Seahawks kicker Jason Myers dishes on mentality, relating kicking to golf
Seahawks kicker Jason Myers was one of a handful of heroes in Seattle’s 27-24 road overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Myers was a 2018 Pro Bowler for the New York Jets and signed a four-year deal with the Seahawks this past offseason.
He sat down with Dave Wyman and Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore on Monday and talked about his career as well as some of the mental aspects of being a kicker.
Here’s a look at some of the things covered in the interview:
Unique path to the Seahawks
Myers was born and raised in the San Diego area but ended up traveling across the country to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to play college football at Marist College. Though he originally was going to stay local or try kicking at a junior college, Marist approached him to set things in motion.
“Marist called late and I had a blast on my official visit and just kind of fell in love with the campus,” said Myers, one of Marist football’s most notable alumni. “It kind of fit well for me because I came from a small high school in San Diego and I keep my circle small so it kind of fit in with me.”
Wyman pointed out Myers’ career path, which is unique. After playing for a small college, he went to the Arena Football League before coming to the NFL. He played three seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and then came to Seattle last offseason but was cut after losing a battle for the kicker job to Sebastian Janikowski. He then signed with the Jets and made the Pro Bowl, leading to Seattle signing him to a four-year deal.
That career path caused Myers to learn and grow.
“I definitely took the road less traveled than most people that make it to the NFL, but I kind of take it as a steppingstone and a learning block for the next step,” Myers said. “I never look down on those situations because I kept learning from them. They all taught me something different, so it’s helped me be who I am today.”
The mental side
The differences between specialists and other NFL players is easy to see, and Myers said it’s evident at practice.
“It’s different than every other position,” he said of being a kicker. “We don’t do the strenuous work at practice. Ours is more technical and a lot of reps but it’s all important in the end.”
In kicking, staying strong mentally is vital, especially because there aren’t many opportunities on game day. Moore wanted to know if Myers tries to stay even keel during games.
“Personality-wise that’s kind of who I am anyways,” Myers said. “I’m kind of a quiet guy. I keep to myself. I try not to get too fired up or too down on things.”
His mindset helped him recover from a rough Week 10 outing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he missed an extra point and two field goal attempts. One of those field goals came at the end of regulation, which would have won the game for Seattle without having to go to overtime.
“I’ve always been taught and learned that it’s always the next kick whether you make one or miss one, so that’s kind of the mindset I take and it definitely helps out when you have situations that happened two weeks ago and being able to bounce back from that,” Myers said.
Myers bounced back in a big way, hitting a field goal late in the fourth quarter as well as the game-winner in overtime against the 49ers.
Relating kicking to golf
Moore, who hosts 710 ESPN Seattle’s Northwest Golf Show, wanted to know from Myers whether kicking a football for a living is like playing golf. Myers said there are similarities between the two actions.
“There’s some mental aspects to it, there’s some technique to it, but at the end you just want to be able to swing whether you’re golfing or kicking,” Myers said. “I golf a lot in the offseason and that’s kind of my way of keeping the edge on the competition and getting those feels but not kicking all offseason.”
Myers said missing a kick is sometimes similar to hitting a golf ball wrong.
“When you slice one in golf when you’re a righty, you’re cutting across it; it’s kind of the same thought for kicking,” Myers said “There’s some similarities I take in my head that I can visualize it to a golf swing so it’s kind of the same for me.”
Myers and the 8-2 Seahawks return from their bye week to take on the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday at 10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Coverage begins at 7 a.m. with the pregame show.