Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alone on Dolphins' roster, Sturgis' job isn't secure


Usually, ranking 29th in field goal percentage earns a NFL kicker competition in the following training camp.

That doesn't appear to be the case for the Miami Dolphins' Caleb Sturgis, who hit just 76.5-percent of his kicks last year but is the only rostered kicker in camp. "Appear" being the key word there.

That lack of side-by-side competition doesn't mean Sturgis isn't playing for his job, according to Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi.

"There's always competition there. It just may not be in the building," Rizzi said this week, via The Miami Herald. "There's competition around the league. We're always evaluating the specialist's position."

Kickers are the rare position that is not system-dependent; a solid kicker that couldn't unseat an established player elsewhere could be plugged in and do the job for Miami Week 1.

And if Sturgis suggests he'll have another year like his first -- he missed five of six kicks in one stretch but also converted 10 in a row in another -- he will likely find himself replaced.

"You have to be more consistent and he knows that," Rizzi added. "You go out there for one play and you have to get it down, bottom line."

Miami infamously cut veteran Dan Carpenter last training camp to make room for Sturgis, who the team invested a relatively high draft pick in earlier that year. Carpenter went on to make 91.7-percent of his field goals for the Buffalo Bills in 2013.

Follow Sean @seanldonovan
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily