We’ve heard about a lot of competition battles going on at Arizona Cardinals’ camp this year, but they never included the kicker until Wednesday, when the team signed Dan Carpenter to a one-year deal.
But adding Carpenter, who, incidentally, replaced Jay Feely in Miami in 2008, does not faze Arizona’s incumbent kicker.
“I’ve had competition my whole career. There’s competition whether somebody is here or not. You’re always competing against every other kicker in camp and even guys that aren’t in camp,” said Feely when asked about the news Wednesday. “I’ve been there myself, so it doesn’t change anything for me. I’m comfortable with what Coach (Bruce) Arians told me and I’m just going to keep competing. I’m happy with where I’m at right now and the progression to get ready for St. Louis.”
Feely said he did have a recent conversation with the coach, but wouldn’t go into details.
“I’ll keep that between ourselves, but we had a talk and I’m comfortable with that. I’m excited to keep competing and getting better and being ready for this team for week one.”
Feely has been with the Cardinals since 2010 and had no problem listing his stats and his successes when asked about previously losing his job to the young kicker in Miami.
“I think there was a lot more to do with it than percentages and my performance on the field. I’m proud of my performance over the last four years,” said the veteran kicker, who ranks 16th in the NFL in all-time field goal percentage with a mark of 82.6 percent. “I’m happy with how I performed over the last few years of my career and I’m happy with my training camp so far. In the last week-and-a-half, I’m 24-for-25 in team and made a 57-yarder yesterday.”
Feely reiterated that he understands how this business works and he didn’t seem surprised that the team was possibly looking at another kicker.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that the job of management is always to get better and to try to find someone who is better than who you have on the roster, and your job as a player is to prove to them that you’re the best option.”
The 37-year-old has connected at an 82.6 percent clip in his 13-year career and has been reliable for Arizona, hitting 25-of-28 field goal attempts in 2012. But the questions started coming after Feely struggled in the preseason opener in Green Bay and continued after he missed a 30-yarder in last Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. After the game, Arians called the miss “unacceptable.”
“The miss was dumb. It wasn’t a technical thing; I should’ve taken a delay of game and waited and not rushed it. I know better than that, I’ve done that probably ten times in my career,” said Feely when asked if the miss was just one hiccup. “I’ve felt real comfortable with how I’ve progressed every day in training camp up to this point. Over the last week and a half, kicked the ball great and kicked off great in the game and I’m happy with where I’m at.”