Miami Dolphins special teams coach Danny Crossman said earlier this week he could think of three keys for the amazing success experienced by kicker Jason Sanders so far this season.
But he forgot about the beard.
Sanders conducted a Zoom meeting Friday during which he discussed his 17-for-17 start to the season on field goal attempts and breaking the franchise record with 20 consecutive attempts dating back to last season.
He did while showing off a beard that would make quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick proud — though it's not long as Fitzpatrick's beard was at its peak.
We're not sure just how superstitious Sanders might be, but he's not about to change anything in his routine at this time.
“The beard is working," Sanders said. "I mean, if the beard is not working, I don’t need it anymore. But it’s working right now.
"Just to be in any franchise record books, most consecutive, whatever it is, is an honor to be in any history book. Any record you get in the NFL is something to be proud of.”
Sanders laughed when talking about his beard, but said he hadn't yet gotten Fitzpatrick's stamp of approval.
And there's a reason for that.
“That’s the thing, we were in COVID protocol, so a lot of the guys don’t even know the length," Sanders said. "But I’ve gotten some jokes, People think I look Amish. I’m OK with that.”
What Sanders really looks like so far this season is the best kicker in the NFL.
He is, after all, the only one without a miss on field goals or extra points; he's got two games with five field goals; and against Arizona last Sunday he had a career-long 56-yard kick at the end of the first half before he broke Olindo Mare's team record for longest streak with a 50-yard kick with 3:30 left that proved the winning margin in Miami's 34-31 victory.
Sanders was quick to credit Crossman, head coach Brian Flores, rookie long-snapper Blake Ferguson and holder Matt Haack in discussing his brilliant first half of the season.
This was Crossman's evaluation: "I think in my opinion, we have a very good rapport right now and a very clean operation with the snaps and the holds. Obviously any time that that triumvirate is working very well, it seems like to the kickers in the past and obviously with Jason now, that they’re really able to get a good, clean picture of what’s happening on the hit. And then he’s just in a good rhythm. As we all know in whatever our chosen profession is, there’s times when you just find that nice rhythm and things are going and they’re going smoothly and things are clicking. That’s sort of where he is right now and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
Plus he's got the beard, which is past the itching stage.
“I don’t see it bother me," Sanders said. "If I did see it bother me, I wouldn’t have it. I don’t see a need to shave it right now."