Arizona Cardinals K Chandler Catanzaro Making the Grade
By Scott Allen
Sep 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) kicks a 35 yard field goal during the second half against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals normally would have been considered going against the grain in taking a rookie kicker for a team with playoff aspirations. However that happened with several teams this season. I was still initially against it. Jay Feely really had done nothing to lose the job. However now it is clear why the Cards needed Chandler Catanzaro over Feely.
Catanzaro through three games is 9-9 on field goals and 3-3 on extra points. He has been hitting the end zone with regularity on kickoffs. That was the big difference there. Feely couldn’t hit the end zone on kickoffs with any consistency. Feely had gone 30-36 last season in field goals. Early on in camp Catanzaro didn’t look great in practice but that was just practice. Even Cards head coach Bruce Arians said he thought Catanzaro didn’t look that great in pregame warmups against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Again, its what happens in the games that count.
Catanzaro has hit a couple of long ones. He hit a 51-yard field goal against the Niners. He hit a 49-yarder against the New York Giants. They have been no doubters too. At some point he will miss. It’s how he reacts after a miss, especially if it is in a crucial situation, is what I am waiting for but up until this point there can be no complaints.
The Cards would have been fine with Feely and they are probably still 3-0 but with the way Catanzaro is progressing, you have to feel confident sending him out there every time.