Notes: The Plan At Kicker (For Now)

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles have a week to settle on a direction at the kicker position.

The plan, Chip Kelly said, is pretty straightforward: They’ll watch Alex Henery and rookie Cody Parkey kick during practice and Thursday night against the Jets (assuming opportunities present themselves) and will “figure it out after that.”

That’s not a whole lot of time to evaluate. How can you feel comfortable choosing a guy based off such a small sample size?

“You don’t,” said Kelly. “There’s nothing else we can do. We can’t get another scrimmage, we can’t get another game so we have to make decisions based off the amount of time that we have Cody in here with Alex and then we go from there. That’s it. Instead of us sitting there and saying, ‘I don’t know how I can do this, I don’t know how I can do that,’  we know how many times we get out there on the practice field which is from now until Thursday night and then we have one more game with officials under the lights where we get a chance to play and then that’s it, we’re going to have to make a decision.”

The staff will surely lean on past performance as well when considering who to move forward with. They have three seasons worth of NFL data on Henery and have seen him up close on a daily basis for the last year-plus. With Parkey, they’ll have to look to his tape from college, his work this preseason and the few days that they have with him leading up to cut-down day on August 30.

“Still focused on what I’m doing, hitting my good balls, and it will take care of itself,” said Henery. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m confident hitting the ball, just get the few bad ones that I’ve had out and go from there.

“I’ve hit the ball well this camp, it’s just those two in the game there weren’t good ones, so get those eliminated and go from there.”

Henery says there was no common reason for why he missed those kicks (“The one I hit the ground and the other I just didn’t finish my kick,” he said. “Real simple things and easy to correct.”) and does not  believe that the presence of competition in camp has negatively impacted him mentally.

“It probably actually makes me better,” he said. “Like they do at every position here, you want the best at each spot…He pushes you, it ends up helping you in the long run.”

The Eagles will see how the mini-competition shakes out this week, and will surely be keeping an eye out on who gets cut across the league to see if a more desirable option becomes available.

Cary Spear was released earlier today.

Who’s in, who’s out for the Jets game

No starters will play on Thursday against the Jets and a few second-teamers will be held out as well, according to Kelly. The plan is to sit both Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez.

“We kind of thought about it as a staff. I think Mark is 25-of-31, led us on a lot of scoring drives, we feel very, very comfortable with our one and two quarterbacks so we’re going to get Matt [Barkley] a real extended look against the Jets on Thursday night,” said Kelly.

The hope is that they will be able to keep Jordan Matthews out of the game, though injuries at that position could force him in. Darren Sproles likely won’t dress. It appears Nate Allen has officially won a starting safety job. He and Malcolm Jenkins will rest. Earl Wolff will play.

Injury report

It was a light, unpadded practice for the Eagles Saturday. Connor Barwin did not participate. He stood off on the side and had a sleeve on his right leg. Malcolm Jenkins also sat out. LeSean McCoy (thumb), Cary Williams (hamstring) and Brandon Boykin (hamstring) all practiced. Arrelious Benn is out with a concussion.

Chris Polk (hamstring) practiced but again, the players weren’t asked to do much. He’ll be tested when things pick up later this week.

Some have speculated that Josh Huff (AC shoulder sprain) could be a candidate for short-term injured reserve. Is that a possibility?

“I don’t think so, in terms of where his progress is right now,” said Kelly. “We don’t have to make any decisions on that until next week but that’s not something we’ve had a discussion about right now.”

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  • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

    I hate Alex Henery.

    • ohitsdom

      He’s a guy who doesn’t kick footballs very well. Why hate him?

      • Anebriated

        I wouldn’t say I hate him as a person. I just hate the fact that hes on the team I root for.

  • TXEaglesFan

    What’s my plan? Make $!?@&) field goals and get it through the end zone. What’s your $)!&$@& plan?

  • Grey Letter Person

    Imagine a scenario in which the Eagles are tied in the NFC Championship game with 0:03 left on the clock. Henery misses the game-winning FG. Aren’t you gonna be upset that you didn’t find a better option at kicker in the preseason?

    • NickS, Combine Warrior

      People would just blame Foles.

      • OverreacSean Jackson, #culture

        Token would denounce the whole franchise. Probably claim it was set up to fail. Rich C. would blame Momah somehow.

        • would have never been in the position to need Henery to make that kick if Mohmah had caught the damn ball

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Momah would have caught the ball if Foles was faster.

    • Kev_H

      Kickers don’t make them all. Even Gary Anderson, after a perfect season in 1998 missed a field goal that would have sent Minnesota to the Super Bowl. The winning approach is to have a reliable pro and be sure he gets his work in with the FG team. Not jerk guys around after a miss or two or, worse yet, based on pre-season game performance or practice. If Henery is healthy and working hard, he’ll be fine.

      I would be more upset if the FG you describe was missed by some guy off the street because we’re going through kickers all year.

      • GoBirds1

        Not being able to kick the ball deep into the end zone on a consistent basis is not fine. Considering our suspect D, and ST coverage, not a luxury we can afford for an otherwise mediocre FG kicker.

  • “I’ve hit the ball well this camp, it’s just those two in the game there
    weren’t good ones, so get those eliminated and go from there.”
    Right, because good camps win championships. What a putz. I’d have at least a little respect for him if he just said “I suck right now, but I’m working on it”. Oy vey.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Glad to hear Kelly dispel the Huff to IR talk.

  • Rockedupeaglesfan

    If Rex Ryan had the sense to keep Sanchez out of the 4th quarter of a meaningless preseason game, maybe he out plays Geno when given an opportunity, has a good season, and never gets cut.

    • DuckHunterSThompson

      I don’t think Rex knows how to develop a qb. I doubt many excellent qb seasons are in their future. Diagnosis: still cut.

    • 370HSSV 0773H

      Rex Ryan is like his father. He only cares about the defense and thinks the offense is an afterthought.

  • Glenn

    Cody Parkey is not an NFL kicker at this point of his career. It is a waste bringing him in, to be honest with you. It is pretty obvious that Henery feels the heat, maybe because the way the situation has been handled, and has never been more shaky. I do believe we need to replace Henery. It should be the runner up to either the Giants or Bills kicking job, either Brandon McManus or Hopkins.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      What exactly is that first sentence based on?

      • Glenn

        He made 14 out of 19 FG’s his senior year. He missed a 33 yard FG in the BCS championship game. He was not consistent enough in Indy practices to even be considered competition for Vinatieri. Not much better than Murderleg. That is not NFL caliber. Strong leg. Pretty good at kickoffs. Not consistent enough at field goals at this point to be an NFL kicker.

    • GoBirds1

      If McManus gets cut and we sign him, problem solved. That is Kelly’s plan. If that does not work, expect a lot of 4th conversions attempts this year. GoBirds!!!

      • RJ

        I’d be happy with a lot of them anyway, especially considering the cards we will now hold on offense. 4th and 3 at the 30? Screw that, here comes a line up of Maclin and Cooper wide, Matthews inside, and McCoy in the backfield while Ertz is on the line set to release after the snap.

      • Glenn

        If McManus gets cut, and we sign him, problem IS solved. I’m just not sure that truly is Kelly’s or Howie’s plan. If McManus is on the team, we will be in pretty good hands I think.

  • 370HSSV 0773H

    They had about 6 months to find a new kicker, but wasted their time with Murderleg. Now Kelly is kicking himself.

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    I’m not all that worried about Henery. Most every kicker goes through a slump at some point in their career. Maybe two slumps. He’s not going to ever kick a 60 yarder or boom every kickoff out of the end zone. I’m okay with that if he can deliver from 45 and in. That’s the area I care about. Be reliable nailing that 32 yarder with seconds left in the half. Henery can do that. The guy is a 90 percent accurate FG kicker when his head is screwed on straight. Maybe this coaching staff is bleeping him up?

    • 370HSSV 0773H

      Henery missed a 31 yarder thursday night.

      • RJ


      • Matt

        Yep, they all do.

    • DoctorRick

      “The one I hit the ground and the other I just didn’t finish my kick,” he said. “Real simple things and easy to correct.”
      He’s had 3 years to correct these things and still shows poorly in games. That’s a long slump.

      • SoCalEaglesFan

        Leave it to Eagles fans to sound the alarm with false hyperbole. Alex Henery was 88.9 percent his rookie year (5th highest in the NFL) and 87.1 percent his second season. He dropped off last year to 82.1. Yeah. That’s a slump. In college he was over 90 percent.

        Facts are hard to digest, but ‘dems da facts. If you want to read it as he’s getting worse every year, you will have a case. But you have to factor in that all but one of his misses last season came from 45 yards and beyond!!!

        If you take out those, he was over 90 percent last season. As I stated, he isn’t going to be effective from long range, but he is deadly accurate from within 45 yards. Among the best in the league. And that is what I care about more than long FG’s. If it’s a long FG attempt, Kelly should go for it on 4th down anyway. Those are the new metrics.

        • DoctorRick

          Yes. He’s getting worse every year. I am not a hater but I think, contrary to many, that kicker position is one of the most important but is not emphasized. Kicker is the highest scorer on the team and needs to be solid. Henery has not been shown to be solid. I wish he was, we need that.
          And thanks, this is the first time I have been accused of false hyperbole. I still think 3 years is a long time for a slump.
          SoCal, keep the south end anchored, and I’ll hold the North end here in Seattle.
          Best, and Go Birdz!

          • SoCalEaglesFan

            Once again, in 2011 he had the fifth highest FG percentage in the league. If that’s not good enough, then there’s nothing that can be done except whine. You might be able to say he’s in a one year slump, but he certainly isn’t in a three year slump unless your standards are impossibly high. There isn’t anyone on the street who is better. There are no 90 + percent FG kickers out there to be brought in.

            So yes, unfounded over-reacting hyperbole is what everyone seems to be posting, including members of the media.

            Instead of complaining about what he doesn’t do well, ie: kickoffs out of the county and record setting long FG kicks, focus on what he does do very well. Deadly accuracy from within 40… most of the time.

          • DoctorRick

            I hope you’re right. It will take us a few games to find out.

          • Matt

            Man, amazing what facts do to people. They scurry.

            Glad I’m not the only one that sees this.

          • MagatBrackendale

            You’re not quite the North end.

    • Matt

      Exactly. I think he will be fine.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I honestly don’t know where some people are coming from in regards to Henery. It’s not just this preseason that his kicking has been an issue. It’s not just last season either. It’s just coming to a head now at this point. I was done with him last season when you could clearly see the coaching staff had no faith in the kid outside of 35yds. That’s pretty sad & you’re a reliability to your team.

    • Matt

      We have facts. They show Henery is fine.

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Lol… I’m beginning to think you just think that word, facts, is sexy. Here are some facts, my own two eyes. Your “facts” don’t add up brother and I’m a data analysis guy.

  • RJ

    Someone should just call Tony Danza. We need the “Garbage Picking, Field Goal Kicking, Philadelphia Phenomenon” to handle the duties.

    • Jerry Pomroy

      Does he really need someone to push him for him to show who’s the boss?


    RIP Murderleg.


  • Jerry Pomroy

    Was reading up on the kicking competitions with BUF & NYG. It appears that Buffalo is contemplating keeping both with Hopkins being the kickoff specialist and Carpenter kicking FGs.

    The competition between Brown & McManus is still wide open. I’d be fine with either. McManus would be my preference being 12yrs younger & a local product from Hatfield, PA. However Josh Brown is certainly no slouch. He may be 35yo but went 23-26 last year on FGs for 88.5% and can hit from beyond 50yds.

    • RJ

      Yeah, and Brown highhandedly beat us last year, 15-7 in Philly.

      Granted, it wasn’t as spectacular as Justin “Tom” Tucker beating the Lions by himself, 18-16, but still it was something.

  • dgirl57

    Bring back Akers for the short term, has history and talent and he’s just across the bridge in Medford. Draft newbie 2015. He’s great for the locker room too!

  • Cyrus Robinson

    He just seems so complacent and delusional. Don’t tell me all these things are easy to correct when you’ve already sucked for 3 years straight. Man up, work harder and do better.

  • Kleptolia

    I hope you guys don’t expect to ever have a FG game. Whether in college or in the pros, Chip Kelly just can’t seem to find a kicker. It’s his Achilles’ heel.

  • Mark Hudson Sr

    I think that kicker- Alex Henery should be replace as soon as possible. Before he make the Eagles lose any more games in 2014. He miss that Easy kick against the Saints last year in the playoffs, a game that we should have won.