Parkey Steps Up, Nails Opportunity
Alex Henery and Cody Parkey were both warming up as the Eagles’ offense moved its way down the field midway through the third quarter.
For most of the night it was one or the other booting kicks into the net as the other sat nearby. In the first half it was basically all Parkey. He handled the kickoffs and was called on for both field goal attempts. The rookie converted both of them, including a 54-yarder that made it with room to spare.
Henery kicked off to start the second half and it was his turn in the rotation when the Eagles began to drive on the following series. But special teams coach Dave Fipp told Parkey to be ready in the event that another long field goal opportunity presented itself. Sure enough, the drive stalled and there was a 53-yarder to be had.
“Alex was going to be up but it was a longer field goal. They saw me hit the first one so they wanted to see if I could do it again,” said Parkey.
That one, too, was pure. Parkey finished 3-0f-3 in his field goal attempts and had a pair of touchbacks. Henery had two touchbacks as well but did not get any field goal attempts. Would he have liked a shot at one of those long ones?
“Yeah, with the wind that way it’s in my range so I think I could hit it,” he said. (All of Parkey’s field goals were towards the south end of the stadium. Both kickers suggested the wind was at their back in that direction.)
“We were both up and ready for [the 53-yarder]. They went with him and he hit it good. That’s it. It’s history.”
The way the night unfolded was fortuitous for Parkey. The preseason finale against the Jets could have come and gone without any challenging field goal situations. As it so happened, there were two. He nailed them both, giving the coaches plenty to think about as they finalize the roster.
“I’m not going to make any cuts. I know you’re going to ask that question, but we’re not making any cuts right now,” said Chip Kelly. “We’ll go back, evaluate the tape, sit down and make decisions on everybody on our team.”
Impressed by what you saw?
“Yeah, that’s why we brought him in to give Alex some competition, and again, we’ll go through everything, what the whole week was like with him and make decisions tomorrow.”
This is all far from ideal. Parkey was brought in just over a week ago and there hasn’t been a lot of time to evaluate him up close. While Thursday’s performance was impressive, how much stock should you put in one preseason game? Henery is the one with NFL experience, but he is coming off a rocky year and missed a pair of field goals this preseason.
“Other than the two kicks I think I’m a pretty consistent guy, I’ve done that my first three years here, I think I’ve kicked the ball well, kickoffs are getting better,” said Henery. “It’s one of those things, I think I’m always improving but it’s out of my hands. It’s whatever guy they like and that’s what they’ll go with.”
It seemed like a longshot that Parkey, who was acquired from the Colts for David Fluellen last Wednesday, would have enough time and opportunity to build a sturdy case for why he should get the nod. And maybe it’s not a sturdy case. But in this situation, where there are no great answers, he may have done enough.
“They traded for me. Obviously, I think they are interested,” he said. “I just took that as hey, show them what I got. And just a taste of things to come.”