The last time I spoke with Lawrence Tynes he was gushing with excitement that Jeff Feagles would be returning for a 23rd season and that his kicking battery of snapper and holder would be the same for back-to-back years for the first time in his career.
“I shouldn’t have said anything,” he said yesterday in a much more glum mood following the retirement press conference of Feagles. Did he jinx things by being so happy about it? “Possibly,” he said. “The way things have gone throughout my career, for sure I thought this was the year I’d have the same guys.”
Not only will Tynes have to get used to a new person holding for him, he’ll have to deal with a person who is new to the job. No one on the Giants’ roster has held for kicks before. Jim Sorgi, the backup quarterback, did it once with the Colts. “And it was blocked,” Tynes said like Eeyore.
“Jim is a guy who I would feel very comfortable with just because of his veteran presence,” Tynes said. “He’s been in games, he’s played, he’s handled the football.”
Of course, Tynes would much rather have whoever the new punter will be – Jy Bond, Matt Dodge or some other veteran the team might bring in because it would mean more reps.
“I get to work with that guy,” Tynes said. “I get to work with Jy or Matt Dodge when I want. If it’s a quarterback then it’s an issue of time. Jim’s going to be taking a lot of reps with a new team and a new offense. We would rather it be the punter, for sure, for work purposes.”
Tynes said having Feagles holding for him was a calming experience.
“Jeff was a very calming, confident presence on the field which always made me feel really good,” he said. “All I had to worry about was kicking. You never want to be the guy worrying about whether the hold is going to get down. We’ve all done that in our career. I think this year I’ll probably do it a little bit more until I get comfortable with one of those guys.”
“I think it’ll just be a work in progress,” Tynes said. “We’re going to have to do a lot of work … I’m just going to have to really, really work and put these guys through a gauntlet of holds.”