Morten Andersen won’t venture a guess if a woman ever will play in the NFL, but the Hall of Fame kicker would love to see Carli Lloyd try.
“I’m not Nostradamus,” Andersen said while making the interview rounds as an ambassador for Bet-Pa.com. “I don’t spend a lot of time in that world. I spent 25 years in the real world in the NFL, and I know what I faced, and I know what it takes. So I can give her a real sense of what is required from her to play at the highest level. Then, you have to do it consistently for a long time. In our world, there are 32 jobs. We don’t have backups. It’s a high level of competition, and I want her to understand that.
“Will a woman be able to do it? It would be awesome to celebrate that and to include that as part of the nuance of the game. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? Wouldn’t that open the game, too, to the world? Think about all the young girls, and the hope it would give them. Just that statement that it makes that the league is not only inclusive, but a woman who has a high level of talent and decides to do this is allowed to do it.”
Lloyd made a 55-yard field goal through the narrow uprights following a joint Eagles-Ravens practice last month. Since then, her trainer revealed an unnamed NFL team offered the soccer star a chance to kick in preseason finale last month, and Lloyd has said she would consider a chance to play American football.
Andersen offered his assistance to her during a recent joint call-in appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
“My whole point of reaching out to Carli was simply to say, ‘Listen, I think you’re a world-class athlete. I think it’s amazing what you’ve done on the world stage on behalf of the United States. I think this is worth celebrating and embracing. I have some expertise in this field, so if you’re really serious about it and you want to move on in the offseason, I’m available to help in any way I can.’ I think her thought was to try to do this next year, in 2020.”
Lloyd, who plays for Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. The Tokyo Olympics are next summer, so she would have to give up trying to win another Olympic medal to pursue an NFL job in 2020.
That seems unlikely.
Andersen would love to see her give it a shot, but it would take a big commitment from Lloyd. She would face a steep learning curve going from kicking a soccer ball to kicking a football.
“It’s different because the shape of the ball is different,” Andersen said. “I saw the video of the 55-yarder. But I also saw a stationary hold. I also saw her not wearing equipment. So I take that with a little grain of salt. However, she hit that ball really well. She got the ball up, so the initial trajectory was impressive, I thought. It was off the ground, like it has to be, and it was an NFL football, which it has to be. So all those things, you check the box. Some of the boxes that haven’t been checked yet are: OK, we’ve got to put the equipment on. We have to get ourselves 22 players out there, and we have to get a snapper and a holder, and we have to get a rush. Let’s see in 1.2 seconds what happens, snap to kick. We have to be very realistic about it, but I think she has an advantage coming from a soccer background.”