Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rookie Kicker Seems Unfazed by Competition; Marler: Being Laid-Back Helps

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rookie Kicker Seems Unfazed by Competition; Marler: Being Laid-Back Helps

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

How young is Seth Marler?

The Jaguars' undrafted rookie kicker is so young that defensive back James Trapp calls him "baby face."

He's so young that he's never heard of former Washington Redskins standout kicker Mark Moseley.

He's so young that the pressure of kicking in the NFL as a rookie might not even faze him.

At 22, the Tulane University graduate is leading the Jaguars' kicking duel in training camp.

The most consistent kicker in camp, he's got the lead on James Tuthill and Danny Boyd going into the preseason opener Saturday night in Minnesota. He'll get the first kicks in the game as he tries to keep his edge.

You might think the Jaguars' new staff would be wary of starting the season with a rookie kicker after Hayden Epstein flopped last year and was waived after six games.

Former coach Tom Coughlin wound up using four kickers in a 6-10 season that cost him his job.

Marler, though, doesn't sound like he's going to let the pressure bother him.

"I'm really laid-back," he said. "My coaches in college used to say I had Kool-Aid in my veins and stuff like that. They were just joking around and they'd say, 'Oh, you don't get worried about stuff.' I've worked very hard every day of my life to get to where I am now, and I'm not going to let little things like that worry me."

On being laid-back, "I think that helps you as a kicker. If I miss a kick, I'm not going to sit there and dwell on it."

Marler even said he's a better kicker in games than he is in practice.

"In games, I'm always locked in. Maybe I don't put enough pressure on myself in practice and don't focus as well as I should," he said.

So is coach Jack Del Rio ready to gamble on a rookie kicker if Marler plays well in the preseason?

"You're going to play rookies. Obviously, you'll take a five-year Pro Bowl guy going into his sixth year over a rookie who's unproven. But we're going to pick the best guy, and he [Marler] still has to prove he's the best guy before we worry [about going] with a rookie," Del Rio said. …

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