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A Look at the Specialists

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; A Look at the Specialists NewOrleansSaints.com Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 12:00 PM SPECIALISTS K Olindo Mare : 11th Year in the NFL; 1st Season with the Saints K Brett Bergstrom : Rookie P Chris Hanson : 7th Year in ...

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Old 07-22-2007, 06:51 PM   #1
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A Look at the Specialists

A Look at the Specialists
Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 12:00 PM


K Olindo Mare: 11th Year in the NFL; 1st Season with the Saints
K Brett Bergstrom: Rookie
P Chris Hanson: 7th Year in the NFL; 1st Season with the Saints
P Steve Weatherford: 2nd Year in the NFL; 2nd Year with the Saints
LS Kevin Houser: 8th Year in the NFL; 8th Year with the Saints

Olindo Mare was acquired in an April trade with Miami in exchange for a 2006 sixth-round draft choice. Mare arrives in New Orleans as one of the NFL’s most accomplished kickers over the last decade and also as a special teams weapon on kickoffs. He departed Miami as the Dolphins’ all-time leader in field goals (245), scoring (1,048) and field goal accuracy (.809, 245 of 303). Since 1999, 126 of his kickoffs have gone for a touchback, including tying his career-high with an NFL-leading 24 last season. In 2006, Mare led the Dolphins with 100 points, drilling 26 of 36 field goals and making all 22 PATs. He closed the season by making his last nine field goal attempts, and reached triple digits in scoring for the sixth time. His career accuracy percentage of 80.9 places him 11th in NFL history among kickers with at least 100 career field goals made. Mare has 12 game-winning kicks in his career, and he has booted 15 field goals of 50 yards or more, including one in the playoffs.

Brett Bergstom is a former wide receiver earned All-Big Sky Conference honors in first season as a kicker at Eastern Washington during his senior season in 2006. He played in 23 games during two seasons with Eagles after transferring from Shasta (Calif.) Junior College and ended up tying a school record with 15 field goals in 2006, converting on 15 of 18 (83.3%), including a long of 56 vs. Northern Colorado. Converted on 21 of 22 PATs and drilled 4-for-4 from 40+ yards. On kickoffs 48-of-his-121 career kickoffs went for touchbacks.

After serving as Jacksonville’s punter for the last six seasons, Chris Hanson arrives in New Orleans in May and the veteran will compete to handle the Saints’ punting duties in 2007. In his NFL career, Hanson has played in 86 games with 427 punts for 18,247 yards. He has placed 137 inside the 20, with a long of 74. Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2002, Hanson departed the Jaguars ranked second in club history in gross punting average (42.9). In 2005, the left-footed punter ranked second in the league with a team-record 33 punts dropped inside the 20, and in 2001 Hanson led the AFC in both gross and net punting average. While in Jacksonville he also held on placekicks.

Steve Weatherford was signed as an undrafted rookie in 2006, Weatherford earned the starting punter spot in training camp and had a solid season, ranking 15th in the NFL with an average of 43.8 yards per punt. His net average of 37.5 ranked 13th in the league. He had 77 punts for 3,369 yards, and dropped 19 inside the 20. Among rookies, Weatherford led the NFC and finished second in the league.

Long snapper Kevin Houser is known for his accuracy and rapid delivery. Houser has been one of the NFL’s most reliable long-snappers since joining the Saints in 2000. He has handled all snapping duties on punts and placements since his arrival as a seventh-round pick out of Ohio State in 2000, and also is one of the top contributors on the punt coverage units.

"We may have lost the game, but you'll be hurting tomorrow." Doug Atkins
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