Former Arizona Cardinals’ kicker Matt McCrane, after helping the DC Defenders this spring achieve the best regular season record in the XFL and a berth in the Championship game, has recently won Nick Novak’s virtual free agent workout —- as a result of going a perfect 11 for 11 on his kicks, with a long of 60 yards.
As NFL fans know, the kicking carousel keeps spinning at high speeds. Just ask journeyman kicker Michael Bagley.
Bagley, the University of Miami alum, who prior to this season has had NFL stints with the Chargers, Titans, Colts, Lions and Bears —-was released by the Lions on July 23 in what many considered to be a surprise move at the beginning of training camp —- and yesterday, Bagley was signed by the Tennessee Titans, who, in turn, promptly released both of their pre-season kickers Caleb Shudak and and Trey Wolff.
As most of the members at Revenge of the Birds know, I have been a long-time Matt McCrane fan. In my opinion, Matt McCrane not only has a fundamentally flawless technique, under pressure, he’s got the poise and ice water veins of a fighter pilot.
During his brief stints in the NFL with the Cardinals, Raiders and Steelers, Matt McCrane earned two game balls for game-winning field goals. During his time with the Cardinals in pre-season and regular season games, he was as perfect as he just was during Nick Novak’s contest.
His senior year at Kansas St., McCrane made the 1st Team All-Big 12, while capping off a record-breaking career that, at the time, netted him the 4th highest field goal percentage in NCAA Division 1A history.
Matt McCrane —- Kansas St. Stats:
FGs: 57/66 —- 86.4%
XPs: 133/134 —- 99.3%
Matt McCrane —- Professional Stats: (NFL, XFL)
FGs: 28/36 —- 77.6%
XPs: 9/9 —- 100%
Matt McCrane —- All College and Pro Kicks Combined
227/245 — 92.7%
Here is my “McCrane Right on Plane” article from August 21, 2018. I put a lot of research into this one. Matt’s story is compelling.
Over these last five years, Matt McCrane has worked diligently to keep his dream of settling into a long-term NFL job very much alive.
I am writing this article today in the hope that a kicker-needy NFL team gives Matt McCrane the chance he so aptly deserves.
I believe that once Mattt gets his chance and wins the confidence of his coaches, he will establish himself as a top 10 kicker in the NFL. His swing plane is too pure, not to. Matt’s ability to replicate that swing plane is —-well —- currently at 92.7%.
If the Cardinals need a kicker at any point this season or next, I would jump for joy to see Matt back in Cardinals’ red and white. I still look at this kick and wonder what could have been...if only...