Sparano on Feely release

Not surprisingly, most of Tony Sparano's media briefing following Tuesday morning's practice had to do with the decision to release veteran Jay Feely, leaving undrafted rookie Dan Carpenter as the only kicker on the roster. Here is what Sparano had to say on the subject.

The following comes from a team-released transcript of Sparano's press conference.

On the decision to release Feely: "The decision was based purely on numbers and performance, and (Dan) Carpenter has outperformed him right now. That's the bottom line. We charted a ton of categories with the kickers and Carpenter has outperformed him. The kicking situation is different than a quarterback situation or any other position to be honest with you. What I mean by that is you get very few "at bats". Sometimes, you have to be real careful. We needed to make this decision now to make sure that we certainly get Carpenter the amount of work that he needs. Carpenter's had 40 kicks and he's made 23 in a row. Up until today, when he missed one kick today, he made 23 kicks in a row. So when you talk about competition, you see a guy do that when he's competing and that's what we did out here. Up until today, prior to today's practice, he made 93% of his kicks, 40 kicks. Of 40 kicks, he made 93%. The numbers weren't close and in the categories that we go through, that's the way it was. It was based on performance and we needed to make a decision on this so that he gets enough work. We had two kicks in the game the other night, and by the grace of God, we had two kicks. (Chad) Henne had to put the ball down, make a smart decision to get us into field goal range or else you only have one kick. You don't get a lot of at bats sometimes and I think with the kickers, when you can, if you can make that decision and feel good about the decision, you have to make it."

On if K Jay Feely's injury played into the decision to release him: "It really didn't play into the decision one way or the other. It was performance based. We had to go out by what we see and at that time, this is when we've seen and this kid was making kicks, and we know we needed to get him a lot of work. That being said, and again, this really doesn't have much to do with it, Jay's been hurt twice in three months."

On if 2 ½ weeks was sufficient enough time to evaluate the kicking competition: "What I felt was 40 kicks. 40 kicks, so not to mention what happened in the spring. There was a lot of evidence out there with the kicking situation and that's what we felt."

On if K Dan Carpenter is his guy: "It's Dan's job to lose."

On if he's confident about K Dan Carpenter kicking under the "Big Lights" and in different conditions: "First of all, the kid's kicked in Montana. So, I don't know much about anything, but I know that Montana's not always good weather. He's kicked in some pretty tough weather that way. And secondly, when you're a rookie, no matter what it is going into that kind of environment or this environment in practice right now, you're kicking in pressure situations. Especially, and with all due respect, when you have a veteran player like Jay Feely, who is a competitor, he really is a competitor, competing against you. And this kid competed."

On K Dan Carpenter's field goal range: "I would say that he's probably; he has been, and this is a category that we grade, outstanding from 42-49 yards. In fact, I'm going to say maybe of 11 kicks; he's maybe nine-of-11 in that range somewhere, 10-of-11, somewhere in that range. And again, that category at that point wasn't really close."


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