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Kaeding looks as sharp as ever

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Lancer 1, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Lancer 1

    Lancer 1 Eternal Optimist

    Jul 10, 2006
    By SCOTT BAIR sbair@nctimes.com
    SAN DIEGO ---- Nate Kaeding drilled a 50-yard field goal through the uprights on Friday night against the Minnesota Vikings.
    Big whoop. The Chargers' kicker has been doing that all training camp, with customized goalposts a Smart Car couldn't drive through.
    His next opportunity came from 54, and he hit it so straight and true that it would have been good from farther.
    Whatever. In the Metrodome's sterile conditions, Kaeding believes 55 should be as automatic as an extra point.
    There was a moment in Friday's exhibition that made coaches cringe and Kaeding smile. Vikings return man Marcus Sherels found some daylight on a kickoff return, and Kaeding sprung into action and helped force Sherels out of bounds.
    It had no bearing on the 12-10 Chargers victory, but it was a milestone for a kicker who missed an entire year after shredding his knee covering the season's opening kickoff in 2011. Against the Vikings no less.
    It's not something you work on in practice, and it certainly isn't a situation Chargers coach Norv Turner wants his kicker in. But it was the final step in proving that Kaeding is back.
    "The guys were joking with me on the sideline, saying my eyes were like saucers out there," Kaeding said after Sunday's practice. "To be honest, I just reacted. I didn't have time to think about the fact that we were playing the Vikings or that I got hurt on a similar play.
    "But it was another first for me because it's something you can't script. I've cleared several hurdles during this rehab, and that was an important one."
    That, in addition to a near-flawless training camp kicking field goals, locked down a job he never really lost. The position battle between Kaeding and 2011 fill-in Nick Novak was a competition in name only. Novak has been kept as an insurance policy, in case Kaeding couldn't return to form or hurt himself again.
    That's not to say Novak hasn't performed. He hit the game winner Friday from 45 as time expired and has been solid throughout camp. The playing field, however, was never level.
    Friday night proved that the most accurate kicker in NFL history is as reliable as ever. Kaeding doesn't buy that. He thinks he's mentally and physically better than before.
    "It's important to see how someone responds to adversity. It's a test of character," Kaeding said. "I got hurt pretty bad and missed a year, but I battled back to the position I'm in now. Having gone through it, I do think I'm mentally tougher than I was before the injury. It's been a tough road, and you have a new appreciation for your health. I've been through the valley and now that I'm climbing back up the mountain again, I'm going to be as confident as I've ever been."
    Kaeding had never dealt with a serious injury in his athletic career, and had never missed significant time. He admits there were down periods when his mood would sour, especially in the early going.
    "I've never been through an injury ordeal like that in my entire life," Kaeding said. "It felt like I was grounded for six months. I'm an active guy, so it drove me nuts just sitting around like that. It's been a challenge, but I think I'm stronger."
    Physically, he certainly is. He hit the weights pretty hard during the offseason and put on some muscle mass without sacrificing flexibility.
    But when he was finally cleared to kick, he had to re-condition his leg. Kicking was like riding a bike. It just came back to him, and before long he was splitting uprights with regularity. He has put himself in every situation imaginable during an extensive rehab and passed every test. As Friday night proved, Kaeding is ready to go.
    "We've rehearsed every situation you can imagine," Kaeding said. "I'm healthy, I'm confident and I'm ready to go play football. No doubt about it."
    • Old Old x 1
  2. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    How did I know you'd be the one to post this article.......... wild guess? ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Feb 3, 2012
    Good for him. Hopefully he can perform like that for us in the postseason this year, and make clutch postseason kicks if called upon to do so.
  4. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    Yada yada yada blah blah blah. Mentally stronger yeah right..... still think Nate will choke when it matters as do I reckon 80% of Bolts fans. This guy needs to prove us wrong so bad. No more chances from me.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Pumpkin Bolt

    Pumpkin Bolt Zin me!

    Apr 19, 2011
    Katie will get mentally weaker after each game of the season he'll choke in the playoffs AGAIN!

    Sent from my iPhone
  6. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    53.3 %
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006

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