RENTON, Wash. (AP) -Veteran Olindo Mare will be the Seattle Seahawks' kicker for Sunday's season opener in Buffalo.
Mare spent 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. That meant 10 trips to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., to play the division rival Bills.
That is a large reason why Seattle is going with Mare in Buffalo.
``Olindo has got a little stronger leg, a little more experience. He's been around Buffalo for a number of years,'' Seahawks special teams coach Bruce DeHaven said after practice Monday.
Mare said Western New York's well-known, brutal winters aren't the only times the wind is a factor at a Bills game. He said kickers need to account for winds even in warm, late-summer games because the stadium is open at the corners of one end zone. Also, the rural area surrounding the stadium is wide open to gales off nearby Lake Erie.
``It's always been windy when I've been there, because nothing's blocking it,'' Mare said. ``I've played there when it's hot and windy and snowy and windy, like a blizzard. You try to not to change your mechanics, but you have to consider it.''
Consider it done, when Mare is kicking at Buffalo, anyway. He is 12-for-13 on field goals and 18-for-18 on extra points in eight career games there, dating to 1997 when he was a rookie with Miami.
The Seahawks aren't likely to carry two kickers all season. They also value Mare for his kickoffs, which often soar deep into the end zone for touchbacks. That's something that rarely happened with Josh Brown, who left for St. Louis in the offseason as a free agent.
And Seattle needs to clear two roster places next Monday, when suspended starting defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and nickel back Jordan Babineaux become eligible to return. The league suspended Bernard last weekend for one game for violating its personal-conduct policy. Babineaux was also suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
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