*STORY AND PHOTOS COURTESY OF ESPN.GO.COM*
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Like her kickoff attempts, Lauren Silberman's attempt to gain consideration from NFL scouts fell well short Sunday.
Silberman aggravated a right quadriceps injury and was done for the day after just her second kickoff attempt during a tryout at a regional combine.
Her first kickoff attempt, from the 35-yard line, went 19 yards. Her second went just 13, and she soon was accompanied to the trainer's table.
"I just couldn't do it today," Silberman said. "I know I can do a lot more."
Silberman had one more kickoff and five field goal attempts remaining, and later lobbied NFL officials to let her try to complete the workout. After a long conversation, it was decided she would not continue because of the injury.
"Talking to all the guys out here, I don't think the fact she was a girl had anything to do with it," Powell said. "We're all playing for a job here and everyone's nerves were going crazy."Fellow tryout participant Sonny Powell, like Silberman a soccer player looking to convert to football, stood with Silberman before they were slated to kick and said she mentioned she was favoring a leg.
Silberman, 28, was one of 37 kickers trying out at the Jets practice facility. There were easily as many reporters and television cameras on hand to chronicle her every move.
During two warmup periods, Silberman did not kick a single ball. She said she was holding off because of the injury.
When her turn came, it took her more than 20 seconds to set the ball on the tee for her first kick. Silberman then went through an unusual set up, taking eight or so steps backward, followed by four or five steps sideways, before running to the ball.
"The distance wasn't there but hopefully the scouts will notice my technique," Silberman said. "It's not always length."
After her day was finished, she was asked how far she has kicked a ball in practice.
"It's still hard to exactly say," Silberman said. "Just gotten better day by day and the distance is getting there."
Katie Hnida, who became the first woman to score points in a Division I-AA college game by kicking extra points for New Mexico, said she was glad to see the NFL set up a combine system that gives women the opportunity to compete.
"I give her a lot of credit for going out there with the guys," Hnida said. "I know it takes a lot of courage to do that. Still, at the same time, there is a part of me that's worried this would be seen as a publicity stunt."