John Holt spoke with
The most popular topic during Jets training camp practice this season has obviously been the offseason addition of quarterback
But as camp concludes this week, another hot topic is emerging in the kicking competition between Josh Brown and Nick Folk.
The two have been battling since before the first day of camp at SUNY Cortland, and it’s somewhat sad that the competition has to end.
“Both these guys are nailing it, you know what I mean?” head coach Rex Ryan said. “Like I said before, both of them will kick in this league this year, there's no doubt about it. Only one, obviously, is going to kick for us. But it is great competition.”
Folk and Brown ended the Jets' Family Night practice at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday with four field goal attempts each. Folk finished 3-of-4 on his field goal attempts, his lone miss being wide left from 46 yards out. Brown, meanwhile, was 4-of-4, with his last two kicks coming from 50 and 55 yards out.
Folk, who began kicking his freshman year of high school, is familiar with this type of competition. When he was a rookie with the Dallas Cowboys in 2007, he beat out veteran Martín Gramática. Then in his third and final season with Dallas, he prevailed over rookie David Buehler. Last season with the Jets, he won an individual matchup with Nick Novak.
“I enjoy competing,” Folk said. “I think it’s a blast. I have a good time with it. We have a pretty good relationship, Josh and I.
“I respect him. I respect what he’s done. He’s been a great kicker for a long time.”
Folk stated that every competition he’s been involved in is pretty much the same format.
“You’re out here kicking field goals, kicking off, trying to put your best foot forward and show them what you can do and that you can do it not only for this year but for an extended period of time,” he said.
Interestingly, the duo trained together this past offseason in San Diego. They first met in 2008 when Brown was with the St. Louis Rams. While they are competing on a daily basis to secure the Jets' job, their relationship is strong.
“We chat just about everything from family life to football to just about anything,” Folk said.
The biggest thing that happened to Folk in the offseason was getting married. But he also trained, beginning his offseason work just two weeks after the season ended.
“I had a pretty sour taste in my mouth about all of last year, my end, as a team,” he said. “I think everyone will say that.”
The 6’1” 222-pounder said he won’t feel any extra pressure heading into the Jets’ nationally televised preseason game against Carolina on Sunday night. He expects to approach it the same way he does every game.
“I know for myself mentally, I put myself in a game situation every day out here at practice,” he said. “I just try to envision a bunch of fans out here and today was a good feeling for that, getting the fans out here and cheering a little bit.”
Regardless of whether or not Folk ultimately wins his latest competition, he still holds the Jets record for longest kick when he nailed a 56-yarder against Denver in 2010. Last year his 11-for-11 from the start of the season set another franchise mark.
He only hopes more moments like those will be in store for him wearing the green and white.
“You can’t get mad at a guy if he outkicks you or if they pick him,” Folk said. “In the end, you control what you control and that’s me kicking as best I can, and when they make the decision, it’s their decision to make. You’ve already put your influence on the field, and that’s all you really can do on your end.”