Nick Novak on the hotseat again

Three weeks after sitting in the Hook's HotSeat, Washington Redskins kicker and Albemarle High School alum Nick Novak now finds himself on an actual hot seat as he faces possible unemployment. On Tuesday, the Redskins signed kicker Shaun Suisham to be part of the team's practice squad. Considering most teams only carry one kicker, it's a clear sign that Novak could be one errant kick away from getting the boot.

On November 5, Novak was the hero when he made a last-second 47-yard field goal to beat the Dallas Cowboys. However, since signing with the 'Skins in October, Novak has made only 5 of 10 field goal attempts, making him the least accurate among all starting NFL kickers. Last Sunday, Novak nearly cost his team a win when he missed a relatively easy 37-yard attempt in a close game with the Carolina Panthers.

The former Charlottesvillian knows such job insecurity is part of being an NFL kicker. As he told the Hook earlier this month, "There are only 32 jobs out there, so the pressure is higher. But that's why you do it."

Novak next takes the field when the Redskins take on the Atlanta Falcons at home this Sunday, December 3 at 1pm.

DEC. 4 UPDATE: Novak found himself on the bench this weekend as the Redskins promoted Suisham from the practice squad to handle all kicking duties. He made both his extra point attempts but missed his one and only field goal, a 50-yard attempt.
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2 comments

MOST kickers in the NFL are perpetually on the hot seat. This week Dallas released the most accurate kicker in NFL history because he was in the midst of a cold streak. It's extremely rare for a young kicker to land with a team and stay there. They usually float around for a few years, going from team to team and tryout to tryout until they get in a groove and land a "permanent" job. Novak has missed several makable kicks, and his kickoffs just flat-out suck. College balls are somewhat fatter than pro balls, and that seems to be the major difference and it does cause a lot of really good kickers to have no career after college. This is why it's very rare for teams to draft kickers - there's just no way of predicting which ones will "get it."

Conor Hughes, who had an amazing career at Virginia, had a cup of coffee with the New Orleans Saints.

Novak will either get it someday or not, but it's pretty unlikely that Joe Gibbs will keep him around if he misses any more easy kicks or doesn't start kicking off deeper than the 10 yard line.

Looks like Joe Gibbs has had enough of Nick Novak.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/04/AR200612...