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Nick Novak is finally #1

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chargers Nick Novak finally the No. 1 guy

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    Nick Novak built a career on being a backup plan. He was always worthy of a tryout, never quite good enough to stick around long term.

    The journeyman kicker has a resume that sounds like a Johnny Cash song. Novak's been everywhere.

    He went from Chicago to Dallas to Washington to Arizona to Washington to Chicago to Kansas City to San Diego to New York to San Diego and back again.

    This week, and for the first time since going pro in 2005, Novak is nobody's replacement player. He is the Chargers kicker for the foreseeable future. Novak's title bump came on Monday morning, when the Chargers put Nate Kaeding on injured reserve with a groin injury and announced their intent to release him when healthy.

    It was a corresponding move to the addition of receiver Danario Alexander, a sign that the Chargers couldn't wait on a kicker injured in each of the past three seasons. Kaeding's health gave Novak a steady job, and last year it gave him a chance to earn one.

    Novak played 15 games as a Charger, and converted 27 of 34 field goal tries after Kaeding tore ligaments in his right knee. Novak was retained throughout training camp, and was released once Kaeding proved his mettle.

    Just hours before the Sept. 28 team flight to Kansas City, Novak was put back on active duty. Kaeding got hurt, and Novak was ready to go.

    “You have to stay motivated because you never know when the phone is going to ring,” Novak said. “Unfortunately, the only way it happens is if a guy gets hurt or he doesn't perform. You don't wish that on anyone, but it's going to happen three or four times a season in this league. Knowing that, you have to be ready to play at a moment's notice.”

    Novak had two hours to prepare for Kansas City and the pressure of an NFL game. All he had to do was pack. Novak kicked daily at San Diego State, and trained as if he drew a paycheck. Novak wasn't mad at the team that cut him. He understood the decision and the rationale behind it. Kaeding is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, making him incredibly difficult to unseat.

    Novak never took rejection personally, not from the Chargers or any team that let him go.

    “You have to persevere and stay mentally strong with this line of work,” he said. “There's a law of attrition here, and as long as you fight for what you want, anything's possible. It's a blessing and a great opportunity to play for a team I grew up rooting for. The only thing that matters now is performance. There's no time to pat yourself on the back. You have to go out and do your job.”

    Novak's focus has been singular. Since he graduated from Maryland in 2005, he's set out to be an NFL kicker. He played five games with Washington as a rookie. He made brief stops in Arizona later that year, Washington in 2006 and Kansas City in 2008.

    In 2009, Novak didn't get picked up by anyone. The drought dried his bank account, and forced Novak to look elsewhere for work. He got a part-time job in the Maryland athletic department, cold-calling alumni in search of donations.

    It was never designed to blaze a career path. It was only meant to keep the lights on.

    “That was the only time I struggled to pay the rent and put food on the table,” Novak said. “Even then, I never gave up on my dream. I've always wanted this. I can't imagine doing anything else. I've never had a desire to move on. If you ever feel that way, then it's time to move on.”

    Novak maintained focus, even after solid training camps failed to gain steady employment. Novak proved himself worthy last season, the first prolonged starting stretch of his career. That effort made him the first option when Kaeding went down three weeks ago and a viable option to replace Kaeding long term.

    “I was definitely excited about the opportunity,” Novak said. “Flying to Kansas City was a heck of a lot better than my previous weekend plans. I was going to kick by myself on some high school field, and kicking at Arrowhead Stadium sure beats that. Even then, I didn't think about anything beyond that game. I wasn't concerned about where it might lead. It was a chance to contribute to a win, and any opportunity to do that is a blessing. It was a blessing that day. It will be on Sunday against Cleveland and any other game I have the privilege to play in.”



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  2. jackfrost
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    jackfrost Well-Known Member

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    God, I hope we've invested in another little video replay-type, photo-booth-looking apparatas, to at least allow poor Kimmy to take a slash in peace this year !!!!

    So embarrassing to have to watch a grown man take a squat like that......

    (unless ofcourse your into that type of thing and in if indeed that is the case ....... I'm cool with that)
  3. CoronaDoug
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    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    I am not sold on Novak being the #1. I still think we better look to the draft for a permanent replacement.
  4. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    To be #1, you gotta do the #1 :)
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  5. MadMike
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    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that unless the Chargers fielded an automatic kicking robot, that Doug would hate our kicker so.... :)
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  6. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I think that we'll likely see the Chargers look at a kicker this offseason, but whether or not they draft one doesn't seem very likely.
  7. mando-charger
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    mando-charger BoltTalker

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    Looking at a kicker in the coming off season seems likely....I just hope to see Novak do his job and preform well for the bolts the remainder of the season....
  8. Pointyearedog
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    Pointyearedog BoltTalker

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    laces-out.jpg

    Just a little reminder, Nick...
  9. boltfanatik
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    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    Damn it looks bleak right now to see how Nick performs in a playoff clutch situation;)
  10. MadMike
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    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    That High school kid from DC looks pretty good. Hit a game winning 67 yarder.
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  11. CoronaDoug
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    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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  12. Lightning's Girl
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    Lightning's Girl Mod Chick =) Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh......I thought this thread was about the leak seen 'round the world. My bad. Nothing like being the No. 2 guy caught doing No. 1 on the sidelines. Maybe now he can be the No. 1 guy in ALL senses of the word. ;)
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  13. jackfrost
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    jackfrost Well-Known Member

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    That ball wasn't filled with "Flubber" by any chance, was it ????

    Thats one hell of a kick by anyone, let alone a High School kid.

    Is there a Video of it out there anyway ?
  14. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I'd like to see that, too.
  15. Ikeman83
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  16. CoronaDoug
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    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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  17. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    If it puts 3 points on the board, does it stop counting?

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