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Kaeding moves past missed field goals in playoffs

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-chargers-kaeding" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/kaeding.png"><img class=" " title="Nate Kaeding" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/kaeding.png" alt="" width="244" height="230" /></a></div>

    SAN DIEGO (AP)-Nate Kaeding knows he has no choice but to move forward.

    It's been a somewhat painful six months for Kaeding, who missed three field goal attempts in the San Diego Chargers' embarrassing 17-14 playoff loss to the New York Jets.

    They were hardly the only pratfalls that day for the one-and-done Chargers. Still, they were shocking because Kaeding, who made The Associated Press 2009 All-Pro team, is the NFL's most accurate kicker of all time in the regular season.

    Kaeding continues to take responsibility for the misses. He also plans to use training camp to try to learn from them.

    "It made for an awful long offseason," Kaeding said. "You get anxious to get back in here. The hardest thing is to kind of be patient right now, too, just focus on what you've got to do today, work on your game.

    "As much as I want that first regular-season game to be tomorrow, it's not for another month and a half. Shame on me if I don't take the opportunity to get better this month and a half."

    Entering his seventh season, Kaeding has become the most accurate NFL kicker ever by making 87.2 percent of his regular-season field goal attempts-150 of 172.

    He also has a streak of 63 straight field goals from 40 yards or less- again, in the regular season.

    Having become so automatic, that's what made his misses against the Jets so stunning.

    Kaeding was wide left on a 36-yard try in the first quarter, sending murmurs through the crowd. With the Chargers leading 7-0, he was short from 57 yards as the first-half clock expired.

    The third miss, wide right from 40 yards, came late in the fourth quarter with the Chargers trailing by 10 points. Jets coach Rex Ryan pumped his fist and smiled.

    What made that miss stand out is that even though their face-plant was almost complete, the Chargers did score a touchdown with just more than two minutes left.

    Unlike some of his teammates, Kaeding didn't hide from the media that day.

    He won't shy away in August, either.

    "I really feel like as bad as that game went, I picked up some lessons that next time I'm in a situation like that, it's going to help me be successful," Kaeding said. "Obviously that's just words right now and it doesn't mean anything until you put the ball between the uprights, but I feel I took some valuable lessons and we'll see how I apply them down the road."

    Kaeding knows kickers are going to miss field goals.

    "The biggest thing for me was not being able to come back and make that last field goal," he said. "I just felt like it was a thing where I didn't respond to the first miss and I wasn't able to come back and execute at the end, for a variety of reasons.

    "It's easy to say you can put the miss behind you and move on but I was unable to do that on that given day. That's a lesson you learn from and the next time I miss in a game, just say, ‘Hey, no point sitting here thinking about it, let's go move on and make the next one.' "

    Kaeding said he "just flat out missed the first one, which is going to happen every now and then. But you've got to come back and make your next opportunity. That was the disappointing thing for me, was not being able to do that."

    The misses were extra haunting for Kaeding because as a rookie, he was wide right from 40 yards on a wet field in overtime in a home playoff game against New York following the 2004 season. The Jets moved down the field and won it 20-17 on Doug Brien's 28-yard field goal.

    Quarterback Philip Rivers, whose locker is next to Kaeding's, is confident the kicker can bounce back.

    "He's dealing with it in the right way, you know-‘I can't change it by telling everybody I'm working on it, I'll just go out and keep going,' " said Rivers. "And much can be said about every one of us. He hasn't played his best in the playoffs, I haven't played my best, we all haven't played our best, and that's why we've lost."

    In eight career playoff games, Kaeding has made just 8 of 15 field goal attempts, or 53.3 percent.

    Kaeding was voted to the Pro Bowl last season but injured his groin during the first practice.

    "That was a bad ending to a bad couple of weeks," he said. "It probably wasn't the No. 1 place in the world I wanted to be at that given time after the playoff game, but I kind of arranged it in my mind, like ‘Let's go down here and get back on the horse and start kicking again.'

    "I went down there, jacked my leg up and then had to go through a few months of rehab. But this isn't a business where you can sit there and feel sorry for yourself very long. So I just went back at it, got myself right and now it's time to get ready for the season."

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