There has been a bright side of the New Orleans Saints 0-2 start in 2017. Kicker Wil Lutz has been on the money this year. And he’s only in his second season. Who Dat Dish got a chance to catch up with him last Friday at the Saints facility for an interview.
Dean Mullen: So how did practice go today?
Wil Lutz: I thought it went good. Had a solid two days of kicking the ball. It’s sort of like the training camp schedule and just kind of rolling with it.
DM: Do you feel more confident after last week’s performance against Minnesota?
WL: I feel more comfortable. When you get a game like that, with a lot of short field goals it feels good. It’s sort of like a kick starter to the season.
DM: Is their a difference from making short field goals vs. longer field goals?
WL: I don’t care where it’s from, as long as long as it’s good.
DM: So what was the journey like to become the kicker for the Saints? I’ve read that the process was interesting to say the least.
WL: It was a bit of a wild process. I started out as an undrafted free agent in Baltimore. And I did really well up there. And those guys really went to bat for me in that fourth game against New Orleans. Baltimore spoke on my behalf. The Saints flew me down for a workout on that Monday. The Saints signed me right after that.
DM: Did it happen real quickly?
WL: Yeah it was like a whirlwind 24 hours.
DM: How soon did you find out that you were the kicker?
WL: Well, they kept me around that night trying to figure out what they wanted to do. The next morning I got a text from my agent saying they decided to go with me.
DM: Did you have a good feeling after the workout?
WL: It was a good workout, but I wasn’t sure they were gonna get rid of Kai Forbath or not. But I was confident on how I performed. I know I left it all in their hands.
DM: Have you ever had a feeling sometimes you felt good and the result wasn’t what you were hoping for or vice-versa? Basically, you’ve done all that you can and just sort of leave it in their hands sort of speak.
WL: That’s what I’m here to do. If I do what I’m supposed to do everything is good.
DM: What’s the biggest difference between the college kicking game versus the pro game?
WL: For me, I played at a smaller school Georgia St. which was somewhat of a newer program. My snapper was either a linebacker or tight end. So I didn’t really have the snapper or holder specific guys that I have now. The room for error is a lot slimmer in the NFL.
DM: So in the NFL things are more customized to players doing their craft?
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WL: So yeah, it’s like the quarterback is your position ONLY, and that’s your only job. Furthermore, if you’re the snapper, that’s your job and if you’re the holder that’s your job. In college the players were holding the ball as their secondary position. In the NFL, it very role specific.
DM: And Wil when did you discover kicking?
WL: My first time ever kicking was in my Junior year of high school. My brother was asked to be a part of the team. He was my older brother so I didn’t want him to be better than me at something. I did my Junior year and kind of ran with it.
DM: Do you have any kickers that you look up to?
WL: As far as kickers Adam Vinatieri is definitely one I look up to. Learning from kicker Justin Tucker in Baltimore benefited me greatly as well. He’s the best of the best right now.
DM: Is there anything that makes Wil Lutz special or different than other kickers?
WL: I feel like I’m a straight ball kicker. I’m very efficient at making kicks under 50 yards. My goal is not really to be the most powerful field goal kicker that kicks 65 yard field goals. My strengths are making the kicks under 50. Those are the most important.
DM: Do you ever envy those guys that maybe have a more powerful leg or maybe have the desire to go for the long ones?
WL: Nah, I feel like if I’m asked to make a longer field goal I’ll find a way to do it. I mean my longest is 57 yards, so that’s pretty good compared to where guys are at right now.
DM: Alright well thanks Wil for taking time out to talk with me today.