Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher understands he will be a lightning rod for the fans and the media until he proves he is up to the standards of Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in the NFL history whom he shockingly unseated in camp.
Maher didn’t do himself any favors by missing his only attempt, a 47-yarder, in the Cowboys’ 16-8 season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers.
He still has never made a kick in the NFL.
So it stands to reason that Maher would put in a call to his sports psychologist this week for counseling.
But let Maher tell it, the work with sports psychologist Andy Gilliam will be no more or no less than it would be if had made his kick.
He credits the mental approach with Gilliam for improving his kicking to the point that he was able to unseat Bailey in camp. And he is going to rely on that same process now as he attempts to regain the trust of the Cowboys.
“I talk to him set amount of time every week, good or bad,” Maher said.”I trust my process. I trust our process. I trust the process we have been doing since camp. We do the same thing after every game, whether I go 5 for 5 or 0 for 3. We do the same thing. We have the same process and will continue as the season goes on.”
Maher can understand how this kick seems to be a bigger deal on the outside because he is a relatively unknown commodity. But he said he can’t that that enter his mindset.
“I am comfortable where I am,” Maher said. “I’m comfortable with how I am kicking, how I’m performing. For me to focus on the fans or the media would be wasted energy. I try to do what I can to be prepared.”
After being almost perfect throughout training camp, Maher said his technique failed him on the kick against the Panthers
”I didn’t start it on a line that gave it the best chance,” Maher said. “I didn’t start it on a true line. But I hit it pretty good.”
The missed kick does get Maher excited for Sunday’s game against the Giants and he can’t wait for another opportunity to kick.
”I am excited for another opportunity for myself,” Maher said. “I don’t like the taste that is in my mouth right now. The biggest thing to get back out there and start a new streak.”