New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton not concerned about field goal woes Thursday night
Although kicker Garrett Hartley went 0-for-2 Thursday night against the Vikings, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said he is comfortable with Hartley's accomplishments and thus not overly worried about the matter.
Enlarge Chris Granger, The Times-Picayune
Saints running back Pierre Thomas goes airborne for more yardage against the Minnesota Vikings in the Louisiana Superdome Thursday September 9, 2010.
Action photos from New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings Setpt. 9, 2010 gallery (97 photos)
Hartley jerked two kicks wide left: a 46 yard attempt in the second quarter and then a 32-yarder in the fourth quarter when the Saints were trying to pull away in a game they eventually won 14-9.
Payton said the snap and hold were good on both kicks. Punter Thomas Morstead is the holder rather than backup quarterback Chase Daniel in part because that is an advantageous arrangement at practice, Payton said, since that allows Hartley to practice without having to wait for the offense to finish its drills.
But the fact Hartley nailed the biggest kick in Superdome history - a 40-yarder that split the uprights in overtime of the 2009 NFC Championship to send the Saints to Super Bowl XLIV - and then became the first kicker in Super Bowl history to hit 3 field goals of more than 40 yards means the team is set at that position.
"Like I told him this morning, hey, this guy has kicked in some big spots for us, needless to say," Payton said. "It's something we need to get back to work on and he'll handle it and it's just that."
Kickers can be a notoriously delicate lot and Payton said the psychological element is key with them, as it is for other players who often occupy isolated roles on the field. But the important thing is maintaining confidence and Hartley has that in New Orleans.
"You know you have the guy," as Payton put it. "He's been very consistent throughout his career and also very long."
New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton not concerned about field goal woes Thursday night | NOLA.com
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