Michael Badgley made franchise history his rookie season with the Chargers.
He put up the most efficient season in team history in 2018, making 93.8 percent of his field goal attempts, marking the best single season field goal percentage with at least 15 attempts.
With a bright future ahead of him, the kicker looks to keep that going in 2019.
Badgley joined Jim Rome on his show Monday afternoon, and one of the topics they discussed was how he got his gig with the Bolts. As it turned out, he had a previous tryout with an AFC West rival, but they ended up signing someone else, which fortunately proved fruitful for the Chargers.
"There were three of us out there," Badgley said. "There are only so many opportunities that you get. I had (a tryout) with the Raiders a week before, or two weeks before that, and I guess it didn't go my way. But I get the call with the Chargers and I said I'm going to go out there and do my thing, and I knew that opportunity, I had to embrace it. You knew your adrenaline is pumping, but as soon as (I) let that first kick fly, I was like, 'Alright, let's let it roll here."
So now that Badgley's locked up a spot on a pro roster, what's the key to kicking in the NFL? According to him, it's a mindset.
"You have to want the pressure," he explained. "Certain things, you have to know that there's going to be misses. There are going to be times where you're the guy who (potentially) ruins the season. You don't want it to be. But there are going to be times where you're going to be the guy who misses a kick. But, to get over those situations (is) what kind of makes and breaks you…. You (can't) think about stuff that's happened in the past. You just take the moment, go out there and get that feeling (of), 'Let me do my job here. Let me embrace this.' And it's awesome."
So, it must always have been this easy for Badgley to feel this way, right?
Not so fast.
He shared a story with Rome about the first time he ever attempted a game-winning kick in college. Needless to say, it felt a lot different from when he was set to kick against the Steelers in Week 13, but it jumpstarted a level of confidence that he continues to channel every time he lines up for a kick.
"I think you develop a confidence when you start running out onto the field and you realize it's not a nervous situation anymore. I go back to college in my sophomore year, (which was) my first game-winner attempt against Nebraska. It was only a 28-yarder. I remember I was shaking. I was like, 'This is it. This is a chance to be the hero.' I was shaking, but luckily, I made it. Ever since that point I was able to run on the field and be cool, calm, relaxed and just have fun with it."