The Arizona Cardinals are wasting no time. Reports are out this morning that kicker Jay Feely is out of a job. Feely, who has spent the previous four seasons in Arizona, has struggled at times with his kickoffs reaching the end zone. His replacement, rookie Chandler Catanzaro, has had no issue not only kicking into the end zone but out of it.
There are mixed feelings here on the release of Feely. I know some have flat out come out saying they didn’t like him at all, which I never understood. Feely was 30-36 last year in field goals and the kickoffs for the most part were ok. Yes, the Cards do need more consistency in getting the ball deep on kickoffs but for the most part Feely has been just fine here.
It was clear as camp progressed that Feely’s days were numbered. Head coach Bruce Arians indicated the two kickers would alternate games in the preseason taking care of kicking duties. Catanzaro kicked well in the opener against the Houston Texans. Feely did alright with kickoffs in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings but never got an opportunity to kick a field goal, instead the Cards opting to go for it on fourth down situations. That said it all to me right there. The Cards were going to do everything to allow Catanzaro to win the competition and looking for an out with Feely.
Last night in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Feely actually hit his kickoffs well, each making the end zone. He did miss one field goal while making one. Catanzaro made a field goal and his kickoff went out of the end zone. So now it is a time for change once again at kicker. Now we just need to hope Catanzaro can consistently convert field goal attempts. If he can’t, expect change. If successful though, Catanzaro could be around for a long time.