The kicker will still tackle

Posted by Darren Urban on April 7, 2010 – 10:35 am

One of the things fans loved about former Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers was that he would stick his nose in on kickoff coverage and make tackles — oftentimes important ones to stop a big return.

It seemed like that would go away when Rackers was replaced by Jay Feely. Apparently not.

Feely said one of the coincidental twists about coming to Arizona is that, in that aspect of the game, he and Rackers are a lot alike. Feely believes one of the reasons Jets fans seemed to like him was for the same reason — he was willing to jump in and make a tackle (he did have six last season, the same amount as Rackers).

“We have the same approach to playing the position, which is different than a lot of people,” said Feely, who wears gloves not only to aid in tackling but also so he can be ready to recover one of his own onside kicks or make a catch on a fake — again, parts of the game kickers usually shy from. “It helps you win. If you wait back on the 40-yard line and the return man has a seam, I don’t care how good an athlete you are, if they have 20 yards on you you won’t make the play.

“If you see the play develop and you have the guts and ability to go down and fill that hole at the 25-yard line, they only have two or three yards to beat you and you can make the play. That’s when I feel like a football player too.”

A fine line? Maybe. Feely doesn’t see an injury risk — he’s never missed a game — although he says with a smile his wife has a different outlook. As for coaches, “they love it. They know I won’t go there unnecessarily. But when there is a play that needs to be made, I’m going to try and make that play.”

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36 Responses to “The kicker will still tackle”

  1. By tyler on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Quick question. I haven’t followed chike okeafor. What is his status? Is he still a UFA? Why don’t we want him back or do we?

  2. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Tyler —

    Chike is still an free agent. He will not be returning to the Cardinals. Just time to move on.

  3. By Brandon on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    There ya go for all those crying that we’d lose the tackling on special teams from Rackers. Even if Feely didn’t tackle(which he does) 6 tackles from Rackers through 16 games and multiple kick offs a game isn’t that much…

  4. By Secret on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    hahaha i dont know whether or not this is a ‘good’ thing đŸ˜€ hopefully feely wont be *exactly* like rackers… (meaning not making FG’s in the clutch)

  5. By Mr. Know It All on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Again a solid replacement at a very important position. Nice to hear that Feely is a willing tackler. The special teams and defense need to work on that and get better. Making more tackles for loss on Defense and pinning the opponent inside the 20 on KO like Graham does in the punting game. The Cards can count on consistent play at K and P. Go Cards!!!!

  6. By DRC#1FAN on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Alright. GO FEELY!!!! I love our new Cards. I’m glad we didnt try to hold all the same peices and what not. obviously the 9ers figued out how to beat the Kurt Warner Cardinals, lets see them trya nd win a game now. What What!!!! I cant wait.

  7. By Bobf on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    It’s fun to watch, but kickers really aren’t made for the rough stuff. Just keep Nugent’s phone number handy.

  8. By Derek on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply


    Are the Cards looking at anyone else in the FA market or are they done until the draft?

  9. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Derek —

    The Cards are done until the draft.

  10. By Javier Montoya on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    For me it was Rack’s onside kicking that made him even more an asset than just tackling. Onside kicks are rare but huge and with Rack you knew you truly had a chance.

  11. By NickSierraVista on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Kinda getting excited with Feely! Didn’t even think about the catching he’s capable of. And with the Whiz-ard of AZ for his new coach…I expect to see a couple fake field goals and crazy onsiders!

    Is it September yet?

  12. By Adam on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, any thoughts on how the Cards will be replacing someone like Sean Morey? I know special teams stars like him emerge from backup roles of other positions, but I just wanted to see if you had any thoughts on that. He sure was an asset the last couple of years.

  13. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Adam —

    Still awful early. They still have some solid special teamers like Stephens-Howling, Ware, Wright.

  14. By MikeFlorio on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Yes Finally Kickers are football players first. We always are insisting that other players and other positions be football players before they are positional players. Kickers always seemed to have that stigma of just being a kicker. Feely and Rackers both thiink football first Kicker second. Awesome!!!! I also thought that Rackers had one of the best onside kicker recovery%? I hope Feely will do good things while he is here.

  15. By Chad D on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    I am liking this Feely guy more and more.

  16. By Chris freeman on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –
    is it possible

    looking over the schedule and who we play cardinals stillhave a strong chance making it to the playoffs. all opponents arizona faces have question marks in the QB position as well (apart from DAL, SD, NO, and ATL). if we can atleast win 5 of 8 divisional games we should have wild card contingency. along with the 4 loss from said mentioned teams our schedule still leaves us with a good 9-7 finish in division without a shining QB

  17. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Chris —

    Two things: It’s impossible to count the Cardinals out right now, so anyone who is doing that is guessing. It may be educated guessing to a point, but no one knows. I don’t see why, especially in the NFC West, the Cards wouldn’t have a chance to win the division. Second, the Cards, at least on paper, have the easiest schedule in the NFL in 2010 based on 2009 records. Usually that means little the following year, but it’s something to note.

  18. By GORDO on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    how likley do u think the cards will take dez bryant at 26.. And who would u prefer the cards take at that pick?

  19. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Gordo —

    The Cards aren’t taking a receiver in the first round.

  20. By jack on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    There will be changes this year. I have been a Cartds fan since St. Louis in the sixties. The one constant I see in the ” new Cards” is Whiz, is is the drive behind this team.

  21. By cahongisto on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Who have we worked out so far leading up to the draft? any big name players in the draft come through or anyone who would be a good fit for us?

  22. By darrenurban on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Cahong —

    I haven’t seen any major list of names, and I’m not privy to anyone who has visited. I have seen some names bouncing around the internet, but no first-rounders.

  23. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 7, 2010 | Reply

    Much has been made that Feely has had Ben Graham as a holder before when both were with the Jets in 2008, but Jay was a late preseason addition and Ben was released and signed by the Saints after week 4.
    So, in actuality, the duo has 6 “gametime” plays, and Feely made 4 of those.
    Whiz, make sure those two get plenty of snaps together.

  24. By Wampag on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    you catch this on PFT:Nick Eason agrees to terms with Steelers
    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on April 8, 2010 8:57 AM ET
    Eason also visited the Cardinals before deciding to stay with Pittsburgh. (Take that, Whisenhunt!)

  25. By Wampag on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    D- good morning got your coffee yet? I have been puzzling over something…at the start of the season the CARDS were great against the rush and their D looked really tough the more they learned the new D cord the better they looked I mean really stout scary for opposing coaches…..then Ware went down and well you tell me…the d in the playoffs was so soft they couldnt stop anything…except for the 1st qtr of 1st round…what happened do you think? and these new additions at least on paper do you feel fix it?

  26. By darrenurban on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    Wampag —

    I think if I knew what happened, I’d try and be a coach and make more money.

    Don’t forget, they played two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL in the playoffs. Obviously, they have to be better. I think it can’t help to lose Dansby. I think Rolle/Rhodes should be a wash. But until we see it in games, I think it’s tough to know exactly what this defense can do.

  27. By Alberto on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    in your opinion why is Stephens-Howling not returning punts also as well as kick-offs? and also what is the deal with the full-back position? is Dan Krieder coming back? thank you

  28. By darrenurban on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    Alberto —

    Good question on Kreider. I’m not sure if he is coming back; it hasn’t been ruled out. As far as the Hyphen and punt returns, punt returning is a totally different animal than KOR. Just because you can do one doesn’t mean you can necessarily do the other. I just think the Cards have had better guys at it, but it’s possible he’ll work on it this offseason.

  29. By Bumperjim on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, question is ,what about Nick Eason?, any chance te cards give him a contract or is he going to go back to Pittsburg?

  30. By darrenurban on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    Bumper —

    Eason already re-signed with the Steelers.

  31. By Jake Plummer on Apr 11, 2010 | Reply

    Now what do i do with my Rackers jersey?

  32. By Scott H on Apr 11, 2010 | Reply

    Jake plummer –

    Wow…did you by any chance have a Scott Player jersey as well???

  33. By DON IN MESA on Apr 12, 2010 | Reply


  34. By darrenurban on Apr 12, 2010 | Reply

    Don —

    What in particular are you looking for?

  35. By JakePlummer716 on Apr 12, 2010 | Reply

    Is that an attempt to clown my fanhood? Yes, i do love my football team so much that i do even have a kickers jersey!

  36. By slapdog on Apr 12, 2010 | Reply

    Ain’t nobody as good at offside kicks as Rackers,…..hopefully the new guy will prove me wrong,….slapdogchicken

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