Year of the double kicker
Posted Dec. 03 at 02:44 AM
I can not recall, from the the last 35 years, any team carrying two healthy field goal kickers for more than a week or two.
Occasionally, teams have stashed kickers on injured reserve, as the Giants did with Matt Stover in 1990, when they drafted him but weren’t ready to play him ahead of Matt Bahr. And plenty of teams have carried a second kicker to handle kickoffs.
But I can’t recall any team for any length of time using a roster spot on essentially a backup kicker.
This year, three teams are carrying two field goal kickers.
Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu
New York Giants
John Carney and Lawrence Tynes
New York Jets
Jay Feely and Mike Nugent
Coutu clearly has an NFL future. He was very good in the preseason. (This is why the Seahawks didn’t risk trying to sneak him onto their practice squad). But they’ve opted to go with Mare.
Tynes has a stronger leg than Carney but has been a little erratic with his accuracy. Had they lost that NFC championship game in Green Bay in January (when Tynes missed two field goals, then hit the game-winner in overtime), Tynes would not be on their roster right now.
The Jets used a second-round pick on Nugent a few years back, and he’s an NFL-caliber kicker, but Feely has a strong leg and has been on a roll. Eric Mangini seems reluctant to mess with that karma by switching back to Nugent, but the Jets also don’t want to give up what could be a top-10 kicker for years. Like Tynes, Nugent apparently will spend the rest of the year on the bench.
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