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Monday, October 5, 2015

Kansas City Chiefs Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

October 4, 2015 - Cairo Santos kicks seven field goals in loss to Bengals
"The Chiefs, trailing by 18 were going to need a miraculous combination of scores in the final few ticks to draw even with the Bengals, and a field goal was going to part of that equation. '(Reid) understands the game better that I do, so I just trust whatever decision he makes,' Santos said. That decision produced Santos’ team-record seventh field goal but pulled the Chiefs only three points closer in a 36-21 loss. Santos became the seventh kicker in NFL history with at least seven field goals in a game. He’s the first to do it in a losing effort. The NFL record of eight was set by Rob Bironas of the Tennessee Titans in a 38-36 victory over the Houston Texans in 2007. The Chiefs’ record of six was held by Ryan Succop at New Orleans in 2012. Santos didn’t miss an attempt on Sunday, but he would have preferred one-point kicks to three-pointers. 'It’s always great to go out there and perform well and do your job whenever the offense needs you,' said Santos, who joined the Chiefs last season as a rookie from Tulane. 'I would have been happier if I would have gotten seven extra points and won the game instead of field goals.' Santos’ longest boots, from 51 yards in the second and fourth quarters, were into the wind. The sun was out throughout the game with a 5 mph wind at kickoff.  Between the third and fourth quarter, Santos came on to the field and got a sense of the breeze. 'It was kind of rough day kicking with the weather, but we got through it,' Santos said." - Kansas City Star
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August 30, 2015 - James Winchester wins snapping job, Andrew East waived
"The Chiefs have selected James Winchester to serve as their long snapper, waiving Andrew East and 10 others Sunday as they pare down to the 75-man roster limit by Tuesday afternoon. " - USA Today

May 5, 2015 - long snapper Jorgen Hus released

May 2, 2015 - Vanderbilt long snapper Andrew East signed following draft
"Dreams do come true! Thanks to the @KCChiefs  for the opportunity to play in the NFL! #Chiefs #NFL." - Andrew East

April 16, 2015 - long snapper Brandon Hartson released
"The Chiefs released long-snapper Brandon Hartson on Thursday, according to the NFL’s daily transaction report. The Chiefs signed Hartson to a reserve-futures contract in January. They now have only two long snappers on the roster in James Winchester and Jorgen Hus." - Kansas City Star

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March 12, 2015 - long snapper James Winchester signed
"The Chiefs signed another long snapper, James Winchester, on Thursday, according to a tweet from his agent, Ken Sarnoff. Winchester is the third long snapper the Chiefs have signed in recent months, along with Brandon Hartson and Jorgen Hus. The Chiefs’ long snapper last season, veteran Thomas Gafford, is an unrestricted free agent. Winchester, who is listed at 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, played football at Oklahoma. He also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles." - Kansas City Star
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December 31, 2014 - long snappers Jorgen Hus & Brandon Hartson signed to futures contracts
"Brandon Hartson, a 6-2, 238-pound product of the University of Houston. He was signed in December 2013 by the Chicago Bears when they had injury problems at long snapper, but he did not make it into a game. Hartson went to training camp with the Bears but was released before the start of the regular season. He joins Jorgen Hus who signed earlier as a reserve/futures free agent. Veteran Thomas Gafford is at the end of his contract and there’s no question the Chiefs were not happy with his work at the end of the just completed season." - Bob Gretz

December 16, 2014 - long snapper Charley Hughlett signed to practice squad
"They added a long snapper, Charley Hughlett, to their practice squad, according to the player's agent. The move comes a couple of days after the Chiefs missed a pair of field goals in a win against the Oakland Raiders. The snap from veteran Thomas Gafford looked off on both of those kicks, though in each case holder Dustin Colquitt did a nice job of getting the ball down in place and on time. Coach Andy Reid raised the issue at his news conference on Monday. He mentioned that the snap-hold-kick process was out of kilter. 'We were off just a tad and we have to get that thing back on track," he said." - ESPN

October 19, 2014 - Cairo Santos kicks game winner over Chargers
As Chiefs rookie kicker Cairo Santos stood over a potential, 48-yard game winning field goal, he knew exactly what happened here a year ago. Ryan Succop had missed a 41-yarder at the end of regulation in the 2013 regular-season finale against San Diego, a game the Chargers would win in overtime and a miss that went a long way toward Succop eventually losing his job to Santos. Santos, whose rookie season started shaky with misses in each of the Chiefs’ first two games, stared at the end zone, waited through a San Diego time out and drilled the ball into a slight breeze squarely between the goal posts before he was mobbed by his teammates. 'They told me that’s why I’m here,' Santos said of his teammates’ reactions. 'To hear that from them is awesome.' There was little doubt in Santos’ mind he’d make it. 'I was pretty confident,' said Santos, who had made a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter. 'I’ve had a couple of kicks in a row now and that helps the confidence. I was just calm and have been hitting the ball well'." - Kansas City Star

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September 29, 2014 - kicker Cairo Santos on Monday Night
"Santos has had his share of struggles this season, but his performance in a 41-14 victory over the Patriots on Monday night should quiet his critics for a while. Santos, a rookie, made two field goals, from 31 and 22 yards, and had four touchbacks on his first four kickoffs against the Patriots. 'I definitely felt like I contributed to the team with my kickoffs and the two field goals I had,' Santos said. 'It’s great to bounce back from the (first) two games of my career, but I think I learned a lot. It’s definitely a learning process but I’m very pleased with the way it went tonight.' Entering the game, Santos had made only two of four field-goal attempts and only five of his 14 kickoffs went for touchbacks, which tied for 27th in the league." - Kansas City Star

September 16, 2014 - kicker Cairo Santos assesses game film
"After the team returned from Denver, Santos said he watched film of his most recent miss. While the kick sailed wide right, Santos picked up on a flaw in his preparation for it. 'We felt like from the time that (Reid) called a field goal to the time that I kicked the ball, it happened way too fast,' Santos said. 'I just need to take my time, get to my spot, look at the uprights and trust the process. 'The NFL is a really fast game — something I’ve noticed from college — so sometimes you get caught in that moment and you rush everything.' The film also showed a fundamental mishap. Santos said he noticed after his opening-week miss that his head popped up too quickly after he struck the ball — which he believes is another sign of rushing his technique. He worked on the kink last week and said he made 21 of 22 field goals during team repetitions. But the problem re-emerged Sunday. It will be another point of emphasis in practice this week, he said, before the team travels to Miami. Santos will have plenty of recognizable faces in the stands in Florida. His family is traveling from Brazil to watch him play in the NFL for the first time." - Kansas City Star
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September 14, 2014 - coach still trusts kicker Cairo Santos, after another miss
"For the second consecutive week, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker missed a field goal. Cairo Santos, the rookie kicker out of Tulane, missed a 37-yard attempt on Sunday in Denver a week after missing a 48-yard attempt against the Tennessee Titans. Kickers rarely have any true job stability so Chiefs fans have obviously already been wondering if the team plans to stick with Santos, whom they chose over veteran Ryan Succop shortly before the season. Reid was asked if he had any regrets going with Santos knowing now how the season has started. 'No, I don't,' Reid said, via quotes from the team. 'He's got to kick better. Our guy's got to kick better right now but I don't ever look back on those things.' Reid was asked if it was time to bring in competition and he said, 'When he settles down he'll be he kicks it fine, he's just got to do that. We have trust in him'." - Arrowhead Pride

August 30, 2014 - kicker Ryan Succop released, Cairo Santos remains
"The most significant move is the release of Succop, who has served as the Chiefs’ starting placekicker for the last five seasons. Succop made 81 percent of his field goals over five years but got beat out by rookie Cairo Santos, despite a strong preseason performance. Succop’s large cap numbers — $2.7 million this year, $3.5 million next year and $3.2 million in 2016 — could have also played a role, as Santos will only make a fraction of that." - Kansas City Star

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August 23, 2014 - third preseason game
"Special teams looked good as usual with Dustin Colquitt punting a 55 yard beauty to pin the Vikings deep in their own territory.... Rookie kicker Cairo Santos handled all of the kicking duties and made a field goal attempt [21 yards] and an extra point attempt."- KC Kingdom

August 17, 2014 - second preseason game
"Cairo Santos kicked a 44-yard field goal and an extra point Sunday night for the Kansas City Chiefs in their exhibition loss to the Carolina Panthers. Santos, a free agent out of Tulane, split time with veteran Ryan Succop for the second straight game, also handling kickoffs. Succop started KC’s scoring with a 54-yard field goal in the first quarter and added a 24-yarder in the third." - St. Augustine Record

August 13, 2014 - kicker Ryan Succop returns
"Succop returned to practice and he received plenty of work. Succop did all the kicking and made several field goals from beyond 40 yards. Judging from how he did in practice, Succop should be ready to kick against the Panthers." - ESPN

August 9, 2014 - kicking competition
"The competition between returning kicker Ryan Succop and rookie Cairo Santos continued Saturday. But only Santos took part. Succop was held out of practice because of what head coach Andy Reid said was 'a little bit of inflammation in his groin.' He received treatment Saturday morning and did not show up on the field until the last 15 minutes of practice. That gave Santos the chance to do all the kicking and he took advantage of the opportunity, going nine of 10 on field goal attempts from that ranged from 33 to 54 yards. So where does the fight stand at kicker after one round game? 'It’s even right now,' said special teams coordinator Dave Toub. 'Succop might’ve shown a little bit stronger leg on the kickoffs. What we were trying to do with the kickoffs was to kick high hang times and just get those guys (Bengals) to return it. We wanted to test our kickoff coverage unit. He was hitting the ball so well, and he was hitting it sweet and the thing was really taking off'.” - Bob Gretz

August 7, 2014 - preseason opener
"Dustin Colquitt punted just once in the first three quarters, but it was a beauty — a 71-yard rocket that sailed out of bounds at the Cincinnati 7. The Chiefs’ battle for place-kicker was slightly in veteran Ryan Succop’s favor over rookie challenger Cairo Santos, based on kickoffs. Succop kicked three touchbacks out of the end zone and another kickoff 4 yards deep. Santos had one touchback, one kickoff to the goal line; another to the 4 and one 5 yards into the end zone." - Kansas City Star
Note: both kickers each made a short field goal in the game.
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August 1, 2014 - Dave Toub discusses possibility of going with rookie kicker
“Does he make his next kick?' special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. 'We’ll see that and how he responds and how he acts, what his body language is like. Those are things we’ve got to evaluate. He’s doing well. He’s competing. It’s a real battle. The preseason games are going to tell us a lot.' Toub has coached some outstanding special teams with the Chicago Bears and then last season with the Chiefs. He’s never started the season with a rookie kicker, though the Bears in 2005 picked up Robbie Gould partway through his rookie season. Gould has gone on to become one of the NFL’s best kickers, which could ease Toub’s fears about going with a rookie this time. 'If he wins the job,' Toub said, 'we’ll feel good'." - ESPN

July 28, 2014 - first camp kicks
The crowd at Missouri Western grew quiet and the tension was palpable as veteran Ryan Succop and rookie challenger Cairo Santos went head-to-head kicking field goals on Monday. It was American football’s version of taking penalty kicks. Succop went first and was good from 48 yards out. Santos matched him. They were both successful from 48, 50 and 52, finishing five for five. 'They’re challenging each other,' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. 'Both of them are good kickers. Today was a tie. I told them it was like the World Cup. We played for an hour, and then they tied. It’s so exciting to watch, right?” - Kansas City Star

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July 22, 2014 - kicker Cairo Santos waiting
Santos, the Lou Groza Award winner as a junior at Tulane, has been idle during the rookie camp largely because deep snapper Thomas Gafford and holder Dustin Colquitt have not arrived. He was limited to kicking field goals off a stick tee on Monday. 'They told me to rest until (starting kicker Ryan) Succop gets here, and then we’ll get the competition going,' said Santos. 'I’m excited for them to get here on Thursday'." - Kansas City Star

June 13, 2014 - Andy Reid discusses kicker Cairo Santos
"Q: How do you feel that Cairo Santos has progressed from Rookie Mini Camp to OTAs? Reid: 'He’s been kicking the ball well there and kicking the ball well here now. He’s probably just getting used to the holder and the snapper would probably be the biggest thing there now. He’s still using the same steps that he’s used. I’m sure some of the kickoff things are a little different in where we locate the ball and want him to locate the ball in the scheme that we use. So, he looks like he’s handling things well and whether it’s here or somewhere else, he looks like he has a leg to be a NFL kicker. We’ll see'.” - Chiefs

June 11, 2014 - last second kicks
"The field goal team worked on setting up quickly with time running off the clock and the kicker running onto the field from the sidelines. They got the field goal attempt off every play, with still at least one second on the play clock. Ryan Succop and rookie Cairo Santos made all four FGs." - Bob Gretz

June 4, 2014 - Dave Toub discusses kicker Cairo Santos
"Special teams coordinator Dave Toub on rookie kicker Cairo Santos, an undrafted free agent out of Tulane: 'I think Santos is an NFL kicker. Whether he’s kicking for our team or kicking for another team, he’s going to be in the NFL as a kicker. The ball just flies off his foot. He’s very talented, he’s very consistent in his technique. He’s a real good guy to have in camp right now'.” - Chiefs Spin

May 28, 2014 - OTA's kicking update
"Rookie kicker Cairo Santos has a strong leg and consistently placed the ball in the back end of the end zone during special teams kickoff drills. Things could get interesting in training camp in a kicker battle between Santos and Ryan Succop." - Chiefs Spin

May 22, 2014 - punter Kirby Van Der Kamp invited to minicamp
"The next destination on Van Der Kamp’s mission to network his skills is a rookie camp beginning on May 23 with the Kansas City Chiefs. The camp will last all weekend. Van Der Kamp said teams are allowed to set the dates of their own preseason camps, which works out well for him because he will have opportunities at three or four different tryouts across the country. He added that the process of finding the right team could take months or even years, so an immediate return on the investments of his time and energy in the form of a roster spot is not something Van Der Kamp is getting hung up on. 'It is just about keeping a level head and not trying to get too up or too down about everything that is going on,' Van Der Kamp said." - Iowa State Daily

May 11, 2014 - punter/kicker Bobby Wenzig invited to minicamp
"Former Alabama State University kicker/punter Bobby Wenzig, has been invited to the Kansas City Chiefs minicamp that will take place at the end of May.... 'I am very happy to have the opportunity to go to Kansas City and compete at the rookie mini-camp! I am going in there as a combo kicker. It gives me the chance to show that I can do in all aspects of kicking and punting'." - MEAC/SWAC

May 10, 2014 - kicker Cairo Santos signed
"Undrafted Tulane kicker Cairo Santos signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday evening. Santos, who won the Lou Groza Award in 2012 after hitting all 21 of his field goals, will compete with five-year incumbent Ryan Succop. Succop went 22-for-28 on field goals last season and has connected on 81 percent for his career. His success rate of 78.6 percent in 2013 ranked 28th out of 32 starting kickers. 'I’m just excited to sign with the Chiefs and be in a fair competition to win the job,' Santos said. 'They were very honest. They said whoever wins the job at the end of camp will win the job. That’s pretty much the opportunity that I was looking for'.” - New Orleans Advocate 

February 5, 2014 - long snapper Thomas Gafford re-signed
"It appears long snapper Thomas Gafford, one of the Chiefs’ longest-tenured veterans, will be back for another season in 2014. According to NFL Players’ Association records, the Chiefs have re-signed Gafford, 31, to a one-year deal worth $730,000, which represents a slight raise on the $715,000 salary he collected in 2013. It’s unclear whether his new deal includes any bonuses, however; last season, he collected a $10,000 workout bonus. Gafford joined the Chiefs in 2008 and hasn’t missed a game the last five seasons." - Kansas City Star

January 15, 2014 - punter Dustin Colquitt named to All-Fundamentals Team
"When it comes to technique, at least, Colquitt has no peer among punters. So says USA Football, which named Colquitt to its All-Fundamentals Team. The All-Fundamentals Team "recognizes the NFL players who employ proper techniques," according to the organization's website. USA Football honors 26 players -- 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams. For USA Football, the idea is to use NFL players as role models to encourage kids to use proper technique -- blocking, tackling, etc. -- on the field, ultimately enhancing performance and promoting safety." - Fox Sports

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