Carli Lloyd shows being an NFL kicker not such a long shot
"I know that I could actually probably do it," said United States great Carli Lloyd about being an NFL kicker.
Carli Lloyd believes she could be a successful NFL kicker after going viral for making a 55-yard field goal while visiting a Philadelphia Eagles practice.
Long distance strike
The United States women's national team star turned heads this week when she drilled a perfect long-range attempt, which she later said resulted in "some inquiries" from NFL teams. Lloyd, a long-time Eagles fan, sat down with NBC Sports' Peter King for his weekly 'Football Morning in America' column to discuss how the impressive kick came to be.
"I love the Eagles. I've been an Eagles fan my whole life," Lloyd said. "I had an off-day and I figured I'd come out ... I brought my boots. I could kick all day long. I could kick field goals all day long. I absolutely love it. There's a lot the same with kicking a soccer ball and kicking a football. I love kicking long balls in soccer, and it carries over to football. The technique is the same, and I think I'm very accurate. I started at 25 [yards], and they kept moving me back. I hit one short, I think. There were a couple with the wind that went wide. I got to 55, and that was it. One take. It was good. I had no idea anyone was videotaping it or putting it on cell-phone video. I tried from 57, but it was wide; the distance was good. I would have kept going — my competitive nature. But I felt like I was holding them up out there."
The internet reacts
Lloyd was flooded with messages after the clip went viral on social media. "When we got in the car, it was unbelievable," she said. "The texts, the videos, everything going viral. I had no idea. It was insane. It still is insane. I could not believe the attention on social media. I just had a conversation with Randy [Brown, the former mayor of a town near Lloyd's home and assistant special-teams coach with the Baltimore Ravens], actually. The coaches and his GM, they all saw the video. They were like, 'What is she doing next week?' I'm laughing about it, but the more I think about it, this has the chance to be sort of a pioneering moment for women."
Lloyd's kick also caught the attention of Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys' vice-president of player personnel, who tweeted: "Honestly, I don't think it will be long before we see a woman break through this NFL barrier. I'd give her an honest tryout if I were, say, the [Chicago] Bears."
The USWNT veteran, who helped her side retain the World Cup in July, hopes one day there could be a place for women in the NFL. "I know that I could actually probably do it. Put on the helmet, strap on the pads, go for it," Lloyd said. "The mindset I have, I think with practice, I know I have to work on my steps and my technique, but I think I could do it and do it well. It could be a huge, pivotal moment. There is no reason why a woman could not do this. And I actually invite the pressure. I love the pressure. When I have to nail something — shooting hoops, axe-throwing, kicking a field goal — that is the moment I live for and want. It's worth having some conversations about it. With practice and someone showing me, I know I can do it. I have one of the most accurate shots in our game. [The] big thing would be getting used to the big boys out there. But nothing scares me. You hold yourself back if you're afraid. What's the worst that can happen? I don't make the team? Let's just say I did try. Maybe I change the landscape a lot."
Lloyd and the rest of the national team are in the middle of a victory tour that will end on 6 October against South Korea. After the World Cup, Lloyd hinted she will continue playing international football for next summer's 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.