One of the many positional battles taking place at New York Giants training camp this year is for the role of starting kicker.
Josh Brown was New York’s kicker in 2013 and had a very solid season. Brown nailed 23 of his 26 field goal attempts, his longest coming from 52 yards away. He is back as the favorite to win the competition but the margin is slimming.
The Giants also brought Brandon McManus to camp this year to compete for the role. McManus is a 23-year-old out of Temple. He competed for the Colts’ kicker position last year but lost out to veteran Adam Vinatieri.
New York is certainly giving McManus a chance to prove himself and the youngster is taking full advantage of it. Through two preseason games, McManus has hit both of his field goal attempts and his only extra point. His three-pointers have come from 47 and 46 yards out.
Brown has also hit on all of his kicks, including three extra points and a 45-yard field goal.
The two candidates pose an interesting dilemma for the Giants. Brown is the veteran at 35 years old. Meanwhile, McManus is looking for his first NFL role and is still unproven when the lights are shining the brightest.
However, McManus has got an extremely strong leg, which may ultimately win him the role. He has the power to extend his range beyond Brown’s and also consistently blast kickoffs through the back of the end zone. If McManus’ accuracy continues to improve and he shows he can be counted on in game situations the job could very well be his.