Checking In on The Kicking Competition


Kickers Ross Martin and Chandler Catanzaro are in the midst of a "dogfight."

Last week, special teams coordinator Brant Boyer told the media both players have kicked well in training camp, but he's looking to see what takes place throughout the preseason.

"Once the lights turn on, I say that's everything," Boyer said. "When you go out here it's a huge body of work. They're charted every day. Their kickoffs are charted every day. Their field goals are charted every day. Their onside kicks are charted every day. Everything is charted so it's a huge body of work. But when it comes down to when the lights are turned on, can they perform? That's what matters."

Through two preseason games, Catanzaro missed his lone field goal attempt (55 yards), converted on an extra point and booted one kickoff for a touchback. Martin has had more opportunity as he made 31- and 21-yard field goals, but missed a 56-yarder that had the distance but sailed wide left. The Duke product also had two touchbacks on four kickoffs.

"Just continue what I've been doing," Martin said of what he needs to do to win the job. "I think I've had a really solid start, solid footing. I haven't played in a game since last year at this time, so it's great to be back getting in game speed with live rushes and returns. I just want to continue that and improve each time I step on the field."

Catanzaro struggled with consistency last year in Arizona as he had two long snappers and three holders. The Jets have more stability in the 1.3 seconds from the snap to the kick with Tanner Purdum, the longest tenured player on the Jets, and punter Lachlan Edwards, who held for Nick Folk all 16 games in 2016.

"I worked really hard in the offseason and I learned from both my success and failure last year," Catanzaro said. "There were both. There were a few things I'd like to have back, but you learn from both. You never get too high or too low, you just learn from every kick. Every kick is a learning experience for me, so I'm just taking it one kick at a time. I'm always focused on my process. I know if I take care of the little things, the outcomes will take care of themselves."

Both kickers have strong legs as they've hit 57-yard field goals in practice, but it will boil down to who emerges when the stakes are higher.

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