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.”
Tags: Chandler Catanzaro
Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »