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STS*: Ryan Quigley Has a Hold on His ‘Other’ Job

Posted Sep 21, 2013

The job of a holder typically goes unnoticed. And usually the lack of attention is a good thing.

For instance, most NFL fans know that Tony Romo served as the Cowboys holder a few years ago, but no one would have remembered that if not for an infamous, playoff-eliminating mishap.

This past week the Jets parted ways with punter Robert Malone and brought back his preseason competitor, Ryan Quigley. Although the punter’s primary responsibility is to pin the opposition deep and give our team better field position, Quigley will also have to receive the snap and set the ball down for K Nick Folk as the holder on field goals and extra points.

No one’s ever going to claim that a holder has the toughest job in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

“The biggest thing is just to hit the spot,” Folk said. “If you don’t hit the spot then I can’t make the kick because I’m expecting it to be there.”

While every kicker will tell his holder where to spot the ball prior to the snap, the angle at which to hold the football is unique to each kicker’s preferences, and factors such as the wind and precipitation have to be taken into consideration. It helps, Folk said, that he and Quigley had OTAs, minicamp, training camp and even some preseason games to build a level of trust and comfort among themselves and LS Tanner Purdum.

“It really just took us one practice to find our rhythm again,” Quigley said.

Now in his seventh year in the league, Folk has gone consecutive seasons with the same kicker-holder-snapper trio just once. His long snapper and holder were the same in his rookie year and second year in the league. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and kicked a career-high 90.9% of his kicks (20-of-22) in his sophomore NFL season.

“I was kind of hoping to have the same trio again just because of the comfort level there,” Folk said, “but Ryan’s doing a good job. He’s very consistent with the spots and he knows the leans that I like so we have that strong rapport with each other.”

The punter and kicker often serve as a second pair of eyes for each other throughout the game, Folk said, although as a holder, Ryan Quigley usually leaves the veteran kicker to himself.

“If I feel a breeze, I’m not afraid to ask him about it,” Quigley said, “but Nick’s kind of like Tiger Woods. He’s plenty good enough, so I’ll let him do his thing. I just do my part and get the ball down.”

“We’ve had a good few days of kicking field goals so far,” Folk said. “Hopefully we can keep it going Sunday.”

If you don’t notice Quigley as a holder against the Bills, you’ll know that he’s done his job.

*Special Teams Saturday
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