New Titans Kicker Stephen Gostkowski: ‘I Feel Like a Rookie Again’
Stephen Gostkowski is the latest veteran trying to revive his career in Tennessee.
Gostkowski and former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney each signed with the Titans earlier this month. For Clowney, it’s his third team in the last three years.
Gostkowski, on the other hand, has never played anywhere but New England. That’s why Gostkowski compared him joining the Tennessee Titans to feeling “like a rookie again.”
Stephen Gostkowski had a stellar career in New England
Stephen Gostkowski entered the NFL in 2006 with two major problems on his plate.
First, Gostkowski had to justify why Bill Belichick and the Patriots spent a fourth-round pick on kicker.
At the same time, Gostkowski needed to replace Patriots legend and three-time Super Bowl champion Adam Vinatieri, who joined Peyton Manning and the rival Colts that offseason.
Gostkowski more than lived up to the task. After a rough rookie season where Gostkowski only hit 76.9% of his field goals and missed an extra point, the former Memphis standout became one of the league’s top kickers.
Gostkowski left New England as the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer and hit 87.4% of his field goals, including 25-of-35 from 50+ yards.
Gostkowski made four Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2008 and 2015. He also earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2014, a year that culminated in a Super Bowl trophy for the Patriots.
Gostkowski was at his best in the postseason, making 39 of his 44 field goal tries and 88 of 92 field goals.
Gostkowski signed with the Tennessee Titans
New England released Stephen Gostkowski, who turned 36 in January, in March. Gostkowski missed most of last season with a hip injury.
Fully recovered from the hip problem that cost him 12 regular-season games and a playoff game last year, Gostkowski signed with the Tennesee Titans in August. Titans coach Mike Vrabel played with Gostkowski from 2006-08.
The Titans waived incumbent starting kicker Greg Joseph to make room for Gostkowski. Joseph joined Tampa Bay’s practice squad.
Stephen Gostkowski says he feels “like a rookie again”
Although he’s familiar with Mike Vrabel and Titans general manager Jon Robinson from New England, Stephen Gostkowski is experiencing something new in Tennessee.
Gostkowski isn’t hiding that fact. In a recent media session, Gostkowski admitted he “feels like a rookie again.”
“I have to meet everybody, I have to find out where I fit on this team. I have to prove myself to this team. Whatever I have done or haven’t done in the past really doesn’t mean anything for this team. Maybe some of the young guys say: ‘I used to play with you on Madden’, but other that that. I am excited to go out there and have to prove myself to these guys, and prove that I am worthy to be a Titan.”
The Titans’ youngest player is linebacker David Long, who was born on Oct. 12, 1996. Long was only 9 years old when Gostkowski debuted with the Patriots in 2006.
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