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Tynes still at odds with Albany grass, but Dodge is growing on him

No. 8) NFC Championship Game, Jan. 20, 2008,

No. 8) NFC Championship Game, Jan. 20, 2008, Lambeau Field

Super Bowl XLII somewhat has obscured what preceded it, but how can you beat an overtime conference title game between two historic franchises at Lambeau Field - in below-zero temperatures?

The capper was Corey Webster's interception of Brett Favre on Favre's last play as a Packer at Lambeau, setting up a 47-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, who had missed two earlier tries.

Favre appeared far less comfortable in the cold than did Manning, a fellow Southerner. But even Favre didn't look as frozen as Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whose face was a bright, scary shade of red.

Plaxico Burress caught 11 passes for 154 yards despite the horrendous conditions.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The annual battle between Lawrence Tynes and the fields at Albany continues. But this year he said he’s just learned that the long, sluggish grass is something he has to deal with. Besides, he’s got a secret weapon. Matt Dodge.

While Dodge has been remarkably inconsistent in his punting, he’s been very steady in holding for Tynes, who is 36-for-39 in field goal attempts in this camp with a long of 50. It’s a surprise for Tynes.

“I never in a million years thought Matt would do this good a job of holding based on where I thought he was in OTAs,” Tynes said. “That’s been a real positive for me.”

Dodge had never held for kicks before. But he has worked with Jeff Feagles, Tynes’ former holder, and done a nice job of developing the skill. Even here in Albany.

“It’s really hard to hold on those fields based on the length of the grass,” Tynes said. “When he wants to turn the ball a quarter turn. It’s not going to turn as easily as it would on a FieldTurf field. But he’s done a really nice job with that part of the game.”

As for Tynes, he said he came into this camp focusing on not changing his approach at all. Go with what got you here is his motto. And even though he has a raw holder, it’s one that he can mold to his own specifications.

“I had another guy like that in Kansas City, Dustin Colquitt, it was his first year holding in his rookie year,” Tynes said of the 2005 season. “He’d never held either. I’ve done this before and I had a good season with him, so I plan on doing the same with Matt.”

Tynes was 27-for-33 (81.8 pct.) with a long of 52 and one blocked attempt in 2005, his second year in the NFL.

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