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Daluiso Glad to Just Kick

NEWSDAY

With all the attention Tony Meola has been receiving at the New York Jets’ training camp, it’s practically gone unnoticed the New York Giants also have a new placekicker. And if Brad Daluiso has his way, he won’t do anything to bring the spotlight on himself.

“As long as a kicker is doing his job, there’s no reason to write about him,” said Daluiso, the former UCLA Bruin who is in his fourth season in the NFL, his second with the Giants. “The key for me is not to do anything that attracts attention. I just want to go out and make my kicks and keep it quiet.”

As a kickoff and long-field goal specialist last season, Daluiso made one of the loudest kicks for the Giants. His 54-yarder with 32 seconds left in the game gave the Giants a 19-17 victory against the Phoenix Cardinals on Nov. 28. It was the last of three field-goal attempts Daluiso took last season, all over 50 yards, and the only one he made.

“It’s hard when you get three attempts in one year,” Daluiso said. “Nobody likes to miss and wait six weeks to get another attempt. It’s nice I happened to make the last one.”

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Despite his limited game experience, the Giants had enough confidence in Daluiso to cut David Treadwell, who made 25 of 31 field goals and 28 of 29 extra points, in May. Treadwell has since signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We wanted to give him the chance,” special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said. “We just felt Brad was best for our team. ... He’s been improving. He started out average and become a little bit above.”

In last week’s 20-19 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins, Daluiso made a 24-yard field goal in his only attempt. That success has carried over to practice this week.

“He’s only missed one I’ve held this whole week,” punter/holder Mike Horan said. “He’s gaining a lot of confidence as he experiences success. He knows the job is his and just has to prove he can do it.”

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Knowing the job is his is a change for Daluiso, who also played for Atlanta, Buffalo and Denver before signing with the Giants in 1993.

“It’s good, you don’t have to share the net,” Daluiso said. “You don’t have to worry about range, (or whether) is this my kick or is this David’s. I (hadn’t) hit a 24-yard field goal in three years.”

With the NFL moving kickoffs from the 35- to the 30-yard line, Daluiso’s strong leg becomes more important. In his career, 119 of his 207 kickoffs have been touchbacks. Last week, the Dolphins’ average starting point after kickoffs was the 28-yard line.

“It doesn’t bother me,” said Daluiso about the rule change. “We won’t get as many touchbacks, but it’s going to help that I can still kick the ball further than other people.”

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As for Meola, Daluiso, who played soccer in high school and college, said the most important thing to learn is patience.

“It takes time. I’m living proof of that,” Daluiso said. “This is my sixth year of football and it’s taken me this long where I’m really comfortable hitting field goals. A lot of guys can bang the ball downfield. It’s a little different when you need to place it.”


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