PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Howie Roseman spoke to the media on Saturday afternoon, explaining why some players were cut and why some were retained.
The prevailing issue was letting go of three-year veteran kicker Alex Henery, a fourth-round pick in 2011, in favor of undrafted rookie free agent Cody Parkey, whose 53- and 54-yard field goals against the New York Jets in the final preseason game raised a few eyebrows. It seemed as if Henery was getting stale. He was 1-of-3 during the preseason, and he appeared lost.
Henery was coming off his worst season as a pro, going 23-of-28, with all five misses came from beyond 30 yards, where he went 15-for-20. Henery has been in a steady decline in each of the three seasons, making 88.9-percent of his field goals his rookie season (24-27), to 87.1-percent (27 of 31) in 2012, to last year’s 82.1-percent (23-28).
Roseman said the last game was not the deciding factor.
“No, I think when you look at it, it was all the information we could gather,” Roseman said. “When you’re in practice, you get an opportunity to watch those guys kick in live settings. They get a practice period for a special teams coach where he’s tracking them and looking at the kickoffs and the field goals. I think it was a compilation of all the information, like any other position.”
Roseman said Parkey’s college career at Auburn shouldn’t be discounted, and he served up a decent body of work into the evaluation. Parkey missed a 33-yard field goal attempt in Auburn’s national championship game against Florida State.
A kicker, like Henery, selected as high as the fourth round is expected to have some lasting power. It’s a move Roseman hinted at that a mistake may have been made. Casey Matthews and Jason Kelce are the only holdovers from the 11 players selected in the 2011 draft.
“I think that we’ve talked about it a lot, that if you don’t learn from what we did in those couple of drafts and try to figure out the answers of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, you’re not in the right business,” Roseman said. “I think as you look at that and where kickers have gone and take the value of kickers, you have to learn from it. Alex was highly decorated and had a successful three years here. But we’ve talked about the 2011 draft and spent a lot of time figuring out and making substantial changes in our process to learn from that.”
Losing Travis Long to a torn ACL in his left knee left a big void. It also opened up a hole for Matthews, once again, to make the team. Roseman said that had to do with Matthews’ versatility. The four-year veteran had trouble in coverage and making tackles against the Jets.
“He can play inside, he can play outside, he can play a bunch of spots on special teams, and when you’re looking at the back end of the, you’re looking for versatile guys who can do a bunch of things,” Roseman said. “Casey has shown he can play two spots, inside and outside [linebacker]. We’re always trying to get better. That’s our job daily to find that out. In the same token, we’re excited about the group we have and the work they’ve put in and commitment that they’ve shown to our football team. We can’t wait to get started.”
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