Kyle Myers | Ticats.ca Staff
HAMILTON -- If Brett Lauther keeps this up, he’s going to get a lot more comfortable in front of a microphone.
The 22-year-old placekicker – who has openly admitted his uneasiness during interviews – was named the CFL Special Teams Player of the Week on Tuesday for his performance in the Tiger-Cats 28-26 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday. Making his first career CFL start, Lauther hit four field goals and both PAT converts.
“It’s cool I guess,” said Lauther about the award, his small-town humility deterring him from answering any question with an individual focus. “Getting the two points over Montreal was big for us. That’s all I care about.”
One can hardly blame Lauther for his inexperience with the media – he is a CFL rookie and, in the grand scheme of this league, still just a kid. But his uneasiness in front of a microphone is contrasted starkly by the precision with which he performed his duties during Saturday’s win.
“He didn’t flinch,” said Coach Kent Austin after practice on Tuesday. “He performed well. Like I’ve said before, I think the young man has a great future.”
Kicking field goals of 25, 25, 34, and 40 yards, Lauther didn’t show any nerves in his professional debut despite the fact that he was making his first CFL start in front of dozens of friends and family members from back home. A native of Truro, Nova Scotia, he admitted that there were pros and cons to having the familiar faces in the crowd.
“I guess it was a little bit of both,” Lauther said on whether his family’s presence was a calming or unnerving influence. “I was glad they were there because it was my first game, but you don’t want to disappoint them either.”
Lauther believes it was some well-timed words of wisdom from his teammates and his coaches which put him in the mindset to succeed on Saturday.
“Some of the older guys talked to me and said ‘it’s just a game, we believe in you,’” he said. “And Coach Austin made a joke before the game that it was just him and I in the backyard kicking. That definitely helped.”
Injected into the lineup from the practice roster to remedy inconsistencies in the kicking game, Lauther has earned himself at least another start, and according to Austin, the position is now his to lose.
“He’s going to be our kicker right now, he went four for four,” Austin said matter-of-factly. “We’ll see if he can keep his consistency going forward. Obviously we believe that he will, that’s why we put him in.”
“We put him in to get a better performance in that spot and he did that, so there’s no reason to remove him,” he continued.
Now it’s up to the Lauther to keep it that way.