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In support of Cat Man

Posted by Darren Urban on December 10, 2014 – 8:50 am

As the Cardinals walked off the field winners Sunday, one player looked less than happy. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro had just clanged a short field-goal attempt off the left upright a couple of minutes before, costing the Cards three points that could have made a big difference. That came after Catanzaro had somehow hit the right upright with a field-goal attempt earlier in the game.

Special teams coordinator Amos Jones walked off with his arm around Catanzaro, giving words of encouragement. Later, in his press conference, coach Bruce Arians waved away any thought of problems with his rookie kicker. “He hit them great, he just hit them into the post,” Arians cracked.

Catanzaro acknowledged the support mattered.

“It does mean a lot,” Catanzaro said. “I understand I am out there to put it through the uprights and I failed to execute that twice. I am thankful for my opportunities but hate that I didn’t capitalize. It does mean a lot for the coaches to say that on my behalf, but I just have to go out and do my job Thursday night and finish the season strong for the team.”

Since starting the season 17-for-17 on field goals and tying the NFL record for most makes in a row to start a career, Catanzaro has made only five of his last nine attempts. But he is 22-of-26 on the season and the Cardinals still feel they have a find in the undrafted rookie. That’s why it’s important to have him keep his confidence, and why what Arians (publicly) and Jones (privately) say makes a difference.

It wasn’t as if the Cat Man shanked his misses Sunday either. The final one in particular looked fine until it faded at the final moment. Catanzaro did make three field goals in the game, and he’d have to kick a long time to knock two of five field-goal attempts off an upright. The odds are astronomical.

“I’ve had a little bit of a laugh about it,” Catanzaro said. “It’s got to be some kind of record, right? But I’ve just got to forget about it and drive on.”

CatManPicUSE


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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “In support of Cat Man”

  1. By Mark on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    You have to ask if he is injured. Not kicking it through the back of the endzone anymore which with our poorly performing special teams needs to happening and missing field goals after being perfect for 17. Either that or he is just over thinking it. Either way, if he doesn’t get it fixed asap, he will be looking for a job at the end of the season.

  2. By Eric G on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Let’s not hope he’s the reincarnation of Rackers, who was fantastic when the Cards sucked and the game wasn’t on the line, but horrible when they were competitive and when the kick was to win the game.

    He does need to start having more consistency though. I don’t expect perfection, but no excuse for missing anything less than 40 yds IMO.

  3. By sandbird on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    He’s a rookie. How quickly some fans forget that the Cardinals would not have won 10 games without Catanzaro. In early season he was instrumental in at least four wins. Ball flight and mechanics look good – he will bounce back.

    Had to laugh when someone on mssg board said bring back Feely. LOL did anyone see him kick in the Bears game?.

  4. By Red Dead Redemption on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    He could just be a streaky kicker, based on a mental aspect. If you take the time to look at his 17/17 run. You will see, Arians played it very safe with him. He passed up a few long field goal chances to keep the streak intact.

    He ended up missing a longer field goal breaking the steak, and the other misses came shortly after. It seems to be tied to emotions confidence. I just don’t want to see the kid become the next Billy Cundiff and miss in the NFC championship game or another important Playoff win.

    Just work on turning the emotions off, get a routine you like (make slight changes if you need) that you have practiced a ton, and kick the football. Just like a golf swing. Don’t become emotionally invested just kick. You can become emotionally invested after you win.

  5. By Richard L on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Someone please get him a Ker-wich!

  6. By jme on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    you all over thinking it, and its sad no support behind him. I think hes fine and itll get cleaned up, he is very good kicker!!. Jeez have a little heart and dont change sides so fast.

  7. By Mack on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Jeez so-called fans, lets do some simple math here:

    Games that Catanzaro was instrumental in winning: at least five
    Games that Catanzaro lost for the Cards: ZERO

    Amazing how quickly people jump on and off a bandwagon.

  8. By Joseph on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    +1 to jme.

    Seems the same fan board members are out here bashing the rookie too! Some have not posted for weeks but came out of the woodwork to bash and denigrate.

    Cat will be just fine and will continue to produce. Both misses were minor adjustments he did at the time of set up, easily corrected. And it did Not cost the Team a win, unlike other kickers have in the past. Not to say that he won’t have other not so good days. All kickers have spells were they miss. Someone tell me who was the last kicker that was 100% for a season?!!

    To The Naysayers and those that Just Have to Bash, Get off the kid’s back and let him play. Cat’s a solid addition to the Team.

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Basically you want three things out of your kicker:

    Kicks below 40 yards should be automatic (and in the 40’s, pretty close to automatic). Kickers are so good now that a miss under 40 is a big surprise.

    You want to have enough confidence in your guy that it’s worth it to put him out there for the 50+ kicks — even if he misses some.

    And, touchbacks, or deep enough kicks that if they do run them out, you’re more likely to end up on the 15 than beyond 25.

    As to the first issue, Catanzaro is one of only six kickers in the NFL with more than one miss on a sub-40 yard FG. Yeah, he started out great, but now he looks ordinary.

    Catanzaro has only attempted two 50+ FG’s, making one. Now, some other guys have only attempted one or two as well, including Gostkowski and Hauchska, two of the best kickers in the NFL. But then you’ve got guys like Carpenter (4-6), Tucker (4-7), Bryant (6-9) and even the Niners have trotted nearly-40-year-old Phil Dawson out there for 7 50+ tries, making 5. And I remember at least one scenario where we passed up on a 52 or 53 yard attempt in a situation where it would have been great to have the points. If Arians doesn’t have the confidence in Cat to go for a 50+ FG except when he absolutely “has” to, that’s not good. (And I’m not saying Arians has in fact lost confidence, just that I do remember us punting in at least one, maybe two, scenarios where a long FG was an option.)

    And someone above mentioned that kickoffs aren’t as long either. I haven’t paid as much attention to that; not sure if it’s true.

    I’m not in any way giving up on Catanzaro — one of the other realities is that NFL kickers don’t get to kick that many FG’s in a season so with such a small sample size, you don’t know if a couple misses is just an anomaly or bad luck, or if it’s an actual reflection that the guy isn’t really that good. But after initially thinking, what a great find (after his 17-17 streak), now I’m thinking we’ve got an ordinary, perhaps even less-than-average, kicker. He’s got to prove himself again, as far as I’m concerned.

  10. By perry matherne on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    That’s right chandler,it is what it is,just look ahead to the next game brother.

  11. By D on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    It will be interesting to see this offseason what S. Keim does with the RB spot on the roster.

    If K Williams has more successful games the last 3 weeks, he would most likely grab a spot for next year.
    We know Ellington is the starter when healthy. Taylor is under contract and appears to have built trust with BA. That leaves Grice and Hughes to probably compete with a new addition this offseason. I wonder since all of our RB’s are young and have limited experience if BA would rather dip into the free agency market versus a young unproven draft pick.

    One name to watch could be R. Helu who will be a UFA this spring. He is only 26/27 years old, has 4 years of experience and can run in between the tackles…and shouldn’t be looking to break the bank.

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    I think of what is going on with Cat Man as the same thing that happens to a hitter in baseball.

    The guy starts off hot and everything is falling in. Then, he is still hitting line drives, but now they are right at someone who catches it. Those balls that fell in, start being caught and everyone starts saying he is in a slump.

    The hitter panics, and starts changing things till he is screwed up in the head and in a major slump.

    I see Cat Man in that time where he is hitting it good but he is a foot off here and a foot off there. What ever you do, don’t think you have to make adjustments. You are kicking just fine and you will start getting them to fall in soon.

  13. By clssylssy on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren:
    Saw on Twitter that Dave Zastuzil is practicing punts. Does that mean that there is a chance he may be back this season?

  14. By Darren Urban on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Zastudil

    He is on IR. He cannot return.

  15. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    My opinion, FWIW, is that Cat is beginning to realize that a playoff spot might depend on his field goal kicking and his collar is getting tight.

  16. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Question: Of the potential NFC and AFC playoff teams, which ones have a Rookie kicker?

    Thanks

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    RE:Kickers

    I would have to look that up. I don’t know.

  18. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    I just researched the subject and there are two as far as I can determine; Parkey (Eagles) and McManus (Broncos).

  19. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    And by the way, the whole “he hasn’t lost any games for us” thing is kind of a moot point. The 2nd miss on Sunday was a pressure kick — the difference between the Chiefs needing a TD, vs. just needing a FG. It’s great that it turned out we didn’t have to worry about it, but it’s not like Cat gets a pass because we won. No one says about Stanton or Palmer or Peterson or Fitz, Oh, it’s OK if he had a bad game because we won. We criticize everyone who had a bad game, win or lose.

  20. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 10, 2014 | Reply

    I have never seen a kicker in one game hit one upright and then the other….
    I bet he couldn’t do that again if he tried….

    The Rams game is a must win for the Cards…..

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