the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Nate Kaeding Era in San Diego Ends

When San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding first suffered a groin injury in late September, rumors of injured reserve surfaced. But then the diagnosis was not as bad as first feared, so the team kept him on the 53-man roster. But that changed yesterday as the Chargers placed him on IR. Head coach Norv Turner explained:
"We had to make a decision. 'We were going a man short and we had the chance to add a receiver. Nate is going to continue his rehab. He's been a great player for us. I think the world of Nate. It is a difficult decision but it's just something we had to do at this point."
Once Kaeding's healthy and passes a physical, he'll be released and become a free agent available to play for another team this year. Chargers general manager A.J. Smith stated:
"We wish him great success as he continues on with his career. He has been a great player and a great teammate in his time with us. ... It was a very difficult decision, and we gave it great thought over a long period of time. We just felt at this point in the season, Nick was the best option for us. Nick is certainly no stranger to the organization. He has fit in very well here, and we are very pleased with his ability and production."
Nick Novak, who has stepped in to kick following Kaeding's injuries both last year and this year, commented:
"I just want to acknowledge how well Nate did. He worked his tail off to get back and had a great training camp. It was unfortunate his groin got a little beat up this year. For me, I've been here four weeks now. I didn't know how long I was going to be here, but I approached every week like I was the guy. I feel bad for Nate."
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia said of the situation:
"Nick has obviously been a proven kicker. He showed us that last year, and he has come in and done a tremendous job this year.  He’s been great with not only his field goals but also kicking off. We have a lot of confidence that his work ethic in practice will translate to game play.”

It was real difficult. We didn’t want to lose Nate. We thought he was coming back off a serious injury a year ago and had a tremendous preseason. He made all his field goals this season to start the year.  Any time you have someone playing at a high level and get himself into an injury situation it’s tough."
For his part, Nate Kaeding is well aware of the realities of the NFL:
"Certainly, I’m a bit surprised, but in this business, you should never be surprised. It’s a little tough today because I certainly had envisioned and prepared for and worked toward a different ending and closure for my time in San Diego. … But, yeah, I’ve got a lot of football left in me....

I certainly had a lot of success throughout my career. Outside a couple lousy performances in the playoffs, I hold my head high. ... I always said, when my time is done out here that if I could say I prepared the right way, handled things the right way, worked hard, had the respect of my teammates and coaches … I always pride myself in doing things the right way. Certainly I’m disappointed I can’t be a part of what’s in store for the team. It is a business. Anybody that says they don’t take it personal they’re lying. It’s your life. You pour everything into it. I know I went in and did things the right way. … Hopefully they respect me for that."
What does the immediate future hold in store for Kaeding?
"I had hoped to get back on the field this week or next and was on pace to do it. I was surprised that was their decision, but I don't take part in any of those conversations. It's certainly disappointing. It's not the ending I had envisioned for myself here. But I'm going to take this week to get healthy and throw my name in the hat for employment elsewhere."
Nate Kaeding Career Stats

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