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Beating the Odds

Becoming a Hero

Thomas Morstead is a hero in New Orleans today for his onside kick that helped the Saints win the Super Bowl. But it wasn’t always that way.

On the day the Saints drafted him, they received criticism for “wasting” a pick on a kicker. And when he got to camp and started to practice field goals, a coach told him not to bother, and to concentrate on punting instead.

But things changed. The regular kicker was suspended, leaving a vacancy. Morstead was ready to step in. He grew into the role so well that Saints Coach Sean Peyton felt confident enough to call on him for an onside kick to open the second half of the Super Bowl.

“He’s ahead of the curve when it comes to the approach to the kicking game, his workout routine, his mental focus,” said John Carney, a kicker in the NFL for many years. “It may say ‘rookie’ next to his name, but he really trains and behaves as if he’s been in the NFL for five years.”

Carney’s words — approach, routine, focus — can apply to anyone in any field. Morstead used them to go from unpopular draft day pick to Super Bowl hero.


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