|Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes back to form after premature birth of twins|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 06 August 2007 11:29|
He's not checking up on his field-goal form, though. Instead, he gets on his Web cam and calls home to see his twin sons, Jaden and Caleb, the premature duo who made him forsake his job for more than a month before camp opened at the University at Albany.
``They were one month yesterday,'' a proud Tynes said Monday morning after practice. ``They are almost 7 pounds apiece now, so they are really growing. I don't even barely recognize them when I see them on the computer. I have to ask my wife which one she is holding. They are doing good.''
It's been a long summer, though.
Hours before Tynes was to leave for the Giants' minicamp in mid-June, his wife, Amanda, went into premature labor with their first children.
Tynes, acquired from Chiefs in the offseason, called coach Tom Coughlin and was told to stay in Kansas City as long as needed. With his wife bedridden, he never left.
His sons were born on July 6, nearly two months premature. They spent nearly three weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit, a precious time during which Tynes got to hold and feed his infants.
It's a memory he cherishes because the day they were discharged, he hopped on a plane for training camp, knowing he wasn't ready to compete for a job.
``I usually work three or four days a week for at least a month building up to camp,'' Tynes said. ``I'm not going to tell you how many times I kicked, but it wasn't very many. I didn't do a lot of work, at all.''
While it has taken more than a week, Tynes is finally starting to hit the ball the way the Giants expected when they acquired the four-year veteran.
In the opening week of camp, free agent Josh Huston clearly was the better kicker. He made more field goals and his kicks were nailed with authority.
The 29-year-old Tynes closed the gap this past week and may have taken the lead in the job hunt, hitting three of four field goals on Saturday in a kicking competition that determined whether the offense or defense had their curfew extended an hour that night.
``I'm supposed to win; I'm the veteran guy,'' Tynes said. ``That's why both the offense and defense wanted me on their team. But it was fun. I am just doing what I have to do. Everything will take care of itself.''
One thing that has helped Tynes and Huston the past week has been getting rookie Jay Alford to work on the snaps for the field goals and extra points.
The kickers struggled for a while last week when veteran long snapper Ryan Kuehl sustained a severe calf injury that will sideline him for at least a month.
Tynes and Huston both made attempts of 40-plus yards during the morning practice on Monday.
``We're both hitting some good balls,'' said Huston, an Ohio State kicker looking for his first NFL job. ``It's close in terms of makes and misses. The kickoffs are close. We have three more weeks of practice, and the games will obviously be huge.''
Tynes, who fell out of favor in Kansas City after missing a chip-shot field goal attempt in the playoff loss to Indianapolis last season, doesn't feel he has anything to prove.
``I'm just trying to work myself back in,'' he said. ``This staff knows exactly what I was going through. I got three years' worth of film.''
After Saturday's performance, Coughlin believes Tynes is back in form.
``With the exception of one kick, he was very solid, so I think he did a good job,'' Coughlin said. ``And Josh has been good. Josh actually, going into the weekend, his percentage was a little bit higher, but the other night it was Lawrence that did perform better.''
The Tynes twins would be proud.