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New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune December 28, 2009, 2:40PM Kicker Garrett Hartley's missed 37-yard field goal may have cost the Saints a victory on Sunday. But he didn't lose the confidence of Coach Sean Payton, who offered some strong words ...

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Old 12-28-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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By Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune
December 28, 2009, 2:40PM

Kicker Garrett Hartley's missed 37-yard field goal may have cost the Saints a victory on Sunday. But he didn't lose the confidence of Coach Sean Payton, who offered some strong words of support on Monday.

And that's saying something, because Payton has not been quick to offer votes of confidence to kickers in the past.

In four years with the Saints, Payton has shipped out kickers John Carney (twice), Olindo Mare, Martin Gramatica and Taylor Mehlhaff - not to mention a handful of punters who didn't pass muster.

"I've got all the confidence in the world in him," Payton said on the morning after Hartley hooked the potential game-winner wide left in the final seconds of regulation Sunday, before the Saints went on to lose to Tampa Bay, 20-17 in overtime.

"It came down to a late field goal, so that kick is more magnified, but I've seen him operate in big situations," Payton said of Hartley, who has made 21 of 23 field-goal attempts and 37 of 38 extra points in two partial seasons with the Saints. "The key is the player knowing that you have confidence in him. And that's something that he has established. That's not always the case. We've been here, and you guys have seen it. I might not openly say it, but I might hold my breath with a kick (in the past), and it's not the case with him. I have a lot of confidence in his leg.

"When you see what I see during the workweek and you see the talent that he is, he's going to do a good job for us and make a lot of those kicks. He already has made some of them. ... Sometimes you're in a situation where you might not have the player that you think is going to be your kicker for the next five, six, seven years, but I do think we have that player. And that's something that he's had to earn, now. It isn't just because we want him to be."

Hartley, 23, has not faced many "pressure" kicks in his young NFL career. He missed a 58-yarder in the final seconds of a tie game at Washington three weeks ago, then made an 18-yard game-winner to beat the Redskins in overtime.

But Payton said he believes Hartley is a "pretty tough-minded guy" and that he is not stranger to pressure kicks, having been in some "big spots" during his college career at Oklahoma.
Payton said he briefly expressed his displeasure to Hartley on the sideline after his miss Sunday, but he liked what he saw from the kicker's reaction.

"I liked the look in his eye after the miss," Payton said. "I got after him a little bit, but it was important (to keep him ready), because here we are going into overtime, and he might be back out there again. And I think he had the right look."

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley | New Orleans Saints Central - - NOLA.com

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Old 12-28-2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

Totally agree. We gotta believe in the kid and stick with him. It's too late in the season to consider changing kickers now.
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

Gotta put some confidence in Hartley, I mean, there is no plan B at this point.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

I agree there is no better option right now, but I'm not totally against him. You can't blame him for the missed 58 yarder against Washington, so this was really his first miss in my book. Sure it couldn't have come at a worse time, but hey, it happens.

The way Payton has been with specialists in the past couple years, I was figuring his job was in jeopardy. But to read how Payton is still standing behind this kid and the fact that he went so far as to say this guy will be our kicker for the next 5-7 years is astounding. That right there proves how good he is.

As for Hartley, he shouldn't have to be in that position anyway. We have the #1 offense in the NFL and only mustered up 17 points? I might be getting spoiled, but we should have steamrolled the Bucs like we did earlier and not relied on a field goal to win it.


Garret, if you're reading this.....keep your head up bro, we got your back!
I'll be putting my order in for a #5 Hartley jersey!

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

The best kicker is the one you never have to think about. XPs should be automatic and anything inside the 40 should damn near be automatic. We can give you a pass this time, but this is your one and only. Make us proud.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

Most of his kicks dead straight down the middle. No hook or fade. I think he's a keeper.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

A Lot of mistake were made yesterday not just the kicker
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
A Lot of mistake were made yesterday not just the kicker
OK...I've seen a lot of football this weekend (or heard, if I was on the road) and I may be mistaken...but it seems to me that I heard that Payton sent the FG team out there with 9 seconds left on the clock and one time out. They said he was kicking from the right hash-mark (was listening on radio) and it seems like I remember telling my wife that Payton blew it because he had time to set the ball up in the middle and then call TO and then kick it. Was this the case? If so, Payton needs to take some of the blame, IMO...along with the fact that he made the same mistake twice by getting rid of Carney. Oh well...alls well that ends well and maybe, just maybe, Hartley has gotten all of his misses out of his system.

Whether you think you can or think you can't...you're right!

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Old 12-29-2009, 05:15 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

Originally Posted by Boutte View Post
Most of his kicks dead straight down the middle. No hook or fade. I think he's a keeper.
THIS ^

And this may surprise some, but the top 5 kickers for the Saints have all missed XPs. Yep, even Morten who missed 6 of 418. I don't know if he missed any or many FG under 40 yards. His Saints career record is 302 from 389 atts overall. In my mind I thought he was automatic.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton expresses confidence in kicker Garrett Hartley

I was surprised when Payton cut Carney. He must have thought that Hartley had what it takes to be a very good kicker.
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