Harrison Butker’s confidence assured Andy Reid on sideline
By Matt Conner
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid says he was confident because Harrison Butker was confident after his first missed kick.
It was the subject on everyone’s mind. After Kansas City Chiefs rookie kicker Harrison Butker missed his initial field goal attempt, a tough 46-yard kick into the wind, during the first quarter on Monday Night Football, it was natural to wonder. Would the kid be okay?
It’s the same thing everyone asked after rookie running back Kareem Hunt fumbled the ball on his first possession in the NFL. When rookies make mistakes, it can often be tough to come back from them. The mental pressure, the bright lights, the TV cameras, the fans yelling in the stands—it’s all a lot to take in at the professional level. For a kicker, the opportunities are few and far between, so the stench from a miss can linger in the air, working its way into long-term mental gears. Watch what happened with former second round pick Roberto Aguayo for an idea of how mental the job really is.
Yet Andy Reid, the Chiefs head coach, said he remained confident on the sidelines even after the miss—not because he even knew much about Butker at all but rather because the kicker made him feel okay.
"“I was confident because he was confident,” Reid said. “I talked to him after the first miss and he told me he had it, it was just off by a tad. He gives you that feeling that everything is OK. He’s a tough kid.”"
What makes this such a great story is that Butker was correct. Not only did Butker right the ship on his very next attempt, but he finished with three consecutive kicks as well as a perfect night for extra points. After the early snafu, Butker had a perfect night, including kicking the game-winning field goal that put Washington away.
Butker will be the man in Kansas City as long as he can continue to stave off those jitters and remain confident in the role. Here’s hoping that’s quite some time—at least until Cairo Santos is healthy and perhaps ready to re-sign or even beyond.