Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Connor Barth not fixating on NFL-best 21 straight field goals

The Bucs’ Connor Barth, hitting a field goal Sunday against the Giants, says his family and friends are more fixated on his streak than he is. “When you get out there, you don’t ever think about that,” he says.

Associated Press

The Bucs’ Connor Barth, hitting a field goal Sunday against the Giants, says his family and friends are more fixated on his streak than he is. “When you get out there, you don’t ever think about that,” he says.

TAMPA — There may be superstitious kickers out there, but the Bucs' Connor Barth is not one of them.

Barth, riding a club-record streak of 21 consecutive field goals, shaved his bushy beard down to a mustache Wednesday.

"It was bothering me," said Barth, 26, smiling. "A little hot."

Barth's streak of accuracy has been a big boon to the Bucs. He enters Sunday's game against the Cowboys having made all five of his tries to start the season after ending 2011 with 16 straight successes. He has the longest current streak in the NFL. And it's not stacked with chip shots, either; 14 have been from at least 40 yards, including three of 50-plus.

"I don't ever take it for granted," coach Greg Schiano said. "Maybe some do. But I've been there, where it's like kicking it between two toothpicks. So every time he hits it, I'm just thrilled with the job he's doing. And it's a weapon, make no mistake about it. Certainly we want to score by sixes, not by threes. But when you don't score by sixes, it's nice to get a three."

The Bucs appreciated Barth's consistency enough to award him a four-year, $13.2 million deal in the offseason, after the former North Carolina standout ranked second in the NFL in field goal accuracy (92.8 percent). Barth, the team's most reliable kicker since Matt Bryant (2005-08), said he has benefited from, for the first time in his life, having the same snapper (Andrew Economos) and holder (punter Michael Koenen) in back-to-back seasons.

And as much Barth tries to shut out the streak, friends and family constantly remind him.

"Everyone tells you every day, 'You've got 21,' " said Barth, whose last miss was a 55-yarder against New Orleans on Oct. 16, 2011. "I know it. When you get out there, you don't ever think about that. When you're kicking a field goal, it's not like, 'Oh my God, this is 22!' You shut everything out."

What keeps Barth grounded is the humble beginning to his career. After not being drafted, Barth shuffled among three teams in his first two seasons, released by the Chiefs and Dolphins before sticking with the Bucs in 2009.

"It's definitely a complete 180 from where I was when I first started," Barth said. "I remember one of my coaches asking me if I'm good from 45 yards. I'm like, 'Come on, man, this is the NFL!' But (the Bucs) coaches have a lot of confidence in me, and it's been great."

That doesn't mean Barth is too comfortable. He still rents a furnished apartment in the same Tampa complex in which he first unpacked his bags in 2009. Barth said he had bought a place at an area yacht club but quickly used the out clause, joking it was too much pressure.

"You never get complacent. Someone is always trying to take your job," Barth said. "The main thing for me is to keep working every day and give them no reason to come in and find somebody else. I'd love to play here the rest of my career. You've got to enjoy it while you can."

Barth is a long way from the NFL record for most consecutive field goals (including postseason), 46, set by Gary Anderson from 1997-99. But the record Barth has proudly talked about the most is the one his younger brother Casey, a UNC senior, broke on Sept. 8, setting the school mark with 55 career field goals, unseating Connor from atop the list.

"We have a nice little bet going to see who has the best percentage this year," Barth said. "It's always fun, a little competition."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Connor Barth not fixating on NFL-best 21 straight field goals 09/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 21, 2012 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning: Jon Cooper takes unusual tact to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and ... whom else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  2. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  3. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.
  4. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?


    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]