Sport Other Sports Australian punter Michael Dickson puts NFL in a spin after using rugby-style drop kick
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Australian punter Michael Dickson puts NFL in a spin after using rugby-style drop kick

Michael Dickson has enjoyed a promising NFL debut season. Photo: Twitter/@mdcksn
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Australian rookie punter Michael Dickson has continued to amaze the NFL by introducing a drop kick to American football.

Dickson, playing for Seattle Seahawks against Chicago Bears, stunned the crowd at Chicago’s Soldier Field and an audience of 10 million American TV viewers on the Monday Night Football broadcast (local time) when he was called on to perform a drop kick kick-off.

ESPN commentators Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten were left scratching their heads watching the Sydney-raised Dickson.

“A drop kick kick-off?” Tessitore asked.

“We are going to send our stat folks into overdrive here, but I’m going to put it out there.

“You tell me the last time you ever saw a drop kick kick-off in the NFL?”

“I don’t know if it’s ever happened, Joe,” Witten, a star tight end for Dallas Cowboys for 15 years, replied.

The Seahawks’ 19-season veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski usually kicks off and uses a tee, but coach Pete Carroll is known for using non-traditional methods.

Carroll gambled with Dickson’s method, which is common in the rugby codes and almost extinct in Australian rules football.

Dickson’s first went deep into the Bears’ territory.

With just 14 seconds to go in the game and the Seahawks needing a touchdown to tie, the Australian attempted a short drop kick, hoping his team would recover, however the Bears held on for a 24-17 win.

‘Fake punt drop kick field goal next??’

Twitter lit up during the match following Dickson’s drop kick, while the 22-year-old had some fun replying to tweets.

Dickson, who was labelled a potential rookie of the season even before making his NFL debut, led all punters after his maiden appearance last week against Denver Broncos with 57.5 yards net average per punt.

He continued that form early against the Bears with booming pinpoint 40, 54, 53 and 55-yard efforts in his first four punts.

Midway through the second quarter against the Bears, he showed he was human when he shanked his fifth punt and it only travelled 10 yards over the sideline.

Drop kicks are particularly effective when used for field goals in rugby league and union.

This was illustrated only last Saturday when South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds landed three field goals in the Rabbitohs’ thrilling 13-12 NRL semi-final win over St George Illawarra.

Dickson, a former Sydney Swans Academy member, had seven punts for an average of 36.9 yards. He was drafted by the Seahawks in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft.

He earned All-American honours as punter with the University of Texas in US collegiate football last year.

ABC