The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have not enjoyed a successful year thus far and heading into game week 14 they are 4-9 for the season. One of their few positives has been kicker Patrick Murray, statistically the best kicker in their history. What's his secret? Gaelic Football.
In an interview in today's Mail on Sunday, Murray revealed his use of a Gaelic football every day before training has been a huge benefit recently. Murray is from New Jersey and his father, Aidan, is from Monaghan. In fact, both his uncles Brendan and Ciaran Murray won Ulster titles in the 1980s.
The way I kick a ball is the same way I would have kicked a Gaelic ball because that is how I was brought up. The Gaelic ball is obviously a lot heavier. That has helped me create that strength, power and whip I brought into this game. When it comes down to it, I used the exact same routine I had when I stand over a free in Gaelic park, three steps back and two steps over.
Murray made two field goals against the Packers already this month, although his Bucs stand no chance making the playoffs at this rate. His striking technique does resemble an off the ground free-taker:
— Pat Murray (@patmurray723) September 17, 2017
He went on to claim that there are many Gaelic footballers who could operate in the NFL, and hailed Monaghan's Conor McManus as the best striker of the ball in GAA right now.
I think there are a lot of Gaelic footballers who could make the transition.
There has been a lot of talk recently about Gaelic Footballers pursuit of professional contracts in the AFL, but the idea that the NFL could be a potential destination is an interesting one. Up until recently, AFL players would regularly transition to the NFL as punters.
You can read the full interview in today's Irish Mail on Sunday.