we treat the teams leading scorer so cavalierly?

So often we read …" We ( they) are paying Medlock WHAT? That’s WAAAAY too much"

Passaglia and McCallum did much of their FG kicking in the dome in their later years.
It is a huge advantage kicking in a dome 9 games of the season.

Kickers are better yes, but the other factor is kick returners are better as well. Coaches shy away from anything over 50 yards for fear of a big return. You can feel a buzz in the crowd when a team is trying a 50+ yard FG. Not because they might make it, but because they might not and a big return is coming.
This is why you can't take the single out of the game.

Especially with the after point not being automatic the field goal kickers have to be on the ball and consistent from 40 yards in . After that it's gravy .

A good question everyman. I don't know if kickers in the CFL are better now than they once were. In 2015 converts had to be kicked from the 32 yard line instead of the 12 yard line. For some kickers this has been a challenge. The single point convert is no longer a given. I'm wondering if this has lowered the overall %. I looked up the stats for all CFL kickers from 2015 through 2017 but really don't have time to do a year to year comparison.

It would be interesting to see if there has been an upward "tend" of more successful converts and FG. I just don't know. The thing is stats can be manipulated to prove a point. I don't know much about stats but I think variables can skew the results: number of games played, distance of attempted FGs, number of FG or convert attempts etc. Let us say that kicker A has a 78% success rate in 2016 and a 90% success rate in 2017. Wow! Nice improvement but is it really? We later learn that he attempted only 10 FG over the year and although he succeeded on 9 of them, his longest was only 29 yards out. By comparison we learn that he attempted 48 FG the previous year, many over 45 yards. He clicked on 37 attempts. With many 45 yards and beyond and a few over 50 yard sis 78% that bad? did he really improve in 2017?

Correct. Newer style better motion and much less Beer!!

I love this part of the game so much that I wish American football were played on longer field. Add 10 yards to the field length so that we could move those goal posts back up too!

Instead NFL football is going the other direction to try and eliminate the kickoff return altogether, and I wonder how far behind college football will be before too long. ::slight_smile:

it would be interesting to know if kickers were trying for longer field goals 20 years ago thereby presumably having a lower success rate. We can say that but who knows? And I'm not sure if returners are better now. They probably are as are all athletes I guess. In doors helps but Lui's average accuracy was low by todays standards. McCallum's was a high % kicker for sure.

Again the highest today are Medlock and Whyte-outdoor guys-86 %

And of course the longer convert issue raised earlier is a complete non-issue. That has nothing to do with field goal percentage obviously..

I should know this but has the CFL followed the NFL route of having a "K ball" for the kicking game? Presumably this is a ball just to be used in the kicking game...not sure if this is to help in accuracy or just designed to ensure that no one is messing with the ball. That both teams are using the same ball with the same specs.

Not as obvious as you think. Perhaps your topic title should have read, " Judging Kickers based on their FG success rate". You opened the thread with "Just looking at % made by FG kickers" but then began speaking of "kickers". When wondering whether kickers are better today than they were in the Cutler and Passaglia days why limit it to just their FG success rate, especially given the fact that they are responsible for single point converts which could win or lose games? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to evaluate a kicker's performance based only on FG percentages without consideration of their success rate as convert kickers in my opinion.

By the way, you said, Passaglia had only had one season over 80% and that was his last." What was your source? My understanding is that he actually kicked 91% in his last season [2000] and kicked over 84% in another season early in his career! :wink:

Regardless, if percentages are going up today compared to years past it, using dedicated long snappers may have some bearing on improved stats.

Yes you are right. Lui did hit 84% early on and 91% in his last year, making it only 2 out of 25 years of hitting over 80%.

In a 25 year career I am surprised that his overall percentage of field goals made is well below the standards of today which seems to be 80% minimum.

Just looked up Osbaldiston's career % and it was 72% in his long run. Don Sweet had a great 13 year career in Montreal and hit over 80% just once.

Probably similar to QBs. 60% pass completion rate is barely acceptable today whereas anything over 55% was good was good when Moon played in Canada who was at 57%. Lancaster was at 54% same as Russ Jackson back in their days.

When comparing current kickers to ones in the past, you can't use convert rates. The rule only recently changed.

It's very obvious that FG %'s have gone up over the years. Long snappers probably have something to do with it, but I'd think the biggest factor is specialization. For example, Lui Passaglia played QB in high school, and was a wide receiver/kicker at Simon Fraser. Modern kickers tend have been playing the position exclusively since high school, with the help of many individual coaches along the way. They focus solely on kicking from a young age.

Yeah that's a really good point lgticats. Cutler was a linebacker at SFU along with kicking back in his day.

The position is seen in a much different light now. As the article that you posted shows it was very undervalued and now is often seen as the difference between success and failure.

"When comparing current kickers to ones in the past, you can't use convert rates. The rule only recently changed."...by letsgoticats

When comparing current kickers to ones in the past, you can't use convert rates.

And that is exactly what the CFL appears to doing..

The archive dates back 14 years to 2004. It says FG and Converts so the percentages appear to be including convert attempts in the performance figure. Am I misreading that.

Other than that I agree with everything else you have said.

You’re misreading that.

Justin Medlock was 56 of 70 on field goals, for a rate of 80%. Convert stats are shown in the far right columns, Medlock was 48 of 49.

Well done. I did misread it. Thanks.

It's 2018 and the CFL still allows tees for field goals.

That's a problem in comparing who can do the job the best coming out of college.

It's a one inch tee. It no doubt makes a difference, but not a huge one. I'd hate to see a team have to place the ball on a snow or ice covered field. If it really made that much of a difference CFL kicking records should be similar to the NCAA records before the tee was banned for field goals.