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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Arizona Cardinals Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

August 31, 2015 - Drew Butler wins punting job, Dave Zastudil released
"Zastudil’s release means Drew Butler has won the punting job. 'I think he won the battle easily, on a daily basis,' coach Arians said. Butler had a terrible playoff game in Carolina last season, but had 34 punts downed inside the 20 during the regular season. He averaged 42.1 yards a kick and had a net average of 36.8 yards, both of which ranked 31st in the league. Arians liked what he saw from Butler at training camp, however. Butler averaged 46.3 yards a punt in his four punts, with a 38.5 net. Zastudil averaged 41.8 and 37.4 on his eight punts. '(Drew) had a heck of a year other than the playoff game,' Arians said. The release of Alexander and Zastudil will also save more than $2 million on the salary cap, after their roster replacements are factored in." - AZ Cardinals

March 11, 2015 - long snapper Mike Leach re-signed 
"The Arizona Cardinals announced Wednesday they have re-signed long snapper Mike Leach to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. Leach has spent the last six seasons with Arizona and has played in all 96 regular season games. This will be his 16th year in the league and he has played in 200 consecutive games the last 13 seasons, the second longest active streak in the NFL. He trails only Houston Texans punter Shane Lechler, who has played in 206 consecutive games." - Arizona Sports 

December 17, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week
"Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro has been honored as the Week 15 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his play in Arizona's 12-6 win over the S. Louis Rams on Thursday night. Catanzaro connected on all four field goal attempts (23, 44, 51 and 46 yards) in Thursday's win, accounting for all of the points in the Cardinals victory. His 51-yard field goal in the third quarter tied his career-long. The rookie free agent from Clemson has 103 total points this season, which ranks second in the NFL among rookies behind only Philadelphia's Cody Parkey (134). His 103 points scored this season set a franchise rookie record. This is Catanzaro's second career selection as Special Teams Player of the Week after he previously won the award following the Cardinals Week 6 win vs. Washington." - Revenge of the Birds

December 11, 2014 - Chandler Catanzaro kicks Cardinals to win over Rams
"Catanzaro was counted on often against the Rams, connecting on all four field goal attempts for the entirety of the Cardinals’ scoring in a 12-6 win. The first one was easy, from 23 yards out, and he then followed it up with makes from 44, 51 and 46 yards. The final one was particularly important, as it gave the Cardinals a two-possession lead with 10:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. 'I’m just glad I came through today,' Catanzaro said. 'I told myself, ‘Don’t fear failure.’ I’ve got the fundamentals, got the tools, so just keep swinging. That’s what I did. I just zoomed in on that target and banged them down the pipe. I’m really excited about this bounce-back right here'." - Cardinals

December 7, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro misses pair in win over Chiefs
"The first one was a 36-yard attempt that bounced off the right upright, leaving the score 14-6 Chiefs at the half. The second, a 34-yard attempt with 1:14 left in the game, hit the left upright, keeping the score 17-14, Arizona on top. Neither miss ended up costing Arizona the win, though the rookie's struggles led to Cardinals coach Bruce Arians being asked if he's concerned about his kicker. 'No, no,' the coach said. 'He drilled those uprights. He's been great all year; he hit them great, just hit them right into the post.' Including Sunday, Catanzaro is has made 22-of-26 field goal attempts as well as all 26 of his extra points. 'I'm definitely appreciative of that,' Catanzaro said of Arians' support. 'Yeah, I mean, I really appreciate that. I'm just going to try to watch film tomorrow and find ways to get better. That's what I'm focused on right now.' Catanzaro, who said he hates not being able to come through for his team when called upon, took responsibility for what happened against the Chiefs, saying he felt his preparation and warmups were fine and the kicks felt good. They just weren't executed properly. 'Those are inexcusable,' he said. 'I've just got to keep grinding, keep the faith and keep swinging'." - Arizona Sports 

November 9, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro ties, but doesn't break record 
"The Arizona Cardinals' kicker, an undrafted free agent pickup out of Clemson, had made the first 16 field goal attempts of his career entering Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. He made a 43-yard kick in the second quarter, pushing his streak to 17 and tying him with Kai Forbath for the NFL record for most consecutive made field goals to begin a career. Just one shy of setting a new record, Catanzaro was called upon in the fourth quarter for a 53-yard attempt with his team down by four and having just watched starting quarterback Carson Palmer leave the game with what could be a serious injury. The kick had plenty of leg, but it went wide right. 'I just missed it,' he said after the game. 'Left leg wasn't locked at contact, and of course that caused it to push a little to the right. It had the distance, but -- God is good. I've been on this great streak and I'm very thankful for that, and I'm just looking forward to the next opportunity to drill it and get on another streak'." - Arizona Sports 

October 26, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro sets record, eyes another
"Catanzaro has set the NFL rookie record by making his 16th straight field goal to start his career. Catanzaro kicked a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, breaking the record set by St. Louis' Greg Zuerlein in 2012. Catanzaro is now one behind the overall NFL record for consecutive field goals made to start a career, set by Washington's Kai Forbath in 2012, who was not a rookie when he did it." - WYFF4

October 21, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro ties record
"Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said he had confidence in kicker Chandler Catanzaro when he chose him over veteran Jay Feely back in August. But the rookie has surpassed his expectations. Catanzaro tied the NFL rookie record for the longest streak to start a season by making his 15th straight kick in Sunday's win against the Oakland Raiders. His 56 points for the season are the second-highest in the NFL. 'You never expect anybody to come out and kick 15 in a row,' Arians said Monday. 'This was a big one for me.' With 33 seconds left Sunday, Catanzaro put the game out of reach by hitting from 41 yards. The 24-13 win lifted the Cardinals to 5-1, their best start since 1976. Catanzaro's next field goal without a miss would break the rookie record set in 2012 by St. Louis's Greg Zuerlein." - News & Observer
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October 15, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week
"Chandler Catanzaro continued the impressive start to his NFL career in Sunday’s 30-20 win over the Redskins, making all three of his field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards to earn the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. The Cardinals’ rookie kicker has now converted all 14 of his tries to begin the year, just one away from tying the NFL rookie record of 15 set by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein in 2012.... The undrafted free agent out of Clemson has 50 points on the year, second in the NFL among rookies behind Eagles kicker Cody Parkey (57). Catanzaro has made the second-most field goals in the league, trailing only Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski (16)." - Cardinals

October 7, 2014 - punter Dave Zastudil placed on injured reserve
"Amongst the moves the Arizona Cardinals made on Tuesday was they placed punter Dave Zastudil on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday.  In his place the Cards elevated punter Drew Butler off of the practice squad. " - Raising Zona

October 6, 2014 - punter Dave Zastudil aggravates injury
"Zastudil played for the first time Sunday, booting 11 times for a 44.3 average. But it came at a price. He reinjured the groin muscle in his left (kicking) leg, and his status for the Washington game is in doubt. 'I’m just extremely frustrated,' Zastudil said. 'I told them how bad I wanted to play, the game comes, you have adrenaline, go full out and sometimes (the injury) is just not ready for that.' The Cardinals still have punter Drew Butler, who kicked in the Cards’ first three games, on the practice squad if needed." - Cardinals 

September 25, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro off to strong start
"The rookie has connected on all nine of his field goal attempts, which is a number that is tied for the NFL lead with Buffalo's Dan Carpenter. He is also 3-for-3 on extra points, and has consistently placed his kickoffs deep into the end zone. 'That's my job, and I'm just doing my job to the best of my ability and trying to help my team win games,' Catanzaro said. 'That's all I'm here for, and luckily we've won three in a row and hopefully will keep it rolling in Denver next week.' That's the idea. However, until then, Catanzaro will spend his first bye week as an NFL player back home in South Carolina, spending time with his family and taking a breath after all that's gone on for him over the last few months. 'It's definitely time to relax, but not relax, really,' he said. 'It's almost like a reloading week. Got to keep my legs feeling fresh. I'm going to kick back at home a little bit just to stay fresh and get ready to go to Denver and play well next week'." - Arizona Sports 

September 25, 2014 - punter Drew Butler added to practice squad
"The Arizona Cardinals have brought back punter Drew Butler to the team once again. After being released from the 53-man roster on Wednesday to make room for nose tackle Bruce Gaston, the team signed Butler to their 10-man practice squad." - Revenge of the Birds

September 23, 2014 - punter Drew Butler re-released
In order to make room, the Cards cut punter Drew Butler. Butler had the punting duties the first three weeks of the season in place of punter Dave Zastudil.  Zasty has been nursing a groin injury since before week one.  Butler and Zasty were active for week one but Zasty was only active to place hold kicks. Butler was cut during week two preparation but re-signed before the week two game against the New York Giants.  He had one punt for 49 yards this past Sunday in the 23-14 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. There has been no word on Zasty’s status officially but as of right now it appears the Cards are going to hope it is better enough to punt in Denver in two weeks on October 5th against the Broncos." - Raising Zona

September 19, 2014 - punter Drew Butler re-signed
"The Cardinals went ahead and re-signed Drew Butler, who the team has had punt through the first two weeks, while Dave Zastudil continues to suffer a groin injury. Butler was released earlier this week as it appeared Zastudil would be able to punt, but after sitting out of practice on Thursday, the team needed their safety net once again." - Revenge of the Birds

September 16, 2014 - punter Drew Butler released
"Butler was signed the day of the team's Monday night opener against the Chargers. In two games with the Cardinals, he punted eight times, averaging 47.8 yards per kick. He had a long of 61 yards but also had two punts blocked." - Arizona Sports

September 14, 2014 - Chandler Catanzaro hits four field goals over Giants
Chandler Catanzaro made four field goals (49, 37, 32 & 33 yards) in the Cardinals 25-14 win over the New York Giants. 

September 8, 2014 - two punters
"Bruce Arians had two punters active on Monday. Drew Butler was signed Monday morning, and was in charge of punting the ball, while Dave Zastudil was the teams holder on field goal attempts. Butler is likely gone sometime this week if Zastudil is able to return." - Sports-Kings

August 25, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely released, Chandler Catanzaro wins job
The Arizona Cardinals have released veteran kicker Jay Feely. Feely had been in a competition with rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro out of Clemson. Feely thanked the Cardinals on Twitter, 'It's been an honor to play for the @AZCardinals Michael Bidwill, thank you for your leadership and friendship. AZ will still be home!' " - AZ Central

August 24, 2014 - third preseason game
"Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro were both effective on kickoffs. Feely kicked one eight yards deep and the other nine yards deep. Catanzaro kicked one nine yards deep and one out of the end zone. Catanzaro made his only field goal attempt from 23 yards while Feely was 1 of 2, missing wide right from 48 yards and making a 24-yarder. It's hard to see anything Catanzaro has done wrong at this point in a job competition he is believed to be leading." - Fox Sports

August 21, 2014 - kicking competition
"This weekend, against the Cincinnati Bengals, they both will kick. According to Bruce Arians, Jay Feely will kick in the first half with the starters and Chandler Catanzaro will go the second half. Catanzaro had a perfect night against Houston kicking inside. He didn't miss a kick and his kickoffs all went well into or out of the end zone. Against Minnesota, Feely only had extra points and did do better with kickoffs, but the coverage team was bad and there were a couple of offsides penalties on the kickoff team, which is likely due, at least in part, to the longer approach Feely is taking to kick the ball off. All indications are that the competition between the two kickers is still close. ESPN's Josh Weinfuss noted Feely was 5/5 on field goals and Catanzaro was 2/5 in the kicking period on Wednesday." - Revenge of the Birds

August 16, 2014 - kicking competition
"Through the Cardinals' fist two preseason games, 13-year NFL kicker Jay Feely looks to be losing the competition to rookie challenger Chandler Catanzaro. Feely didn't get any opportunities to kick field goals on Saturday, but one of his three extra-long preseason extra-point attempts went in off an upright, and most of his kickoffs landed short of the end zone. Last week against the Texans, Catanzaro was perfect on all three of his field-goal and extra-point attempts, and his kickoffs went farther and were unreturnable. That's why the 23-year-old seems to have a - ahem - leg up on the 38-year-old Feely at the moment." - ABC15

August 12, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely adjusts kickoffs
"But Jay Feely is 38; Chandler Catanzaro is 23. You know the NFL's belief about young, fresh legs? Well, it is most noticeable when each player kicks off. Catanzaro was regularly booming his kickoffs deep into the end zone in Saturday's preseason opener against the Texans. Feely hasn't shown that kind of leg. The Cardinals ranked 27th last season in touchback percentage at 37.93 percent despite a rule change that moved kickoffs up five yards to the 35-yard line before the 2012 season. 'It wasn't as big a concern (at the start of the season),' coach Bruce Arians said. 'It got there later in the year.' Feely wasn't ready to acknowledge that criticism of his game last season, but he addressed it in the offseason. When Feely kicks off on Saturday in Minnesota, he will debut a new approach that mimics former Lions kicker Jason Hanson's approach. 'It's added some depth to the kicks,' Feely said. 'You have to do that as you get older; you have to adjust and change things to help yourself get better. Your body's not going to respond the same way as you get older, so you have to compensate.' Put simply, Feely will begin his run into the kickoff farther back. 'You take longer steps. You go back farther from the ball," he said. "It's about carrying through the ball with more momentum'.... '(Jay)'s always kicked off adequately, but when someone is there that is kicking off better and all the field goals are the same, you're going to take the guy who can kick off better,' Arians said. The odd thing here is that Catanzaro didn't even handle kickoff duties at Clemson. That duty fell to punter Bradley Pinion. 'Coach (Dabo Swinney) told me to focus on field goals, but kicking off was something I could always do,' said Catanzaro, who finished his college career second in the ACC and first at Clemson for career points. 'After the Orange Bowl, people were talking about how I couldn't kick off, and it kind of gave me a competitive edge. I took that, and it made me more hungry.' Arians has noticed." - Fox Sports

August 9, 2014 - Chandler Catanzaro handles kicking in preseason opener
"Catanzaro was given all the kicking duties on Saturday. He made the most of it. He hit three extra points from 33 yards (as is the case in the first two weeks of the preseason to test it out). He three field goals from 32, 28 and 25 yards. Every single one of his kickoffs went into the end zone and two went out the back. Houston started three of their drives inside their own 15-yard line. Arians said he 'really kicked the ball well, especially on his kickoffs. He was perfect and I liked his demeanor,' he said." - Revenge of the Birds

August 4, 2014 - punter discusses kicking competition 
So far in camp, the battle appears to be fairly even. Both outlasted Danny Hrapmann, the third kicker who came into camp but was released Friday. Chandler Catanzaro and Jay Feely have seemingly alternated who kicks which day, and while each has had his share of misses, both have, for the most part, been splitting the uprights with regularity. 'Everybody's got a little different style,' Cardinals punter and holder Dave Zastudil said. 'Jay's been in this league a long time and I've been with him a long time, so him and I got our rhythm kind of down. Chandler's trying to probably adjust to the speed of the game: It's a little different in college than the NFL. But he's coming along. Both guys are making good contact with the ball, and they're both really great to work with'." - Arizona Sports 

August 1, 2014 - kicker Danny Hrapmann released
"As for the kicking competition, it means that the job comes down to the veteran Jay Feely or the undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro." - Revenge of the Birds

June 19, 2014 - Chandler Catanzaro kicks in the desert
"Catanzaro will return home to host the Palmetto State Special Teams Camp with former South Carolina specialist Spencer Lanning on July 12 at Christ Church Episcopal School. Catanzaro will report for training camp two weeks later, aiming to make his first job out of college much more than a summer internship. 'It’s all football, which is kind of nice,' Catanzaro said. 'My job is kicking it through the uprights and kicking it out of the back of the end zone on kickoffs. I’m able to focus solely on that now. I’ve just gotten more comfortable and more confident as the weeks have gone on.' He even has learned to appreciate the dry heat. 'The ball flies off my foot out here,' he said with a laugh. 'It was a little hot for me at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. My dad’s a dermatologist, so he’d be proud that I’m putting on all my sunscreen every day. I haven’t been burned yet'.” - Greenville Online

June 5, 2014 - Chandler Catanzaro ends final OTA
sensing his team needed a break and the rookie needed a challenge, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians gathered his players around him about an hour into practice on Thursday. If Catanzaro made what appeared to be about a 40-yard attempt, practice was over. The rookie from Clemson came through and teammates celebrated. 'It wasn't even planned,' Arians said. 'We've been having outstanding participation, outstanding effort and it started out a great practice today. Chandler's struggled…and I just said, 'all right, we're going to find out if this kid has got anything.' There's no more pressure than peer pressure and he knocked it down the pipe. That told me a lot about him'." - AZ Central

June 3, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely ready to compete
The Red Birds signed Danny Hrapmann in January and undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro earlier this month to compete with Feely. Feely is ready for the challenge. Let the battle begin. "I still feel like I’m one of the best kickers in the NFL, and I’ve felt that way over the last five years,” stated Feely via 'I feel like over the last five years I’ve kicked better than I ever have in my whole career. Until nobody wants me, and until I’m not one of the best guys and don’t perform, that’s when I’ll be done. But I still think I’ve got a lot left in me'.... There is no doubt that Feely is facing very solid competition. He's faced this scenario before so he has a very realistic point of view as the battle continues. 'Whoever is best, that’s who is going to win the job,' Feely said. 'I can’t worry about what they’re doing or how they’re kicking. I just have to focus on myself and try to be the best I can be to help this team any way that I can'.” - Sports Media 101

May 21, 2014 - kicker competition
"Incumbent Jay Feely is joined by undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro out of Clemson and Danny Hrapmann, who has had a couple of cups of coffee with the Steelers. Hrapmann has a big leg even though he’s the smallest of the three. You can see that. Cantanzaro had a solid college career, but because Clemson had a punter (Bradley Pinion) who could kick off, he hasn’t done a lot of it. Neither have the résumé of Feely, who has had a very good 14-year career and nailed 30 of 36 field goals last season. Bruce Arians hasn’t hidden his desire to create competition at kicker since last training camp (Feely responded well then)." - Cardinals

May 10, 2014 - kicker Chandler Catanzaro signed
Following the draft, the cardinals signed undrafted free agent kicker Chandler Catanzaro (Clemson). See his profile here.

March 10, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely re-signed
"Kicker Jay Feely announced via twitter on Monday that he had re-signed with the team. Later in the day, he said it was a one-year deal.... Feely and his agent discussed contract issues with Cardinals a few weeks ago, and both sides agreed to make a decision before free agency started. Feely said there was a possibility he could have received more guaranteed money elsewhere, but stayed in Arizona because he's happy with the team and his family enjoys living here. Feely has kicked for the Cardinals the last four seasons and made 30 of 36 field goals in 2013. He is expected to face competition for his job. At least initially, that will come from Danny Hrapmann, who signed in January. Hrapmann was released by the Steelers in 2012 and 2013 and has never kicked in a regular-season game." - azcentral

January 29, 2014 - kicker Danny Hrapmann signed to futures contract
"Hrapmann, 24, spent 2013 training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He appeared in one preseason game, connecting on his only extra point attempt and forcing touchbacks on both of his kickoffs. A 5-foot-9 player out of Southern Mississippi, Hrapmann is known for having a strong leg and converted 49-of-65 field goal attempts in college while missing just one of his 117 extra point attempts. He was a first-team All America selection as a junior in 2010 and a Lou Groza Award finalist." - Arizona Sports

January 21, 2014 - punter Dave Zastudil re-signed
"Cardinals punter Dave Zastudil, due to be a free agent in March, has agreed to terms on a two-year contract. Zastudil, a 12-year veteran, is coming off two excellent seasons for the Cardinals. In 2013, he averaged 45.7 yards per kick and tied for the NFL lead with 35 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. 'It’s been a great second home for me, and I just really wanted to come back and play there,' Zastudil said. Zastudil, 35, was one of 16 Cardinals due to be unrestricted free agents this spring and will be the first to re-sign with the team." - AZCentral Sports

January 21, 2014 - kicker Jay Feely wants to stay
With Feely entering free agency this offseason, some may have a feeling that the 13-year NFL vet may not be asked to return. But don't count Feely among that group. 'We've talked … They want me back, I want to be back, so hopefully we can get that done,' Feely said as a guest of Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. 'I think any time you have a bad game the last game, it's the lasting thought. It's natural for that to linger. It lingers to me every day. There hasn't been a day this offseason I haven't thought about it and there won't be a day I don't think about it. It drives you. They'll look at the entire season, compare it to the rest of the NFL and make their decision. I don't want to go anywhere'."- ArizonaSports

January 15, 2014 - Cardinals work out kicker Håvard Rugland
"So comes news, via a Norwegian site that the Cardinals will be trying out Havard Rugland — better known to the NFL world as 'Kickalicious' after he posted his kicking exploits on youtube and later found his way on to the Detroit Lions roster for the 2013 preseason. He didn’t make the team, but now, the Cards apparently will give him a looksee. 'Jay Feely had a good season, and it’s not really good to know what Arizona thinks,' Rugland told (which I then used Google Translate to, you know, translate). 'I speculate not so much in it. They have not really said much to me what they want, I guess first and foremost, they pick me over to map and to find out what I’m good for'.” - Arizona Cardinals

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