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Kick-Off, Round 2: Nick Folk vs. Dan Carpenter

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Kicker Nick Folk has won the battle but not the war.

This morning, the Jets released 10-year veteran K Billy Cundiff, who had been competing with Folk for a spot on the 53-man roster. Coupled with this roster move, however, was the signing of another veteran kicker, Dan Carpenter.

“They’re doing their due diligence to make sure that they feel they have the best people for this team,” Folk said. “That’s what I think it’s coming down to.”

Folk doesn’t view his situation as starting over for Round 2 of a competition but rather as “an ongoing process.” The timing of the transaction doesn’t surprise him.

“It’s happened now. It could happen in the middle of the season,” he said. “Teams are always looking to get better at any part during the year. Whether that’s February, whether that’s now, whether that’s Week 13, they’re always trying to get better.”

While Folk and Cundiff have been competing day in and day out at SUNY Cortland and in Florham Park, N.J., it’s been a “crazy” couple of weeks for Carpenter, filled with “a lot of late nights and early mornings.”

The Miami Dolphins decided to go with fifth-round rookie Caleb Sturgis and released Carpenter on Aug. 14. Five days later, Dan’s wife had a baby boy. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday, Aug. 21 to push Jay Feely for a job, but by the 25th he was already a free agent again. He arrived in the North Jersey area late Monday night, had a tryout with the Jets this morning, and was signed and participating in practice, donning uniform, No. 4 by midday.

“I’m good at staying at hotels as of late,” he said.

Carpenter was “a little surprised” by his release from Miami, but he understands that he’s not in the minority.

“There’s very few players out there that decide to call it quits before someone else tells them they’re either too expensive or not good enough anymore,” he said. “They made their decision, and fortunately for me they made it early enough that I could try to make it onto another team before Game 1.”

In his five-year career with the Dolphins, Carpenter hit 127 of 155 field goals (81.9%) and was selected to the Pro Bowl once (2009). Folk has hit 134 of 172 tries (77.9%) and also has been selected to play in Hawaii one time (2007). Carpenter has hit 18 field goals while missing only two against the Green & White, but he’s not sure if his success against his new head coach factored into our decision to bring him in for a tryout and ultimately sign him.

“Stat-wise, I think a lot of teams just liked the consistency that I’ve had through my five years,” he said.

Carpenter will kick on Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles, he said. Folk has yet to hear one way or another about his playing time against the Birds.

Asked if there’s enough time left between now and the end of preseason for the Jets to evaluate him, Carpenter said, “It doesn’t really matter. It’s not my decision. All I’m going to do is show up. They wanted me up here, I’m here, I’m going to kick the best I can and leave it up to them to make a decision.”

Folk shared similar sentiments.

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball pretty well right now, so I’m pretty confident in what I’m doing,” he said. “All I can control is what I do. I’m not worried about what’s going on upstairs, I’m not worried about what anyone else is doing. I’m just worried about what I can control and helping this team win on Thursday and get better every day.”

Rex Cetera

Both starting cornerbacks, two-time Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie and ninth overall pick Dee Milliner, will miss our final preseason game Thursday night vs. the Eagles, according to Ryan. Cromartie has been dealing with a sore hip, while Milliner has been nursing an injury to his left calf. Dee’s injury occurred in practice “about a week ago,” but the rookie anticipates being ready for the regular-season opener on Sept. 8. “I'm going to do what my trainers tell me to do and be aggressive in my rehab,” he said.
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