this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton keeping an eye on the kicking game | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com While the place-kicking during the Saints' 38-17 victory against the New England Patriots on Monday night appeared a little ...
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|12-03-2009, 07:50 AM||#1|
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Payton keeping a close eye on the kicking game.
New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton keeping an eye on the kicking game | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com
While the place-kicking during the Saints' 38-17 victory against the New England Patriots on Monday night appeared a little shaky, Coach Sean Payton said he isn't overly concerned with the performance of veteran kicker John Carney.
Saints kicker John Carney, right, who missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt and hit the left upright on a 30-yarder he made against the New England Patriots, is 13-of-17 on field-goal attempts this season and is 5-for-8 on kicks shorter than 40 yards.
In Monday night's game, Carney missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt wide right and he hit the left upright on a 30-yarder he made in the first half. A couple of his extra-point kicks were pushed to the right, although he was 5-for-5.
"I just didn't strike the ball well," Carney said. "There is always concern when you miss kicks. But you go back to work and prepare and straighten things out."
It's uncertain how much longer the Saints will go with Carney, who is 13-of-17 on field-goal attempts this season. The 21-year veteran also has missed two extra-point attempts and is 5-for-8 on kicks shorter than 40 yards.
The Saints have another option at kicker. Garrett Hartley, who was 13-for-13 last season, is on the roster. But he was suspended for the first four games of the season and hasn't been active since he returned to the team.
Meanwhile, Payton is keeping a watchful eye on the kicking situation.
"I think you pay attention to the performance of your players and certainly you do it with John," Payton said. "The difference is you probably can't bring two kickers and a punter up to the game-day roster.
"So we will continue to work with both of them and continue to clean up the operation with the first group and continue to give Garrett work and monitor his progress and put the best player out there each week that we think helps us to win."
Hartley said he has been performing well in practice. But he hasn't been told if he will be allowed to kick in a game.
"That's not my call," Hartley said. "Whatever the coaches feel that they need to do, it's going to happen. But I definitely need to prepare myself, like I have been week in and week out, just to be out on the field if I'm needed.
"I am just hoping for the best for him. I just want this team to keep winning, keep doing what we are doing. And honestly I want John to go on the field and make every kick possible. Every kicker goes through different times in their careers where things might not be going perfect for them. But we have to still be behind them. We are teammates and friends and this is what we do."
INJURY UPDATE: The Saints listed 18 players on their injury report Wednesday.
Four players would not have been able to practice had the Saints held a full practice: receiver Lance Moore (ankle/hamstring), cornerback Randall Gay (hamstring), linebacker Marvin Mitchell (hamstring) and cornerback Tracy Porter (knee).
Fourteen players were listed as limited: tackle Jermon Bushrod (thumb), guard Jahri Evans (toe), cornerback Jabari Greer (groin), defensive end Bobby McCray (back/knee), running back Reggie Bush (knee), linebacker Scott Fujita (knee), running back Mike Bell (knee/neck), running back Lynell Hamilton (shoulder), linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar (wrist), tight end Jeremy Shockey (elbow), cornerback Chris McAlister (knee), linebacker Jonathan Vilma (knee), running back Pierre Thomas (wrist) and center Jonathan Goodwin (ankle).
Perhaps the most serious injury to come out of Monday night's game was Gay, who re-aggravated his hamstring injury.
Gay, who suffered a strained hamstring Nov.¤15 against the Rams, played just the first defensive series Monday night before deciding he wasn't ready to play.
"It wasn't ready to play in that game," Gay said of his injured leg. "I let my emotions get the better of me and I should not have ignored that."
BUSH HOPEFUL: Bush, a pregame scratch from the active roster Monday, said he is making progress.
During pregame drills, Payton put Bush through a workout to gauge where the running back is physically.
It was obvious Payton didn't believe Bush was ready. He said he figured Bush, who hasn't played since suffering a knee bruise against the Rams, needed another week of rest.
"I think I could have played," Bush said. "It came down to just a decision between him and the trainers. They felt just like 'let's rest him for one more game and allow him to be 100 percent for next week.'
"Me, as a competitor, I feel like I can play at 50 percent, so it really is just a matter of what the coach thinks. And just being smart, because if I can't be me on the field, there is no reason to go out there and hurt myself and the team."
PRACTICE UPDATE: Because of the Monday night game, the Saints have adjusted their schedule and didn't have a full practice Wednesday, Payton said.
Instead, players watched film, ran and lifted weights. Payton said the team will have a condensed schedule this week.
"At this point in the season coming off our second Monday night game I'm always careful about where your team is at and going right back out just because the schedule says you are supposed to go back out," Payton said. "I just want to pay close attention to where we are at from a health standpoint."
PLAYOFF TICKETS: Although the Saints still need another victory or tie or a loss by the Atlanta Falcons before they can clinch a playoff berth, the team announced Wednesday via e-mail and automated phone calls that playoff tickets for season-ticket holders are now on sale.
Season-ticket holders wishing to buy playoff tickets must complete their purchases by the close of business Dec.¤17.
If the Saints do not host a playoff game, the money for the tickets will be credited toward next season's tickets.
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|12-04-2009, 06:57 PM||#2|
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Re: Payton keeping a close eye on the kicking game.
You'd think a guy who's been doing it as well as anyone for the last 20+ years would have it pretty much down.