Seahawks’ Myers, Dickson look to build on career years

NFL

RENTON, Wash. (AP)Considering the wild swings on offense and defense the Seattle Seahawks experienced last season on their way to an NFC West title, their biggest constants ended up being the two players who were on the field the least.

Kicker Jason Myers and punter Michael Dickson are coming off the best seasons of their respective careers, continuing the long string of strong special teams play that has been a staple in Seattle for most of Pete Carroll’s tenure.

Myers was a perfect 24 of 24 on field goal attempts during the 2020 regular season. He has made a team-record 37 straight field goals dating to 2019.

Dickson averaged a career-high 49.6 yards per punt and led the league with 32 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Throw in Pro Bowl long snapper Tyler Ott and the trio creates a solid foundation for Seattle to rely on.

”We have some similarities, and we have some differences, but we figured out what each other likes and we work well,” Myers said. ”We gel well, it’s easy coming back from the offseason just to get right back in rhythm. I’m blessed to have those two guys working with me.”

Myers hasn’t missed a field goal since Week 9 of the 2019 season, when he failed to connect on two attempts during a 40-34 win over Tampa Bay. Either one would have won the game in regulation.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his 2020 season was his accuracy from distance – 15 of his 24 made kicks came from 40 yards or longer.

Myers seems to look at his kicking streak the same way pitchers tend to look at no-hitters. The less it’s talked about, the better.

”We’re out there trying to make every kick. It’s the NFL, you’re out there to make every kick,” Myers said. ”It is what it is, and you just kind of keep rolling.”

Dickson has been one Carroll’s favorites since he was drafted in the fifth round in 2018. Dickson’s abilities, including being able to kick with different styles and directionally control punts, fit in with the coach’s philosophies. Sometimes, it’s created an approach that’s been deemed too conservative.

”I’ll look at each practice every day I punt and chart everything. Chart my get off, hangtime, distance, direction,” Dickson said. ”I look at it objectively because a couple of years ago I’d walk out of practice feeling like I did a terrible job, and I’d come in the next day thinking I needed to improve, change and adjust some stuff when I probably had like a decent day. I need to really be objective with it.”

Dickson signed a four-year contract extension in June worth up to $14.5 million. The deal makes him the second-highest paid punter in the league in terms of yearly average, behind only Johnny Hekker of the Los Angeles Rams.

The native of Australia hasn’t been back home since early in 2020 prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He did most of his offseason training in Texas with the hope of finding another level for his punting.

”He is a unique talent and does a marvelous job of going out there and performing,” special teams coach Larry Izzo said. ”He does have a lot of different tricks in the bag, but he works on them consistently. He’s a gamer, he performs when it matters most and that’s the exciting thing about him, how he performs in the games.”

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