'Icing' kicker actually thaws out Falcons

'Icing' kicker actually thaws out Falcons
October 15, 2012, 1:42 pm
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ATLANTA -- The syllabus for Coaching 101 demanded it, and Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen followed suit.Ice the kicker.Or, call a timeout just before the opposing kicker attempts a game-winning field goal to make him, you know, think about it.Thing was, Atlanta's Matt Bryant did not flinch. Not even after hooking his first attempt wide left. Not when the kick did not matter, and he know it before swinging his powerful right leg in the controlled environment of the Georgia Dome.Bryant was true when it counted, his 55-yarder splitting the uprights with yards to spare with one second remaining on the clock, giving the Falcons a 23-20 victory over the Raiders on Sunday."Yeah, in my opinion there are more good things that can come out of (an opponent) calling a timeout," Bryant said. "I mean, if you make the kick, you just conjure up that feeling of repeating that. If you miss it, then you know how to make the adjustments, and that's good for everybody."Whether it be the snap, the hold or the kick, whatever it may be, it gives everybody a chance to either correct or reproduce the whole thing."Bryant's boot gave Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan his 19th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or later.But it would not have been possible without Bryant taking advantage of the Raiders trying to "ice" the kicker."I've said it many times, he's got ice water in his veins," Atlanta coach Mike Smith said of Bryant. "We have an agreement that if they're going to ice you, we're going to kick the ball to get practice (kick). He did it even though the play was blown dead real early."He got a shot at it and made a great adjustment, and he just knows how to kick those game-winners."