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Carney enjoying journey with Saints

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by wrbanwal, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    Another ex-Bolt in the SB


    Former Chargers kicker John Carney is back in the Super Bowl, this time as a kicking consultant with the NFC champion Saints.

    Shortly after the New Orleans Saints won the NFC championship and secured their place in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, former Chargers kicker John Carney got a congratulatory call from Stan Humphries, his good friend and teammate when San Diego played in the Super Bowl in the same venue 15 years ago.

    “Being here brings back a lot of memories,” Carney said. “We talked about our experience here and what we’d like to do different. I’m watching (the Saints) respond to this experience and hoping that we’ll have a much better outcome than we had.”

    One thing that will be different for Carney in his return to a South Florida Super Bowl is his role. After leaving San Diego following the 2000 season, he played six years in New Orleans. In 2007 and 2008, he bounced around with Jacksonville, Kansas City and the Giants.

    This summer, when Saints kicker Garrett Hartley was suspended for four games, Carney returned to New Orleans. He remained with the club even after Hartley returned and kicked in 11 games.

    In December, the Saints decided to go with Hartley fulltime, but Head Coach Sean Payton knew Carney’s experience and knowledge could be a huge asset to the club. Payton asked Carney to stay on his staff as a kicking consultant, and San Diego’s all-time leading scorer agreed.

    “We realized how valuable John has been just to a young player, let alone a young kicker,” Payton said. “John's kind of got that calming, steady influence about him and I think he's good for a lot of us, not just the kickers."

    The transition wasn’t one Carney was very excited about at first. He made the Pro Bowl with the Giants in 2008 after hitting 35-of-38 field goals, and he was 13-of-17 this season with New Orleans.

    “It was hard initially,” said Carney, who tutors both Hartley and rookie punter Thomas Morstead. “I did have opportunities to go and finish the season with another team. I felt at Week 14 I wanted to finish the journey with this team and I felt I still had more to offer this team, even in a consultant role. I was very honored that they wanted me to be back in that role.”

    During Tuesday’s Media Day, Carney was decked out in coach’s attire while the players wore jerseys, but Carney, who will be 46 when next season starts, isn’t ready to make the permanent switch yet.

    “I’ve really enjoyed it,” Carney said. “Really I’ve worked with Garrett and Thomas all season long, but since Week 14 I’ve been working with them very intently. I’ve enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s going to be a long-term thing. I still have a desire to play and I’m still training to play. I’m hoping to play next season.”

    Carney kicked for the Chargers from 1990-2000 and was named one of the Greatest All-Time Chargers during the team’s 50th anniversary celebration this season. He and his family maintain an offseason home in San Diego and Carney thinks back on his time with the Chargers very fondly.

    “I loved playing for that team and that city,” Carney said. “When Bobby Ross came in and turned things around, that was a great time. I loved the people. I had a phenomenal time there.”

    Carney remains particularly close to San Diego’s current specialists. He played seven seasons with long snapper David Binn and the two speak often. In two weeks, he and New Orleans native Mike Scifres will hold a charity event together in Louisiana. Carney is good friends with Nate Kaeding as well, and he’s confident Kaeding won’t let the Chargers’ playoff loss to the Jets keep him down.

    “Nate is a great kicker IN THE REGULAR SEASON,” Carney said. “He had an All-Pro season.”

    Fixed it for you John.


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