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Chargers Notebook: Kaeding out to master kicking at the Q

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    <strong>August 7, 2005</strong>
    Source: <a href="http://nctimes.com/articles/2005/08/07/sports/professional/chargers/22_46_028_6_05.txt">North County Times</a>

    SAN DIEGO ---- Every NFL kicker knows you're only as good as your last kick. After the Chargers' Nate Kaeding missed an attempt in practice on Saturday, a fan yelled, "Hey Kaeding, that one was just like the one in the playoffs."

    Kaeding returned to Qualcomm Stadium with the rest of the squad for Saturday's practice. It was the first time he had reached the field since his 40-yarder was wide right in January's overtime playoff loss to the Jets.

    "It works for me to hit a bunch of balls (here) and try to put everything behind me," Kaeding said.

    The second-year pro from Iowa had an exceptional rookie year. He connected on 20-of-25 field-goal attempts, but it was that one playoff miscue that is burned into Chargers fans collective memory.

    Kaeding remembers, too.

    "It's great to get out here, with a little bit of pressure, and try to get that last kick of last year out of my mind as much as possible," Kaeding said. "You think of it, and we were over there doing field goals at the same upright. I nailed one in the exact spot I missed it last year."

    This year, Kaeding looks to become better acquainted with the nuances of kicking at the Q. He's hopeful long snapper David Binn and holder Mike Scifres will join him at the stadium for extra work. Kaeding said he'll be better in judging the often baffling winds at the Q, which usually arrive from the west, hit the east stands, then curl back around.

    "This is where you make your bread," Kaeding said.

    Kaeding got additional practice in at Iowa's stadium as a collegiate kicker, but didn't do so last year in San Diego.

    To date, Kaeding is pleased with his camp work, admitting he's more at ease than last year at this time.

    "I feel a lot better, a lot more confident," he said.

    And coach Marty Schottenheimer is sure Kaeding will rebound from that heartbreaking mistake.

    "I've been involved in a lot of kicks like that, and if you make them you are a great player," Schottenheimer said. "And if you don't, everybody talks about it until you finally make one.

    "But I said it shortly after the (miss) occurred that if you can pick anybody to deal with that situation, the one guy I said with a certainty who can handle it, it's Nate Kaeding."


    Chargers officials estimated that 10,000 spectators attended Saturday's lone workout at Qualcomm this summer.

    "The field was terrific, the fans were great and I think the players enjoyed it," Schottenheimer said.

    The Chargers' organization is enjoying a renaissance in the wake of its 12-4 season. The Chargers' bandwagon has some room, but it's getting crowded.

    "I've been a big believer that as an organization and as a team you got to earn their support," Schottenheimer said. "I don't think there's any birthright that the fans have to support you. My feeling is we got to earn it. We've begun the process and we will continue to work at that."

    Quick hits

    Those not working were WR Malcom Floyd (calf); LBs Ben Leber (foot), Marques Harris (back) and Randall Godfrey (knee); DL Luis Castillo (foot); OL Courtney VanBuren (knee); and TE Ryan Krause (foot). ... LB Shawne Merriman limped to the sideline holding his left hamstring in the practice's latter stages, but he said it was merely a cramp. ... The team is off today, and will continue its work on Monday. The Chargers will practice at 8:30 a.m. and 3:55 p.m. at Chargers Park.

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