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At what point should we be looking for a kicker?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Electric Chair, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    Do you consider Nate Kaeding the long term solution at kicker, and even if you do, should we bring in some legitimate competition for his job for the upcoming season?

    Personally, I think the guy is a bust. I don't ever feel comfortable with him coming in during a close game (like we all did with Carney), and aside from the 4-4 during the Pats Game, his playoff record is atrocious. Even with that 4-4, he has missed a kick in 4 of the 5 playoff games he has played. I realize that he was injured this year, but even before his injury his kickoffs were crap for the most part. I would even be willing to use a late draft pick to bring in someone that would apply serious competition for the kid with the hopes that he beat him out for the job.

    For money that Nate makes, he needs to be automatic. A rookie would cost a lot less against the cap, and we might actually have someone that could actually force a touchback every once in a while.

    If Nate is good enough, it shouldn't matter that we bring someone in. He should be able to hold onto his job just like any other player on the team. I have seen enough of Kaeding to know that Kicker is a major weakness that needs to be addressed, regardless of whether or not we spent a third rounder on him.

    Line 'em up and let 'em compete. Thoughts?
     
  2. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to let a pro bowl kicker go unless we're absolutely sure that there is a better option waiting for us. Kickers are a fickle bunch, and if we let Nate go, we might get something in return that we never bargained for. Sometimes it can take kickers awhile to build up their clutch factor. Vinatieri wasn't always automatic in the playoffs either. I think that Nate gets at least one more postseason. However, I wish that he'd juice up that leg so that he could get a touchback more than once in a blue moon.
     
  3. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Now :icon_toast:
     
  4. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

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    "Pro Bowl Kicker" was a product of the amount of points that the team scored and not really him being great.

    Again, competition brings out the best in athletes. If he's good enough, should it really matter who we bring in to compete?

    I can't take the bug-eyed sad look after a miss that he seems to be so good at. If he costs us another playoff game, we are all going to wish we had at least made him win a job.

    Nothing wrong with competition....
     
  5. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    It's a difficult one. It is hard to watch him coming out in a clutch situation, you can't have faith in him. His kickoffs have always been dire so maybe it is time to think about it.........

    Thing is I reckon our O is going to put up a hell of a lot of points next year in TDs, the need for the high % FG kicker might not be so great.
     
  6. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    He has been the most accurate kicker in the league the last three years, even with his playoff misses included.

    Touchbacks are nice, but even the best kickers can't perform them on a regular basis. One thing you should notice is that after he was injured and Rayner started doing the kicks, our coverage units started performing more poorly, and we gave up some big returns, especially in the Raider game. This is because Nate actually is pretty good at directional kicking, and sometimes kicking away from the returner is a lot more important than kicking it into the end zone.

    Unless he starts tanking kicks on a regular basis, which he doesn't, I think we should and will stick with him.
     
  7. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    At what point in the draft should we take a kicker? I think that we have other areas that are weaker right now. I don't disagree with the competition thing, but you can't tell how good a kicker will be until they're kicking field goals in an in game situation, and I don't see us putting an extra kicker on the active roster just to size him up with Kaeding.
     
  8. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    I agree that he's no Carney but I think he'll turn out good.
    He has made a few 50 yarders in his career.

    Now there has been times when he looked terrible but I think after going 4-4 (including a 40+), I think he feels better about himself and is ready to go. Though I wouldn't dismiss bringing in someone to compete with him.
    Keep in mind that there aren't many Vinatieri's around but if there is someone with that caliber... do it!!!
     
  9. in_a_days

    in_a_days dgaf

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    I am satisfied with Kaeding for now. He's never been really impressive on kick offs, but I feel more comfortable with Nate than anybody since Carney. There are a lot of really bad kickers out there. And a lot of really really streaky kickers too. Guys who will look great for 6 or 10 weeks or a season, and then go mental and miss everything. No kicker will ever be perfect so it will always be easy to criticize, but I think we're better off at the kicking position than 80-90% of the other teams in the league.

    That being said I agree that competition makes people better. I don't want us to have to hold two kickers on the roster, but if drafting or signing another kicker is going to stick a cattle prod up Nate's *** I'm all for it.
     
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  10. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Since 2004, Nate has the highest field goal percentage in the league. I think that might have had something to do with him making the Pro Bowl.

    People want to crucify Nate over three field goals he missed, one when he was a rookie, one from 54 yards, and a 47-yarder he missed while playing with a severe injury. I have a hard time throwing the guy under the bus becuase of three kicks, all under difficult conditions.

    As far as kickoffs, while Nate doesn't have the biggest leg, he does very well kicking directionally. Crosby and Norv have repeatedly praised Nate for his directional kickoffs, citing them as a primary reason that our kick coverage has been so good.

    Nate is going to be our kicker for a long time. You guys better get used to it.
     
  11. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Two drafts ago, AJ spent a 6th rounder on a kicker (Kurt Smith, I think). Three quarters of the forums biitched about AJ "wasting" a draft pick.
     
  12. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Yep that sure was a waste.......
     
  13. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Yes. Line 'em up and let 'em compete. But it's gotta be FAs and not draft picks we're bringing in.
     
  14. Fouts

    Fouts I heart Deano!

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    Does anyone remember Wade "right" Richey??!?!?!?!?! :icon_shrug:

    Nate is ok in my book, wish he could beef up that leg for kickoffs... but at least he is mostly accurate...
     
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  15. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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  16. Bolt Action

    Bolt Action BoltTalker

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    I'm sure Tynes will be available after the SB.:icon_rofl:
     
  17. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Damn .... I'm suddenly hungry.
     
  18. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    The Titans thought Bironas was automatic.
    I dont have a problem with Keading.
     
  19. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    In This April's Draft! :lol:
     
  20. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    I see nothing wrong with him. Geeze, it's amazing that if a guy doesn't perform perfectly ALL the time, some of you are ready to use a draft pick to replace the guy.

    We'd be in a perpetual state of rebuilding. This guy fumbled, get rid of him. That guy got a penalty, get rid of him. The kicker had a short kick. Get rid of him. :icon_huh:
     
  21. maestro876

    maestro876 BoltTalker

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    Same with Vinateri. Sometimes guys have off-years. Vinateri definitely had an off-year this year, but you don't see the Colts scrambling to replace him. Yes, he has made some clutch kicks, but he missed plenty of them this year, including four in a row over a two game stretch (our game and the following KC game @ Indy!).

    Nate will be fine. It takes kickers time to get used to the pressure. He's extremely accurate, and skilled at directional kicks. Once he gets used to the pressure of the postseason, he will become more reliable in the playoffs. Until then, let's focus on scoring TDs instead of FGs, so Nate doesn't HAVE to make tough kicks!
     
  22. D-Funk

    D-Funk BoltTalker

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    I just want some beast-leg Mason Crosby 60 yard field goal-marginal accuracy-kick it off to the end zone every single goddamn time kicker. If you were getting paid Nate Money wouldnt you workout your right leg a little bit more. If it were me that thing would be huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. Nates good for a playoff team. WERE A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM

    :bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt::bolt
     
  23. Chargers-Superhero

    Chargers-Superhero Just win the Damn SB !!!

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    Nate could make the Pro Bowl 10 years in a row, and there would still be people doubting him because of that missed FG in the '04 playoff game to the Jets when he was a rookie.

    He's our BEST option at the present time, and most likely for the next 2 years. After that, then evaluate him. See if there are any other playoff misses, etc.
     
  24. Lancer 1

    Lancer 1 Eternal Optimist

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    Nate has attempted 105 regular season FGs in his career, and made 91 of them....

    In the postseason, he's attempted 10, and made 6 of them....

    My question is....what the heck are some of you whining about?

    Do you remember Wade Richey? Steve Christie?

    The Gnats are in the Superbowl only because the Packers let them give their choking kicker 3 different chances to hit the game-winning FG.....

    How many times do you think Nate would've missed against the Jets or the Patriots? This is a guy who rarely needs a 2nd chance, and some of you are making him out to be the next Lin Elliott or Doug Brien!
     
  25. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Competition is good, but don't waste any of our few draft picks this year on a kicker. Does Nate make me a little nervous at crunch time? Yeah, but not enough to tank on him.

    Any of our European readers got a suggestion for a kick-*** soccer player we could try out?
     
  26. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    It's a kicker from rugby that the NFL should be looking at. The best right now is an Argentinian, his name is Juan Martín Hernández.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Martín_Hernández

    Another thing NFL teams probably don't think about when it comes to bringing rugby players in as kickers (or punters for that matter) is their ability with the ball in hand. The possibility of success with a fake would me much higher than with 99% of those zero athletiscism kickers in the league right now.

    Others include Ronan O'Gara (Irishman born in San Diego) and Daniel Carter. These guys are well paid in rugby terms.
     
  27. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Couldn't disagree more. We've brought in competition for Kaeding before. In 2006 we drafted Kurt Smith to compete with Kaeding. Nate won that battle easily.

    It's true the Nate's stats in the post season aren't great, but those stats don't tell the whole story. His post attempts have been long distance, in poor weather, rushed, and while injured.

    Let's look at his reg season stats. I'm comparing them to Adam Vinatieri who many consider the best in the game.

    Nate's Stats:
    2007 FG% (24-27) 88.9% [Vinatieri FG% (23-29) 79.3%]
    Career FG% (91-105) 86.7% [Vinatieri FG% (311-378) 82.7%]

    2007 XP% (46-46-) 100.0% [Vinatieri XP% (49-51) 96.1%]
    Career XP% (207-208) 99.5% [Vinatieri XP% (454-463) 98.1%]

    I really have no problem with anyone on the team competing for their position, but using a draft pick on a kicker would be a complete waste. We've already got one of the best kickers in the game.

    What would bother me more would be if we just dumped Kaeding for another kicker like we did with Carney. I think we've all learned that Wade Ritchie was no John Carney and that was a bad move. Dumping Kaeding for another unknown kicker would be no less fo a bad move. Fortunately I don't believe AJ Smith will do that.
     
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  28. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if Nate will be fine or not. I'm definitely not at the point where I feel comfortable when Nate comes in for a pressure kick.

    That said, Maestro's points are valid. Nate is very accurate, when healthy his directional kicking has made our kick coverage above-average. And most importantly, there are a lot of crappy kickers out there. Many teams would LOVE to have Nate Kaeding, including the New York Football Giants (like Lancer said).

    So I don't see the need to bring in competition for Nate's job. It's not like some new kid is going to take the job away based on performance in TC and exhibition games anyway. For me, Nate gets another year, he can prove that the 4 for 4 against New England has put his postseason troubles behind him.
     
  29. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Exactly. Considering that we are short of picks, I could care less if we bring in a dozen FA's. So far, Kaeding is more than adequate, one of the better kickers in the league. Off season strength and conditioning is some all players should do routinely. I expect Kaeding will improve himself until he decays with age-like most of us.
     
  30. Trumpet_Man

    Trumpet_Man Well-Known Member

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    Nate makes me hold my breath but not to the point I think we need to look elsewhere at least not YET.

    Stay the course. Something tells me Nate will redeem himself in the clutch and wants to prove it. :tup:

    That "wanting" or chee (sp) is good enough for me right now. :yes:
     

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