The time has come for Chandler

"I know it's a bigger stage on Monday night, but I've played in some pretty big games. I don't have any problems with that. I like the pressure of getting out there and knowing everybody's watching me. And I'll feel a lot more relaxed now, because I know I have the job for at least one week, and it's in my hands now, it's not in anybody else's hands. So if I go out there and do well, then I do well. If I go out there and mess up, then it's my fault."

Q: How prepared are you for your first opportunity to kick in the NFL?

Chandler: I'm very prepared. You know, just being out there and traveling with the team and feeling more comfortable during practice and everything with the team, I think it's given them confidence in me and I'm just trying to show them that I can go out there and play. I've been working hard after practice and everything, kicking field and goals and doing kickoffs, working on little stuff here and there. And I think I'm ready. Now I'm starting to prepare myself mentally, just trying to get into the game.

Q: Are you at all surprised to be getting this opportunity?

Chandler: It's tough to say, because at the beginning of the year they told us they wanted to have some continuity on the team and keep everything going like that. It's an unfortunate situation. I've always said I never wanted to get a job this way. This is the same way it happened for me in college. The kicker in front of me missed a field goal in overtime, and that's when I stepped in. I guess I've kind of been in the right place at the right time, but it's unfortunate.

Q: How have you been kicking in practice?

Chandler: I think I've been doing really well. I know there's been a few times recently when I didn't hit it as well as I wanted to. I kind of struggled a little bit. But, after practice, just kicking with coach and (holder) Jason Baker and (snapper) Brian Jennings, I thought I've been doing pretty well. But I don't get enough reps with the team to really gauge anything. I don't get any kickoffs with the team, so it's kind of tough.

Q: How do you feel about your first game being such a big game on such a big stage?

Chandler: I know it's a bigger stage on Monday night, but I've played in some pretty big games. I don't have any problems with that. I like the pressure of getting out there and knowing everybody's watching me. And I'll feel a lot more relaxed now, because I know I have the job for at least one week, and it's in my hands now, it's not in anybody else's hands. So if I go out there and do well, then I do well. If I go out there and mess up, then it's my fault. At the same time, there's a lot of pressure and also a lot of uneasiness that goes along with it.

Q: How have you been able to maintain your focus while waiting for this opportunity?

Chandler: A lot of it's been, like, what was I aiming for. I really didn't have a timetable. You know, I was just going out there and playing (scout) defense and that kind of stuff. But right when he missed the field goal, I kind of like started getting ready, I started preparing and getting that mental focus on the next game. Because, for being out of it as long as I have, it has probably taken me a week to get ready for everything and start remembering what it's like to have a crowd around me, and a line that rushes and everything like that.

Q: How difficult has this waiting process been, since you probably figured you'd be the kicker here this season when they drafted you in the fourth round?

Chandler: It's been difficult. But at the same time, I've enjoyed it, just the learning and getting to hang out with the guys. Of course, being a competitor, you want to get in there and play. But the timing might not have been right at that moment. I've always been a big believer in being in the right place at the right time. I hope it's my time.


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