Brian Billick: Kickers are not football players

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Amid a firestorm surrounding NFL kickers, former Ravens head coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick decided to stomp the specialists while they're down.

Billick, speaking on GameDay First during a discussion about what seems to be a lapse in the kicking game this season, expanded on his thoughts during this week's Move The Sticks podcast where he doubled down on his claim that kickers are not football players.

"You guys know how it is," Billick said. "They're a part of your team, you want to give them love. But you also -- man you're out there sweating in training camp and in practice and you look over there and those guys are doing whatever it is they do, just kind of hanging out and it's like 'can you just do your job?'"

He added: "I had Matt Stover, I had a great relationship with Matt but it didn't start out that way. I had a tough time. I never coached kickers before and kickers aren't football players. They're different, they are."

Billick went on to praise Stover for showing him how to communicate and teach kickers, but it makes us wonder if he ever told Stover, who kicked for Billick for nearly a decade in Baltimore, that he wasn't a football player.

Also, what does Billick think about the legendary Jan Stenerud!? Even at 72, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Norwegian looks pretty yolked. I'd have a hard time telling that guy -- the only true placekicker in the Hall of Fame -- he wasn't a football player.

This year, according to the Baltimore Sun, kicking accuracy is at 83.5, which would be good enough for the fourth-best mark of all time. In 2014, kickers were hitting at an 84 percent rate and in 2013 they were at 86.5.

So really, this is just a bit of soft panic. The bigger issue here is kicker rights. Poor Matt Stover.

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