The world of professional football has been dominated by men for as long as anyone can remember. Things have started to change a bit as recently, the first ever female referee stepped onto an NFL field and into the record books. On Sunday, March 3, 2013, Laura Silberman will become the first female kicker to have a tryout at an NFL regional scouting combine.
Silberman has always just kicked soccer balls in any type of organized game, but she's ready to show off her skills in another sport. The 28-year-old Silberman will be participating in the NFL regional scouting combine on Sunday at the New York Jets' training facility located in Florham Park, N.J.
''I am working hard to prepare but I am also realistic about my chances,'' she wrote in an email. ''I hope my willingness to put myself out there inspires others to seize opportunities and challenges. The support from around the world has been so heartening.''
She is hoping to continue on and possibly get to the next level, but she does have one big goal in mind and that's hitting a 60-yard field goal. Scouts though, will be looking at how she can connect on extra points and hitting shorter chip-shot field goals with any type of consistency.
Scouts will primarily be focusing on the leg strength of kickers along with clutch kicks in college and accuracy on field goals over yards. Cincinnati Bengals' special teams coach Darrin Simmons knows what he will have his eyes on.
''When rating field goals, the deepest we test at the combine is a 50-yard field goal. There's not many attempts over 55 yards. We don't practice kicks much deeper than that - rarely do we do them,'' Simmons said. ''You can tell after watching a 50-yard field goal how far the ball goes over the crossbar if they can hit from 55. They've got to be able to hit from 55. On kickoffs, they've got to be able to get the ball out of the back of the end zone.''
Silberman hasn't used this NFL tryout as a publicity stunt in any way. She is hoping to do well enough to move on, and at least promote some form of greater diversity into the sport of football.