Monday, April 1, 2013

Carpenter prepared for possible camp competition


In 2008, Dan Carpenter proved he had what it took to be the starting kicker for the Miami Dolphins. In 2013, he may have to prove it again.

The five-year veteran, fresh out of rehab following his season-ending groin injury, talked with Alain Poupart of recently about the upcoming season and his thoughts on general manager Jeff Ireland potentially bringing in some preseason competition.

“I’m prepared to go up against someone every camp,” Carpenter said. “Whether someone’s here or not, it’s not going to change what I do or how I approach every day.” (photo: Zruda, Flickr)

Carpenter’s numbers have slipped a bit since his Pro Bowl selection in 2009, and his $2.7 salary may be looking a bit bloated for his production.

He's averaged only 80 percent on his field goal attempts the last three years, though the real shot to his numbers comes from kicks of 50 yards or more (47 percent). The Dolphins haven’t brought in any fresh meat at the position recently, except for veteran Nate Kaeding, who finished out the final two games last year after Carpenter’s injury. Kaeding is currently a free agent, but it’s unlikely he’ll receive a call-back after his 1-for-3 showing with the team.

There are certainly plenty of other free-agent options out there (hello Steven Hauschka), or the team could try to snag some talent late in the draft or from an undrafted leg with potential. Restructuring Carpenter’s deal may be the route for Ireland as well, as Carpenter is currently one of the highest-paid kickers in the league.

Coach Joe Philbin was noncommittal on whether the team would add another kicker to training camp, saying that “it’s possible” and the team is “looking at everybody.” Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel reported back in February that Miami’s top brass was edging more toward a kick-off, one like Carpenter’s in 2008 where he won the starting job over journeyman Jay Feely.

Carpenter has a career average of 76 percent on kicks between 40 and 49 yards, though his average between 20 and 39 yards is 96 percent, according to He averages 65 yards on his kickoffs, with teams averaging around 24 yards per return.

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