|Jets' Feely eager to kick again in New York|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 10 September 2008 21:39|
``When you're not playing, it's a humbling experience, especially when you have good years,'' the New York Jets' new kicker said Wednesday. ``More than anything, sitting at home watching a game this past Sunday made me want to play a lot more. That vigor and that excitement about playing, after you've done it for a number of years, creeps back in there.''
Feely is back in the league after signing with the Jets and replacing the injured Mike Nugent.
``When Mike got hurt, they started making calls,'' Feely said. ``I was very excited to get the opportunity to come up here. I think it's an organization that wants to win and has the opportunity to win and is in great position in the AFC.''
st Sunday's game against New England. Nugent, the team's top draft pick in 2005, strained his right thigh on a kickoff - resulting in a squibbed kick - following the Jets' first touchdown in their 20-14 victory at Miami.
Nugent limped over to the sideline and was worked on by trainers, but came out and missed a 32-yard field goal. He came back in late in the third quarter to kick an extra point, but now it's uncertain when he'll return.
Coach Eric Mangini was typically mum on the injury, saying Feely is the Jets' kicker ``until Mike gets back.''
Feely was cut by Kansas City last month just a day after the Chiefs signed him to a one-year deal, losing a ``kick off'' between him, Connor Barth and Nick Novak.
``The only thing I can say is I feel like I'm kicking the best I've ever kicked in my career,'' Feely said. ``I felt like I kicked the ball well last year and I feel like I can continue to do that this year.''
Feely was with Miami last season, going 21-for-23 on field-goal attempts and setting a franchise record with a 91.3 field-goal percentage. Despite the success, the Dolphins cut him in August. He had been sidelined with a groin strain that forced him to miss the preseason opener, and his outspoken nature often clashed with the new Bill Parcells-led regime.
,'' he said. ``I'm looking forward, not backward.''
Feely, who has an 80.8 career field-goal percentage, reportedly beat out free agents Aaron Elling and Dave Rayner for the job. He returns to kicking in the unpredictable winds of the Meadowlands, where he played for the Giants from 2005-06 after four seasons with Atlanta.
That experience was a factor, Mangini said, in the Jets signing Feely.
``I feel comfortable there,'' Feely said. ``You learn the winds, you learn how to kick the ball. I actually kicked the ball a little bit differently when I was in Atlanta in a dome. It's similar to a golf shot when you kind of hit a stinger into the wind, where you don't really follow through and let the ball get up into the wind. Just little things like knowing which flags to trust and which ones not to, all those things that can give you a home-field advantage.''
Feely said he sought out Nugent immediately after he arrived at the Jets' facility.
``I told him how sorry I was that I have to be in here under these circumstances,'' he said. ``The kickers' fraternity is a very tight community. You know most of the guys. Mike's a guy I've liked, just a nice guy and a very good kicker. You hate to come in in that situation, but that's the reality of our job.''