The most efficient kicker in NFL history is consulting with a sports psychologist for his failings. Nate Kaeding, who had previously seen a mental-health professional to help with his mindset and found it helpful, has seen the guy "about six'' times this offseason, he told me, to help him deal with the aftermath of a head-case performance in the Chargers' three-point divisional playoff loss to the Jets at home Jan. 17.
Kaeding went 0-for-3, missing from 36 (wide left), 57 (short), and 40 (wide right). The last kick was almost embarrassing. He punched the ball, instead of swinging his leg through it naturally, and it sailed way to the right. It was the classic kick of a man pressing too hard instead of naturally doing what he's been trained to do.
The psychologist didn't give any deep dark advice. "Keep the game in perspective,'' Kaeding said the message was. "Don't make it bigger than it is. There's going to be peaks and valleys, and just accept them.''