Wil Lutz looks for consistency in second year with Saints - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wil Lutz looks for consistency in second year with Saints

Saints kicker Wil Lutz practices during their 2017 mini-camp. Saints kicker Wil Lutz practices during their 2017 mini-camp.

Playing for the Black & Gold just over an hour down the road, Wil Lutz loved his first experience in Biloxi for the second-annual Saints Hall of Fame Weekend earlier this month. 

"It's cool to be out here with these guys who can't really quite make it to New Orleans all the time to meet us," Lutz said. "You get to meet the fans from another state, since our fan base is so wide."

And these fans know him quite well, even with just one year of NFL experience under his belt. 

With the Saints playing so many close contests in 2016, the rookie heard his name called often with the game on the line. He proved worthy of the trust, especially with his last-second 52-yard winning field goal against the Panthers in October.

"It's good to have your coach's confidence," Lutz said of head coach Sean Payton's trust in him. "Obviously, he's the one who makes the calls. But in my position, it's my job. He shouldn't have to hesitate to choose me." 

Lutz finished his rookie year kicking 28 of 34 with a long of 57 yards, but it's some of the misses that resonate to him the most. Two in particular - a 61-yard field goal attempt against Oakland that would have won the game, and a blocked extra point that Denver returned for two points to win - especially stick out.

"Yeah, it was definitely an up-and-down year," Lutz said. "But as a rookie, all you can ask for is to learn, take it and build off of it. I think it was a good first step for me, and I'm excited to work and build off of it."

Having to earn the job as an un-drafted free agent in last year's training camp, Lutz is now the guy entering 2017. He's happy to keep kicking in clutch situations, but he, like all Saints fans, hopes for fewer close calls, and more wins moving forward.

"Yeah we're definitely working for it," Lutz said. "We're working hard right now, we made some new additions in the off-season. You know, we're not looking to go 7-9 again, we want to get back in the playoffs and make a run for it."

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