Seahawks Insider

Interview with Olindo Mare

Post by News Tribune Staff on Sep. 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm with 31 Comments »
September 2, 2008 4:00 pm

I sat down with Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare after yesterday’s practice. I have interviewed him a few times since he signed with the Seahawks, and it always strikes me how much of a student of his craft he is. When you ask him a simple question, he goes off into several different tangents about stuff you would never really even consider. It is like talking to special teams coach Bruce DeHaven and you realize all the nuances of doing something that when you just watch it on TV seems like a simple thing to do. Every time I speak with Mare I feel like I learn something new about kicking philosophy. Give this interview a read and you’ll understand why he has been in the league for 13 years.

Can you talk about making the team and being named the starter? I expected it I kicked well. I have a lot going for me. I have a lot to offer. And a lot of experience. I had a great camp. I had one of the best camps I’ve had in a long time. I feel strong. It is good. It was good to have Brandon there. He is a good field goal kicker and hopefully he will get a chance to kick somewhere.

What do you think made your camp so strong? When I was hurt and took time off. Normally I haven’t taken that much time off just to get away. Normally I am in the gym two weeks later. That helped. We moved, and being involved with my family and my kids and a bunch of stuff, doing more position style lifting and stuff instead of doing all this crazy lifting, doing what I normally do during the season as far as kicking and hips and legs and things like that. To be in a position where you can still kick off with these young kids after doing it for 13 years, I feel strong.

How much time did you take off? I had surgery. So I didn’t kick a ball until I came out here. I had to kick a ball when I came out here. But I didn’t kick until around the draft, and I didn’t kick well at the draft because I wasn’t very strong. But I would have taken some time and done something but Brandon came in and was firing away so that was good for me because it made me jump on it a little harder. They always have somebody in here but I think Brandon is better than most guys they bring in camp.

We talked way back in mini-camp and you said at the time you think the difference might be your kickoff distance? When they chart you in practice, everybody is going to make a 40- or 30-yarders or whatever. Who is going to hit the 45-yarder into the wind? Who is going to kick off? Who has experience? Who can do the onside? All the little things that come up after that. I don’t know how many times you kick off, but if you tell somebody five yards isn’t a big deal, if you kick off 100 times, well that is 500 yards during a season, then that is a lot. Brandon just has to learn how to do it.

Well how do you learn how to do it? Some of it is genetics.

To me, it seems like either you can or you can’t? There is some technique stuff that you can do. Certain strength stuff you can do. Leg speed. But there is some stuff you can’t. You might be able to teach that Bolt guy (Usain) to catch a ball, but you are never going to be able to teach somebody to run like him. Either you got it or you don’t. That’s how it is with leg speed and leg power. I just try to work on my strength and my weaknesses and you don’t give up on either one. So far so good. I had a good amount of touchbacks. There were even a few run-outs in Chicago that in the regular season probably wouldn’t be. But you have to understand, if you are a rookie and you take a knee, you are probably not going to make the team. So they are going to run them out five or six yards deep. I felt good. I hit that one into the wind the other game. That was probably my best kick. Even though it looks better when it goes 10 yards deep, when you catch them into the wind on the 3, that is a pretty good kick. It was a good camp. We went through two holders and three snappers. That is a big adjustment because everybody is different. Luckily Jeff (Robinson) came in and he kind of made it easy to adjust. We are going to wear Plack out because we have a lot of practice to get in.

Your field goal percentage has gone down in each of the past three years. How much of that is health, and how confident are you that is going to go up? I don’t think it is any different. If you look at it, last year I was one of six from over 50. That is like if you are a quarterback throwing Hail Marys at the end of the game. The pick still counts. We tried from 58 against the wind. I tried from 54 two or three times. Percentages are not making them. Look at (Sebastian) Janikowski, who was one of the worst in the league last year too. But he hit the post from 64, from 58. If we go out there and every time the ball is from more than 50 yards away tell the coach, ‘Hey I can’t do it,’ I probably would be over 80 percent. Listen, you look at the last couple years, and I talk to Janikowki and Neil Rackers, the guys who have the worst percentages in the league are the guys who attempt the longest field goals. If you kick it 80 yards through the end zone, you feel like you should make a 50-yarder. Last year out of those couple, even though they were 54 or 58, I felt I could make them and I asked coach if I could kick them. It doesn’t mean the percentages are high.

Do you think being a veteran and having experience played a role in their decision-making from the standpoint that this is Mike’s last year and they want to give him every opportunity to win and maybe feels uncomfortable with a rookie? I have no idea. You have to ask him that question. Like I said, I was just trying to make every kick. Experience is important, but it is not going to mean a lot if you don’t make the field goals in practice or preseason. They are not just going to say, well he has done it in the past. If you don’t do well and continue to do well … That is my philosophy, you are only as good as your last kick.

Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. hrmm…I get what he’s saying about those 50 yarders…

    but percentage does matter from that distance. Not all games are going to come down to 30 yard field goals, those 50+ yard field goals add up and do make a difference in the game. You may have to step in there from 50 + yards and have the game on the line and if I were the coach, I would want a kicker who has the accuracy at 50+ yards.

    There is a difference between being able to kick the ball far…and being able to kick the ball far accurately.

    He seems to be discounting how much that matters. He sounds like he’s saying “oh, once you kick over 50 yards, its a crap shoot. My overall percentage doesn’t matter because I was relied upon to make those long field goals…but since they are long, they don’t really count against my overall ability.”

    It is kind of the same argument of a RB’s prodcution. “Well..if you take away his 2 long runs, he only averaged 2.4 yards per carry not 4.2″ or “well, if you take away those goal line stops, he averaged 4.2 yards per carry…not 2.4″. That is not how it works….you count everything, its all a part of your game and how you evaluate a player. What the point of taking away a facet of the game just to make another look better??? It proves nothing.

    I’m sure if you take all 50+ yard field goals away from all the kickers…every single one would be 80-90% kickers. You can’t do that, it is an even playing field…and 50 yarders count just as much, if not more than 20 yarders. I’ll put waaaay more value on a 50 yarder than a 20…so you better bust your damn ass to make those 50’s on a regular basis

  2. Excellent interview, Frank, much thanks; i.e., so much about kicking isn’t quite what we all too often think it is; or, put otherwise, only a little genius and even more odds-on luck “consistently” kicks those 50+ yarders that far between the uprights.

  3. “It was good to have Brandon there. He is a good field goal kicker and hopefully he will get a chance to kick somewhere.”

    Wait a minute, isn’t Coutu still on the roster and it could be Mare going elsewhere? A little bit of arrogance showing there.

  4. IDHawkman says:


    I think the writing is on the wall regarding Brandon. Like I said a week ago, it is safe to buy your Mare jersey’s.

  5. bitterguy says:

    mare is a vet so his contract is guaranteed for the season. if they were going to cut him they would have done it before the season started.

  6. BORNHAWK says:

    I know this is completely off the subject but I have not heard anything on Shaun Alexander, is their anything happening with him or did he just fall off the face of the earth?

  7. I would have liked to hear him acknowledge that he’s declined the past few years and had a reason to expect a better performance this year. You can’t get better if you don’t recognize the need to.

    The 50-52 yard kick is not a long kick in today’s NFL. Mare missed a 50-yarder down in SD. I can accept 20-30% of 52+, but we need to be ~60% on 50-52. We’ve seen it done many years here.

  8. pabuwal says:

    He seems pretty cavalier on his assessment of 50 yard+ FGs. Watching him in the preseason and over the years seems to confirm that.

  9. He’s not going to make us forget Josh Brown.

  10. wabubba68 says:

    You guys are bit harsh, don’t you think?

    50+ yards is a long ways to go…probably comparable to an offense converting a 3rd and 15+ with regularity.

    Mare seems to have maturity and perspective regarding his profession based on this interview.

  11. I love all of the expert field goal kickers suddenly appearing out of the woodwork.

    Forget about who?

  12. kicking over 50 yards is nowhere near as tough as 3rd and 15.

    Olindo Mare 50+ yards in last three seasons: 3-13
    Josh Brown 50+ yards in last three seasons: 11-18

    He mentioned Neil Rackers, and that’s a guy that regularly kicks 55+, and still went 40-42 overall a couple years back.

    I’m not suggesting these should be automatic. I think I was pretty specific above. 3-13 is not going to cut it, though, especially when Coutu can do better.

  13. Fredline says:

    Guess the Hawks will be going for it a lot more…or punting it a lot more.

  14. NickLicatasucks says:

    There is a big difference between 58 into the wind at the end of a half and a 51 yarder to win a game…in a dome. You try kicks at the end of a half that you would not try in other field position related situations. Especially if you are not on a good team. Who was Mare’s coach in Miami of late? Saban? How’s he doing? In New Orleans last year that team wasn’t great.

    I’m confident Mare will be okay as the Hawks kicker. Forget Josh Brown? Whatever. That guy was more hype than all-pro. People liked him because he liked country music and spoke his mind/ ran his mouth off/ on the radio. People could relate to him somehow. A likeable guy. Mare is a different breed. He reminds me of Sergio Garcia, and hopefully that ends quickly…we know how well Garcia has closed out big games.

  15. Birdfeeder says:

    I’d love to hear more about stats on kicking in humid climates like miami vs. more typical weather. I’m sure that had a negative effect on the flight of the ball.

  16. BORNHAWK says:

    Josh Brown added insult to injury by not just leaving, but signing with a division rival. Regardless he won a lot of games for us by hitting 50+, something I think Mare is going to have trouble with.

  17. This decision is an outrage and will haunt us this season.

  18. kvpHawk says:

    The Hawks didn’t keep Coutu on their roster for no reason. They’re aware of Mare spotty record over the last few years on long attempts. The Seahawks have needed clutch kicking in the past on long attempts 50+ to beat division rivals, and it cost them a game against Washington a few years ago. Coutu was perfect on all his attempts in preseason ball. The rest of the league will be aware of this and will sign him off our practice squad. I think the Seahawks are using this time to work on his leg streght for kick off and will let Mare go in the future.

  19. Just me says:

    Why is everyone so convinced that we are going to let one go.

    It is true that it is high probability that is will happen, but we weren’t the first team and won’t be the last to keep 2 kickers and use them both regularly!!

    1 to kick off and one for field goals!!

    just a thought!!

  20. JimWilke says:

    You are not going to win many games if Coutu is having to make tackles at the 50 because his kicks are being returned.

  21. You are not going to win many games if Coutu is having to make tackles at the 50 because his kicks are being returned.

    Right! But you also won’t have players that didn’t make the team covering kicks either.

    This comment was comical-
    “This decision is an outrage and will haunt us this season.”

  22. derekyoung says:

    Is it just me or does this guy sound way too arrogant for a decidedly mediocre kicker?

  23. bigmike04 says:

    he sound like he arrogant but than think about it. Hawks will release Contu and hope he pass through waiver and will be added to PS it make sense as Holmgren going with Vetran Kicker and let Mora JR get a rookie.

  24. reshumate says:

    There are no roster spots for Coutu. Unless Mare misses 3 FGs this weekend, he is safe and Coutu is PS bound.

    Shaun Alexander is probably horribly out of shape. Plus he wants to be paid more than the minimum, which he isn’t even worth at this point. No team has the right blocking scheme for his slow to the hole style. The guy is washed up. Get used to it.

  25. kinger12 says:

    derekyoung I whole heartedly agree with you.
    50yds are what won us so many games in the past few years. We were getting over 70% of them and now we will drop to 30%… that will hurt. Mikes offense will have to be that much better and getting in the end zone that doesnt show up later.

  26. funballad says:

    I haven’t been to a game in the new stadium but i can tell you that if i hit a golf ball in the king dome it would be more acurate and farther than if i hit a ball in the open wind and humidity. I assume kicking the ball has to have the same problems.

  27. JoeHawk51 says:

    What are you guys smoking? So some of you think Josh whats his name was so great? His career FG percentage is 80.0 and OMare has 79.7 for many more years. WOW what a gap! Wait a minute, JB was better at over 50! Of course JB is only 67.4 percent from 40-49 while OMare is 72.7.

    OK math wizzes, if they have the same career FG Percentage, and JB has a better record over 50, then who would have the better record on attempts under 50? How many game are won by FG’s inside the 50 vs pst 50 yards?

    FACT: OMare has the same career FG percentage overall and he is much better on touchbacks. This man is a gift for us and you might want to give him a chance. I like the rookie and hope we can keep him around for the future, but this year is OMare the great year.

  28. OutSydeDog says:

    With a better running game, tight ends and backs that can catch, I think we will have longer, deeper drives that will mean shorter FG’s. Having consistently deeper KO’s will pay off more than the occasional 50+ attempt. Just my opinion, and non-expert at that :)

    GO HAWKS! Can’t wait….tick tock, tick tock

  29. mister andersen says:

    I hope they can slide Coutu on the PS in case Mare falls apart. If you are not good enough to kick for the Dolphins? That is a bad sign.

  30. i could care more, but i don’t. as long as hasselbeck is solid, i’m koo’.

    olindo who?
    josh who?
    brandon couwho?

    pbfpt – kickers…

  31. JoeHawk51 says:

    mister anderson “I hope they can slide Coutu on the PS in case Mare falls apart. If you are not good enough to kick for the Dolphins? That is a bad sign.”

    The Dolphins did not cut him, they traded him for a draft pick. Sorta like how Randy Moss ended up at NE. And if the Raiders did not want Randy, well the logic is clear.

    Funny airbags, but the teams who win the most always seem to have good or great kickers on them. Besides, when do you say, “let’s go out there and run,(or pass), thier butts”? I say, “let’s go out there and KICK thier butts”! Go Hawks!

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