Unflappable Succop … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

Dustin Colquitt remembers hearing the news and thinking to himself, “Oh no!”

The 2009 NFL Draft was over and the final selection had been announced:

“With the 256th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft the Kansas City Chiefs select K Ryan Succop from South Carolina.”

In his four previous seasons as the Chiefs punter and holder, Colquitt had gone through six kickers, including a couple of rookies in Justin Medlock and Connor Barth.

“Of course it had nothing to do with Ryan,” Colquitt said. “It was just the idea of a rookie kicker. I’d been there before.”

Eight months later, there’s no trepidation on Colquitt’s part or that of anyone else about Succop. With one game to go, he’s had one of the most successful rookie seasons for an NFL kicker in many seasons. Over the last 25 years, only one other drafted kicker tops Succop’s FG percentage of 84.6 in his rookie season.

Succop has made 22 of 26 field goal attempts through 15 games. He’s not missed inside 40 yards and has only one failed attempt inside 50 yards. He’s hit FGs from 50 and 53 yards. He’s also made all 24 extra point kicks and he’s averaging 66 yards on his kickoffs; so on average he puts the kickoff at the opponent’s four-yard line. He’s got 50 of his 66 kickoffs inside the 10-yard line and six touchbacks.

The production on the field has been paired with Succop’s personality, which is best described as being unflappable.

“He’s a cool customer,” said head coach Todd Haley. “He’s unflappable it appears in a bunch of different ways. Every Thursday we have our field-goal period and everybody razzes him pretty good and he gets up there and goes about his business. He prepares himself to succeed. It’s shown up a bunch this year.”

That coolness under pressure has been felt by the other parts of FG chain with the Chiefs.

“He’s very good at easing my mind and Thomas’ (Gafford, snapper),” said Colquitt. “It would seem pretty normal for veterans to be reaching down and pulling up a rookie when he’s having a hard time. With Ryan, he just hasn’t had any hard times. He’s done a really great job.”

Succop doesn’t provide much insight into how he remains so calm and cool in matters that frequently have other kickers doing emotional cartwheels.

“I feel like God has a plan for me and right now, this is part of the plan,” said Succop, who does not try to hide is spirituality. “I’ve got good people around me and I’ve got the Lord with me and that’s all anyone needs in life.”

Said Colquitt: “He’s one of those guys that as soon as he has any type of doubts about anything, he will reach for his Bible, get a verse and use that to sustain him.

Kickers and head coaches often have a difficult relationship because one torments the other. Kickers get so few opportunities to decide the outcome of a game, and when they don’t come through it slices the head coach’s confidence in him.

That’ hasn’t happened so far with Haley and his thoughts on Succop.

“When you saw him and his demeanor and the way he kicked it, Coach (Steve) Hoffman felt there were a lot o f little things he could do to help him,” said Haley. “He shown he can take the coaching and he responded. It was pretty clear that the Mr. Irrelevant stuff, he wasn’t effected by that.

“He was here to win a job and be a quality kicker in the league or better.”

Colquitt says that Succop adjusted to the pro game very quickly and that can be seen in his contributions in his first season.

“I know it’s a play on words, but he’s shown us he can be very significant to this team,” said Colquitt. “Everything that Coach Hoffman has asked him to do, Ryan has done that. As a rookie, one of the toughest things to do is to keep track of the balls you hit during the course of a week. It’s just like a pitch count and Ryan has done a good job of minimizing that.

“When you are a rookie, that’s tough because you want to show that you are working and the fastest way to do that is to be seen kicking all the time. But if you start over-kicking in September, by December the legs are gone. Ryan was smart about it.”

Succop’s first field goal attempt in the NFL was in the season opener when he made a 53-yarder. That’s tied with two other kicks as the 10th longest field goal in franchise history.

“His first kick was from 53 yards and in Washington with nearly 20 mile per hour winds, he drills four field goals,” said Colquitt. “In Jacksonville there were 30 mile per hour wind gusts and they asked him to kick a 56-yarder and he didn’t sweat it. He just said ‘Let’s go out and do it.’

“Another rookie kicker, that’s what you are thinking at first and then you meet the guy, and he’s got a five o’clock shadow at two o’clock; he doesn’t look like a rookie,” Colquitt said with a laugh. “He’s got a great head on his shoulders.”

Succop is certainly an upgrade over Lawrence Tynes, Medlock, Dave Rayner, John Carney, Nick Novak and Barth. Those were the six kickers Colquitt worked with since 2005. Combined, that group had a FG percentage of 76.1 percent, including two seasons as the most inaccurate FG team in the AFC.

“Ryan is lucky No. 7,” Colquitt said.

So far it seems that way. Diving into the depths of NFL research, we wanted to see just how good Succop’s start has been for a rookie kicker getting his first taste of pro football kicking. There’s still one game to play, but his 22 of 26 season right now ranks as the second most accurate start among rookie kickers in the last 25 NFL seasons.

The only better season was turned in by Kris Brown, when he was drafted and kicked with Pittsburgh 10 years ago. In that ’99 season, he hit 25 of 29 for 86.2 percent. Here are the numbers:

Best FG Percentage/Drafted Kickers in Rookie Season/1985-2009

#   Kicker  Year  Team    FGM    FGA     FG%     PAT   Points 
1.  Kris Brown  1999 

PIT 

25 

29 

86.2 

30-31 

105 

2.  Ryan Succop  2009 

KC 

22 

26 

84.6 

24-24 

90 

3.  Martin Gramatica  1999 

TB 

27 

32 

84.4 

25-25 

106 

4.  Dan Carpenter  2008 

MIA 

21 

25 

84.0 

40-40 

103 

5.  Nick Folk  2007 

DAL 

26 

31 

83.87 

53-53 

131 

6.  Kevin Butler  1985 

CHI 

31 

37 

83.78 

51-51 

144 

7.  Fuad Reveiz  1987 

MIA 

22 

27 

81.5 

50-52 

116 

8.  Jason Hanson  1992 

DET 

21 

26 

80.8 

30-30 

93 

9.  John Kasay 1991 

CAR 

25 

31 

80.6 

27-28 

102 

10.  Nate Kaeding  2004 

SD 

20 

25 

80.0 

54-55 

114 

11.  Mason Crosby  2007 

GB 

31 

39 

79.5 

48-48 

141 

12.  Chris Jacke  1991 

GB 

22 

28 

78.6 

42-42 

108 

  Mike Nugent  2005 

NYJ 

22 

28 

78.6 

24-24 

90 

14.  Paul Edinger  2000 

CHI 

21 

27 

77.8 

21-21 

84 

  Robbie Gould  2005 

CHI 

21 

27 

77.8 

19-20 

82 

16.  Josh Scobee  2004 

JAX 

24 

31 

77.4 

21-21 

93 

17.  Steve Gostkowski  2006 

NE 

20 

26 

76.9 

43-44 

103 

18.  Doug Brien  1994 

SF 

15 

20 

75.0 

60-62 

105 

19.  Jason Elam  1993 

DEN 

26 

35 

74.3 

41-42 

119 

20.  Josh Brown 2003 

SEA 

22 

30 

73.3 

48-48 

114 

Only drafted kickers with at least 20 attempts.

BRONCOS IMPLODING WHILE THEY STILL HAVE SHOT AT THE PLAYOFFS

“There’s a lot of players that play with things that are more difficult to play with than what he has.”

Those were the words of Broncos coach Josh McDaniels calling out one of his best players and doing it very publicly. He is WR Brandon Marshall. What he has is a pulled hamstring. He tweaked the hammy during Wednesday’s practice.

Marshall was very public in his comments that he didn’t think he could play with the injury. When McDaniels heard more of that Friday morning, he made the decision that he was benching Marshall for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

“It’s disheartening to have to deal with something like this at this point in time, but we want the guys on the field that are dying to play as hard as they can play with whatever, to try to get us in the playoffs,” McDaniels said.

Marshall had plenty to say afterwards.

“Well, I don’t know what coach said, but I doubt if he said I wasn’t buying in, because I’m a guy who’s been giving it up a lot for this team,” Marshall said. “I’ve been giving him my all.

“I don’t think coach ever played in the NFL, so for my hamstring to be feeling the way it felt, it’s tough for me to go out there and expect to play at a high level,” Marshall added. “So, I have battled through a lot of injuries before. I played last year with a tear in my hip, so I don’t think my toughness is in question here.

“I just have got to do my best to get back to 100 percent, and hopefully things fall into place where it should be and hopefully we’ll get into the playoffs and I’ll be there with my teammates.”

Reportedly, McDaniels has also told TE Tony Scheffler that he will not dress for the Chiefs game because of his attitude, which apparently has been poor. And the Broncos do not know if they will have the services of WR Eddie Royal, who has been dealing with a neck injury and getting limited practice time. It’s likely that a decision on Royal will not go down until just before kickoff.

“I don’t know about Eddie’s status yet,” McDaniels said. “What’s important is we’re fielding the team we think gives us the best opportunity to win. And the guys that are going to play hard and do what we asked them to do and fight through adversity and be committed to one another, that’s the group.”

The Broncos situation is this when it comes to slipping into the AFC playoffs. They must beat the Chiefs and then have Houston beat New England and either Baltimore or the Jets lose to make the playoffs.

SIGNINGS, INJURIES & MOVEMENT AROUND THE LEAGUE

  • BEARS – DT Israel Idonije and CB Charles Tillman will not play in Sunday’s game against the Lions.
  • BENGALS – out of Sunday’s game against the Jets is LB Rey Maualuga.
  • BILLS – placed LB Nic Harris on the injured-reserve list (knee); promoted OT Nick Hennessey from the practice squad; will be without QB Trent Edwards, S Todd Johnson, WR Steve Johnson OT Andre Ramsey, WR Josh Reed, LB Bryan Scott and OT Jonathan Scott for Sunday’s game against the Colts.
  • BROWNS – claimed DT Titus Adams on waivers (Patriots); released OT Scott Kooistra; have ruled David Veikune out of Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.
  • COLTS – out of Sunday’s game against the Bills are OT Ryan Diem, CB Jerraud Powers, TE Gijon Robinson and LB Clint Session.
  • COWBOYS – ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Eagles were OT Marc Colombo and S Pat Watkins.
  • 49ERS – are going to have K Joe Nedney and CB Nate Clements out of Sunday’s game against the Rams.
  • GIANTS – will be without DT Chris Canty, OT Kareem McKenzie, CB Corey Webster, RB Brandon Jacobs and CB Aaron Ross for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.
  • JAGUARS – out of Sunday’s game against the Browns are DT Atiyyah Ellison, WR Torry Holt, TE Marcedes Lewis and CB Rashean Mathis.
  • JETS – ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Bengals was CB Donald Strickland.
  • LIONS – LB Larry Foote will not play in Sunday’s game against the Bears.
  • PACKERS – will be without S Derrick Martin for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
  • PANTHERS – will be without WR Steve Smith in Sunday’s game against the Saints.
  • RAIDERS – out of Sunday’s game against the Ravens is QB Bruce Gradkowski.
  • RAMS – CB Quincy Butler and G Mark Setterstrom will not play in Sunday’s game against the 49ers.
  • REDSKINS – are going to have S LaRon Landry and WR Devin Thomas out of Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
  • SAINTS – out of Sunday’s game against the Panthers are WR Lance Moore, RB Pierre Thomas and S Usama Young.
  • SEAHAWKS – WR Nate Burleson will miss Sunday’s game against the Titans.
  • TITANS – will be minus DT Tony Brown and DE Jevon Kearse for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

Born on January 2, 1955 in Key West, Florida was TE Ed Beckman. He signed with the Chiefs as a college free agent out of Florida State in 1977. Beckman played eight seasons (1977-84) with the team, appearing in 107 games with 12 starting assignments. Most of his time was spent on special teams, where he was one of the better players on the roster when it came to covering kicks and blocking for returns. On offense, he caught 23 passes for 198 yards and one touchdown. Beckman came back and coached special teams for two seasons (1987-88) on Frank Gansz’s staff.

Born on January 2, 1972 in Boston was WR Lake Dawson. He was selected in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. Dawson spent four seasons with the Chiefs (1994-97), appearing in 43 games with 26 starts. He caught 103 passes for 1,406 yards and 10 TD catches. Dawson is currently the director of pro personnel for the Tennessee Titans.


19 Responses to “Unflappable Succop … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 2, 2010  - Big Lee says:

    Bob-Nice story on Succop. This gives people all the more reason to hope for continued success for Ryan.

    It’s not fair to evaluate Pioli on this draft, as franchise was in transition at that time. But it would be a sad commentary if last pick of the entire draft turned out to be most productive one for KC in 2009. I know Aaron Curry wasn’t a 3-4 prototype, but you have to think he would have helped KC this year.


  • January 2, 2010  - The Morning Fix | Arrowhead Addict | A Kansas City Chiefs blog says:

    [...] Unflappable Succop … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs-BobGretz.com “Our word for the week has been accountability. And we’re looking to put the 45 guys on the field on Sunday that want to play together, want to help us try to win and qualify for the playoffs,” McDaniels said. “And anybody that showed any indifference to that, we’ll play without them.” [...]


  • January 2, 2010  - Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 1/2 says:

    [...] Unflappable Succop … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs from Bob Gretz [...]


  • January 2, 2010  - alex k says:

    yuppp on draft day I sat there and kept saying our last pick will be a kicker, pioli will do it for multiple reasons, one we need a kicker, and two, talk about getting production out of mr irrelevant.

    people should realize with charles at 23 all next year we have a back for 5-6 seasons

    Succop, like jason hanson, has that crazy ability to stick around for a LONG time, Succop could kick for us till hes 36-37 carney style…that is a 12 year span!


  • January 2, 2010  - alex k says:

    considering how early they cut barth, I want to now point out the 90 percent of you that hated the pick because of medlock, and because succop didnt have a great FG percentage…OVERLOOKING his injury last season.

    he will never be a guy that mentally cant kick…we’ve found our kicker, and its pretty awesome, since his inside 50 is even more impressive 19-20 or whatever with one 47 yard miss


  • January 2, 2010  - alex k says:

    guys, stop with the aaron curry junk, how has he looked this year? not good, and LB’s are supposed to come in and play well right away…UNLIKE a 3-4 DE in his first year…

    Hindsight is 20/20 I think the pick we will regret WONT be a DE since KC now has a 4 man DE rotation that is YOUNG and Impressive, Jackson/Dorsey with Magee/Gilberry? that will only improve…Washington is the pick that hurts in my opinion, we still havent see what colin brown can do, hes a super sleeper…for all we know he could be working his rear end off with shields…

    then there is the 2nd rounder, for a QB and vrabel, that just had to happen, no one was comfortable with thigpen not even miami, he disappeared over there, for a FIVE….

    also lawrence still has some hope…so this draft may not be a big boom but it resembles pioli’s first draft in NE and now he has his scouts in place, and not CP’s scouts to draft this team…


  • January 2, 2010  - alex k says:

    oh hey BOB…if succop goes 3/3 this weekend, his numbers go to 86.2 percent as well…so he CAN tie the top field goal percentage by a rookie kicker


  • January 2, 2010  - fedor says:

    I hear you with the CBA top poster…but…Wilfork is past that, so…it really doesnt matter if we can sink our money into him…then we do have that other 2nd that haley said could still turn into a player, aka boldin/breaston or evans/mankins


  • January 2, 2010  - el cid says:

    I must be watching a different NFL. Curry has played pretty well, not D. Thomas but better than Jackson. In fact, of the first 32 picks, Jackson has been in the bottom 25%.

    The Chiefs’ rotation is young and impressive. I guess so unless it is against the run. They had their rears kicked not stopping the run except for the last game. Yeah, that is very impressive. In fact Gilberry has actually played better than Jackson but not a first round pick so he does not start.

    Lawrence, talk about revisionist history. Cut twice and nobody picked him up. There is lots of hope there.

    Lastly I do not get your “it resembles pioli’s first draft in NE” crap. The Chiefs need a whole lot more from their drafts than what Pioli did during his first one. By the by, except for you the last draft was “blamed” on carl’s scouts. So Pioli is not tainted with the first one. Cannot have it both ways. Genius or it was not my guys, which is it??


  • January 2, 2010  - ED says:

    Yeah I think Pioli needs a pass on this draft for multiple reasons. One it takes at least 3 to 4 yrs before you can label defensive lineman bust. Simply because its of the hardest position to transition to coming out college besides QB and receiver. Secondly Pioli came in late as GM and had to use same scouts that were part of the Peterson regime. Now that he has his own people in place expect 2010 draft class to have a bigger impact.

    Last I’m not giving up on 2009 draft class. I think Jackson and Magee will be studs and alot people will look stupid for labeling them bust so early in their career. I feel Colin Brown once healthy will make an impact. Last I still feel Washington learning from Flowers and Carr will challenge those two guys for playing time at corner maybe not next yr, but around 2011. Too early to judge these picks. Will know how good of draft 2009 was around the end of the 2011 season.


  • January 2, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    How this Ed……right now they ……..Suck !!!!! Next year I believe I well win the Mega lottery. You can’t say I won’t….. but what are my chances ??????


  • January 2, 2010  - Anonymous says:

    Also last year we heard the same thing about Dorsey 1st year Blah Blah Well it’s year 2 he still sucks. Do you remember Allen’s 1st year …… flashes of great plays followed by a better year. Jackson/ Dorsey have a long way too resemble Allen’s 1st year.


  • January 3, 2010  - Canofbier says:

    Dorsey not playing well this year? Remember what happened in that game against the Browns when he was out? Yeah, that’s how important he is to our defensive front.


  • January 3, 2010  - RickyP says:

    Anonymous, you are a complete idiot with a selective memory. Jared allen’s rookie year he had 31 tackles…Tyson Jackson has 35 tackles. Allen had more sacks because that’s what 4-3 DEs do…not what 3-4 DEs do.

    el cid, it’s not that you’re watching a different NFL….you just don’t understand the NFL that you’re watching!


  • January 3, 2010  - el cid says:

    Please do not tell me Jackson is the next Allen. Please do not tell me you are that stupid. Different style play, difference styly defense, not even similar players.

    Lastly, I do not pretend to be the end all of football but I have more than a basic sense of what I am watching not like dummies like you RickP and alex. Just read what is said here and disagree but do not blog and show you ignorance.


  • January 3, 2010  - ED says:

    Guys chill all this talk about Dorsey and Jackson in just yrs one and two of their careers makes you sound like idiots calling them busts. Dorsey has played alot better this year and has shown flashes of greatness. I’m down here in SEC country so I know both of these guys has the potential to be dominant linemen. As for Jared Allen please I heard the same crap about him in yr one. People hindsight 20/20 always. When Allen was in his rookie yr people were saying we need a defensive end in the upcoming draft after his rookie yr. So spare me the flashes of brillance crap.

    Dorsey and Jackson aren’t going to resemble Allen because 3-4 and 4-3 totally different defenses. Dorsey and Jackson will resemble more of the defensive tackles in 4-3 than defensive end in 4-3. That being said I’ll go out and be the first one to say they will form one of the best defensive line in the league in yrs to come. With Cremmell coming in 2010 expect the defense to see huge turn around next yr. Add a younger nose tackle and another OLB that can rush the passer much improved next yr.


  • January 3, 2010  - John from Kansas says:

    If I crunched the numbers correctly, Succop after todays game against the Donkey’s just tied Kris Brown for the top spot. Is that “irrelevant”? I don’t think so. Way to go Ryan. We now have a punter, a kicker, a running back, a Quaterback (?)…I see pieces coming together. Need a pass rusher though. After today’s game I have higher hopes for 2010. Huge improvement.




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