Thursday, October 11, 2007

Olindo Mare's job is on the line

The Saints have not signed a new kicker as of Wednesday afternoon.
Despite the fact that New Orleans is 0-4 and playing a decent Seattle Seahawks squad Sunday, Coach Sean Payton said it remains a possibility but not automatic, depending on the health of kicker Olindo Mare.
Speaking of automatic, Olindo Mare has been anything but, this year. In addition to the two misses last Sunday against Carolina he is 3 of 7 beyond 30 yards this year.
Mare missed practice Wednesday to rest his sore groin. If Mare doesn't seem to be game-ready by Thursday, Payton said the team might turn to one of the six or seven kickers that tried out on Tuesday. Among that list are veterans Mike Vanderjagt, Martin Gramatica and Billy Cundiff.Others were Shane Andrus, Josh Huston, Brandon Pace and former Tulane kicker Seth Marler, who has a lot of experience kicking in the Louisiana Superdome.
"We wanted to get a handle on what direction we're going if we've got to make a move because of Mare's injury," Payton said.
"I'm friends with some of them," Mare said after sitting out Wednesday's practice in hopes of getting his sore right groin well enough to kick in Seattle on Sunday night. "I knew what was going on and I'm sure from (the Saints') standpoint, if they're not sure I can kick and get any power ... then why wouldn't they" try out other kickers.
"I don't think you can judge a player on one game, though," Mare added. "That's obvious, if you've done it for 10 or 11 years."
Mare kicked hurt against Carolina last Sunday and it showed. He had a 20-yard chip shot blocked early in the fourth quarter, then hooked a 54-yarder wide left with a chance to give the Saints the lead shortly before the 2-minute warning. New Orleans lost 16-13.

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