In the NFL a Coach can call a timeout right before the kicker kicks the ball in order to affect the kicker's chance of succeeding. In many cases, the kicker will take the kick twice, once right after the timeout is called (this one doesn't count) and a second time after the timeout.

Is an NFL coach allowed to plan a staged timeout with the their own kicker to give them a practice kick? Or is this illegal since a kicker normally doesn't have the chance to take a practice attempt before the actual kick.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, it is legal. In fact, Jason Garrett did this.

But what about when a coach ices his own kicker?

That’s essentially what Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett did on Sunday during a game against the Arizona Cardinals. With the score tied at 13, and just seven seconds left in regulation, Dallas rookie kicker Dan Bailey lined up for a potential game-winning 49-yard field goal. Right before the snap, Garrett called timeout. Bailey kicked it anyway, and nailed it. His second attempt? Not so good — he shanked it wide left. The game went into overtime, and Dallas ended up losing 19-13.

Here’s how Garrett explained his decision during his post-game press conference:

“The play clock was running down. We just wanted to make sure that he had a real clean opportunity at it,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett explained. “It was at about 6 (seconds) and we were still getting settled in, so we banged a time out to give him the opportunity to get the snap, hold and kick as clean as possible.”

In summary, Garrett "iced his own kicker" because the offense wasn't quite ready for the play, which was a "practice attempt" that backfired on the actual field goal attempt.

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