the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

11th Hour Kicker Decisions, 2013

Here is the Reader's Digest version of recent kicker goings-on:

As previously mentioned, the Dolphins went with rookie Caleb Sturgis and released veteran Dan Carpenter while the Bills went with rookie Dustin Hopkins and released veteran Rian Lindell. In a preseason game, Jay Feely missed a field goal, so the Cardinals subsequently drug in Dan Carpenter for a few days of competition. For spring and most of the summer, the Packers pressed Mason Crosby with Giorgio Tavecchio. In late August they released Tavecchio, gave Zach Ramirez a try for few days, released him, and in the end kept Crosby and slashed his salary. The Jets began the spring with Derek Dimke competing against veteran Nick Folk. They subsequently replaced Dimke with Brett Maher and then replaced him with Billy Cundiff at the beginning of preseason. Late in August they released Cundiff and drug in Dan Carpenter for a few days of competition. In the end the stuck with Folk. In the end, the Buccaneers now have Rian Lindell. He won the job over Derek Dimke who missed a few kicks in the final preseason game. Lawrence Tynes didn't get a shot after suffering a toe injuring which evolved into the ongoing staph infection story. All this followed a season ending injury to Connor Barth. Clocking in at 11:59 were the Browns. Brandon Bogotay and Shayne Graham had been competing all spring and summer to replace Phil Dawson. But the team released both in the final round of cuts, and stirred up their fans by having no kicker for a few days. They lined up Billy Cundiff and Dan Carpenter for a tryout. The latter got detoured en-route and ended up signing with the Bills after Dustin Hopkins suffered a groin injury on Labor Day. Back in Cleveland, they scrambled to add Giorgio Tavecchio to the tryout, but ended up signing Cundiff.

Here is what several of the kickers had to say:

Rian Lindell, after the final preseason game:
“I’ve done the best I can. We’ll see what happens after that. I think I’ve kicked fairly well. I’m happy with the way I’m kicking right now so that’s really what I can control so hopefully that’s good enough.''
The much-traveled Billy Cundiff:
"It's good to be back. I had a good indication I would be playing in the league this year. When I got released from the Jets, I felt like I had a really good training camp. I felt like I put really good film out for teams to look at. I felt like it was a matter of time. I didn't know it was going to be this quick....
I'm excited. Phil [Dawson] and I go way back. This is a similar situation to when I got into Baltimore [in 2010]. Matt Stover had been there forever. I think it's a good thing to come in after a guy has set the bar really high because you have to bring your game up....
I'm either really persistent, or just dumb. I'll take the first. I feel like I have the talent to play in this league at a high level and I proved that in 2010, and in other years I've done extremely well.''
The recently well-traveled Dan Carpenter:
“I’ve been very fortunate to play in one place for five years. It all went by extremely fast. It’s exciting. My wife and I love to get out and meet new people, see new places. Obviously, we’d enjoy a little more than three days in one place. But we’re excited to play up here. We’ve heard it’s a great organization and we’re excited to be part of it.”

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