Credit: Garry Nilsson/www.amerikanskfotboll.com
At the moment the Swedish kicker
Ola Kimrin is in Washington to once again try to kick his way into the NFL.
Hopefully Olaĺ─˘s lucky number is three right now, he has
earlier been kicking in the jerseys of the Denver Broncos and the Dallas
Cowboys, but has always been cut before the seasons have started.
The text is written previous to his opening performance with the Redskins.
For the latest news, like for example Ola settling the game with a field goal
with only 3 seconds remaining of the game, check out ĺ─¨Newsĺ─¨!)
Ola Kimrin created big headlines
with his 65-yard field goal in the preseason games in 2002 playing for the
Denver Broncos. Everything from first pages in the newspapers to ĺ─¨sport
event of the weekĺ─¨ on the TV channels.
Tonight (Monday 9th of
august) he will be playing his first preseason game with his new team,
Washington Redskins, against his old team the Denver Broncos. Can he repeat
his 65-yard field goal from 2002? If Washington is going to go with Ola he
will be the second Swede in the NFL. Prior to Ola itĺ─˘s only BjłĆrn Nittmo (New
York Giants) who has played in the league, and that was 15 years ago.
John Madden was impressed by Ola when he saw him. This is what he
wrote on his web page in the fall of 2002 www.allmadden.com
a first-year player out of
Europe. He recently kicked a
field goal against Seattle
that's pretty darn impressive.
I did a Denver game in mid-
on ABC Sports, I watched
kick in warmups before the
and he was kicking 70-yard
goals! In all of my time, and
not saying that I've watched
kicker in pre-game warmups
concentrated on it, but I've never
guys practice 70-yard field
I guess it wasn't such a
that he could make a
field goal, because I had
him practicing them from
Ola has been playing football off and on since his teens, but when he started
off he wasnĺ─˘t very serious. It wasnĺ─˘t until he wrecked his left knee in a
soccer game that it really became interesting playing as a kicker for the
Limhamnĺ─˘s Griffins. He could still make long kicks. And they were straight
When Ola went to the US in the middle of the 1990s to study
Communications and Electronic Media (he has a minor in Film) at the
University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) he didnĺ─˘t miss out on the opportunity of
showing the coach what he could do.
ĺ─ý It was a walk on, a kind of try out, and it led to a position in the
team and a scholarship for three years.
But it wasnĺ─˘t until he got in contact with the agent Benjamin Geller
that Ola really started to realize that there was enough strength and technique
in his legs for him to make a living out of his talent.
Ola has more or less been earning all his money by playing football
since 2001. He has done three seasons in NFL Europe, two of which were with
Frankfurt Galaxy and one with Cologne Centurions. In between this he has been
training and playing with firstly Denver Broncos, then Dallas Cowboys and now
The problem is that Ola has been cut the week before the real
NFL-season has started.
Itĺ─˘s not the technique, the strength nor his performance that has put
a stop to his journey into the NFL. The problem is lack of played games in
the NFL. Each time the NFL-teams have chosen to go with kicker who has more
routine than a rookie. A clear case of a catch 22.
Although he has had some good seasons in Europe (Ola was for example
named ĺ─¨Player of the Weekĺ─¨ two times in 2001), he has made the longest field
goal in the history of NFL and his kicking has been close to impeccable at
practices the teams has, so far, chosen to go with an established kicker.
ĺ─ý The problem is that only real NFL experience counts, he says.
Does it feel bad knowing that you are good enough but still
not getting the job?
never counted on it when it comes to the Broncos. Jason Elam is one of the
best kickers in the league. In the Cowboys I knew that I was at least as good
as Billy (Cundiff), but he had one more year of experience than I...
In 2002, the same year that the Cowboys signed Billy Cundiff,
their kicking coach, the renowned Steve Hoffman, wanted to sign you, but you
had already signed for Frankfurt. At that point both you and Cundiff were
rookies and were just as experienced and it feels like it just as well could
have been you who landed that job. How do you feel about that situation?
I was disappointed that NFL Europe didnĺ─˘t let me go to Dallas. I got the
chance again the following year but then they chose him because of the year
of experience he then had. We were more or less on the same level, but I know
that I had a stronger leg.
youĺ─˘re kicking against Hall for a place in the Redskins.
ĺ─ý Hall is
good. But heĺ─˘s definitely not as good as Jason and neither is he better than
Billy, even though he is stronger.
kicked 100% (4 out of 4 field goals and 21 out of 21 extra points) during
this yearĺ─˘s season in Europe, do you think that helps?
ĺ─ý No. That
was then and now is now. And youĺ─˘re never better than your last kick.
Hall has quite good statistics, 7 years in the league and over
100 points during 6 of these. What do you think of your chances of taking his
place this year?
ĺ─ý There is a chance, but you can never tell how the coaches think.
Iĺ─˘ll just take it day by day.
ĺ─ý A thing that maybe will work as an advantage for me is that he is
expensive because of his 7-years and his old contract. The kicker is not the
player with the highest priority. Taking in account that Iĺ─˘ll ĺ─¨onlyĺ─¨ get a
minimum wage, it might work as a plus for me.
Letĺ─˘s hope so!