Lost in all the disappointment last night was the work of one man who has been just about as consistent as you could want from the kickers position.He needs one more to pass the all time Jets record for consecutive field goals made, but last night Jets kicker Jay Feely tied Pat Leahy's record of 22 consecutive field goals made.
His signing came right out of left field. Going into the 2008 season, we were all set with Mike Nugent, the disappointment from Ohio State. He hadn't done anything majorly wrong, but when you spend a 2nd round draft choice on a kicker, he is going to have to be close to perfect. Again it's not his fault he was chosen so early, but the bar was set too high.
A lot more after the jump
As a Jets kicker, Mike Nugent made 75 of 92 which is not great but it's not that bad either. The problems arose on his kick-offs, during his first two years with the team, he managed just 3 touch-backs, an area that he improved on considerably in 2007, forcing 9. One quadriceps injury into the 2008 season and he lost his job. Signing with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He was then released after going 2-4 against the RedSkins and is currently looking for work.
Last season Jay Feely made 24 of 28 kicks and registered 7 touch-backs, and kicked a long 55 yarder. This year so far he is 8-8 with a long of 43, with three touch-backs in 5 games. He scraped one in off the post last night, but as long as it goes through, that's all that matters.
If you talk to Jay about superstitions like Dave Hutchinson did, your not likely to get the expected reply:
‘After that Seattle game when I was with the Giants (when he missed three straight potential game-winning field goals in a 2005 loss at Giants Stadium), I wore the exact same socks the next game just to spike superstitions,’’ said Feely, who made one of two the following week in a victory over the Cowboys.
‘‘I feel like I’ve gotten better every year,’’ said Feely, who has improved his kickoffs. ‘‘As you get older, you understand how to control your emotions. You understand what makes you perform the best.
‘‘I know I have to be loose when I’m out there. I have to have fun. So I’m running around like a kid before games, catching punts, saying ‘Hi’ to people. I’ve learned if I’m too tight, I don’t kick my best.
‘‘You go through tough times and if they don’t break you, then you learn from them. I messed up as bad as I could in that Seattle game with the Giants and it didn’t break me, it made me stronger.’’
One thing that Jay has had to do this year, is learn how to adapt to a new holder. The one area that the Jets struggled with during the pre-season was the punting position. Jets went through Punters like Brett Favre does retirement parties. Reggie Hidges, B.J Conley, Ken Parrish, Glenn Pakulak, A.J Trapasso and now Steve Weatherford have all held for Jay who has starter this season off with a bang.
So next Sunday could be the day that Jay Feely passes the record held by Pat Leahy, a kicker who played 18 seasons with the Jets between 1974 and 1991. Leahy set the record over two seasons in 1985 and 1986. The record being set against Denver in a 22-10 victory. A 27 yard chip shot, Jay can only hope to be presented with a kick from within 20 yards.
Leahy was unable to add to the record the following week as the Jets hosted the New Orleans Saints, where he was presented with just one field goal opportunity
Who doesn't love this scene, the later part about Ray Finkle
Ace Ventura - Pet Detective - Ray Finkle's House (via zombieguy619)
(disclaimer: this is by no means meant as a dig at the Dolphins or Dan Marino, it's just one of my favourite moments, and you don't find too many films with parts about kickers)