New holder is no big deal for Gostkowski

New holder is no big deal for Gostkowski
September 6, 2013, 3:00 pm
Share This Post

FOXBORO -- Stephen Gostkowski has been here before.

His rookie year in 2006, the Patriots' kicker had three different holders. One of which was backup quarterback Matt Cassel.

And Cassel was thrown right into the fire. He had never been a holder for a field goal or point-after-attempt in his career.

Seven years later, Gostkowski finds himself entering the season with a new holder who also has never been a holder in his football career.

Undrafted rookie punter Ryan Allen beat out Zoltan Mesko for the job. Not only as punter, but also as Gostkowski's holder. Something he's never done before.

"It's something that he's going to figure out," said Gostkowski after Friday's practice. "You have to experience it. It takes time, and he's doing the best he can. You just roll with what's given to you."

"It's something I've been through before," added Gostkowski. "I really didn't even think much about it. Sad to see a teammate go, like Zoltan. But, other than that, it's part of the business."

As the Patriots began practice out behind the stadium in Foxboro on Friday, Gostkowski and Allen did their work inside Gillette Stadium on the field turf, preparing for Buffalo's turf on Sunday.

"He's done everything we've asked," said Gostkowski afterwards. "He's shown up and worked hard, and that's all you can ask. He's a professional athlete and he's obviously very talented."

While the practice is good for Allen entering Week 1, Gostkowski is also still learning from the last time he had Cassel trying to get used to holding his kicks.

"We did well [with Cassel], so you just lean on past experiences that have been good and bad, and try to learn from mistakes, and pick up the pieces when it went bad," said Gostkowski.

And just because it's something new for Allen, Gostkowski isn't ready to let it affect his kicking game.

"The worst thing you can do in any situation with change, is overreact or use that as an excuse," said Gostkowski. "And it would be a disservice to myself, my family, the fans and the team, if I let something affect the way I play. So I just show up and work hard."