Garrett Hartley's job in jeopardy in New Orleans
After Garrett Hartley missed two kicks in the New Orleans Saints’ season-opening victory over the Minnesota Vikings, coach Sean Payton said that a year ago he would have had tryout options in the next day kicking for a chance to make the roster.
Payton had developed some patience with the experience that came along from winning the Super Bowl, and also some trust and confidence in Hartley, who had such big kicks in that game as well as the NFC Championship Game.
And now, Hartley has exhausted that patience. In a bad Sunday for kickers, he had perhaps the worst day of all, shanking a 29-yard try in overtime that would have lifted the Saints over their NFC South rivals the Atlanta Falcons. Instead, New Orleans is living with its first loss this morning and veteran John Carney will head to town for a workout at some point this week, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
“We're not going to talk about personnel right now," Payton said after the game. "I think it's a fair question. But, listen, last week he played well. He pulled this kick, and certainly he's got to play better than that. There's a lot of us that have to do a better job, myself included."
Hartley stood at his locker room following the defeat and took a barrage of questions. He was stand-up about it.
"It was all me," Hhe said. "Everything else was great, perfect. That's my job. When we get the ball down to the 11-yard line, we need to walk out of here with the 'W,' and tonight I did not fulfill that role as part of this team."
The Saints believe the 24-year-old has talent. They hung on to him during a drug suspension after all. But the defending Super Bowl champs don’t have the time to see if a young kid with a golden leg cannot stop yanking big kicks to the left.
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