Panthers kicker pick backfires, but they’re sticking with Medlock

AP

When the Panthers cut Olindo Mare earlier this week, they were solid on the guy they kept instead, Justin Medlock.

In part because of Medlock’s strong leg, General Manager Marty Hurney was quick to say they weren’t looking for others.

In his first chance, however, Medlock fell flat.

He missed a 50- and a 56-yarder in the second half of the loss at Pittsburgh, a troubling sign.

“The kid’s got a leg and he’s going to continue to work and he’ll make kicks for us. I believe that he will,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I’m pretty excited about what he can give us as far as the distance with his leg.”

“The good thing is it happened now. I’ve just got to figure it out,” Medlock said. “I was hoping for that situation, and I’m hoping for it again.”

The Panthers used to have a stable kicking situation with John Kasay for 15 years. But when he couldn’t kick off anymore, they cut him for Mare, an expensive and ridiculous one-year rental. And now they’ve cast their lot with Medlock, a cheaper alternative, but one who hasn’t proven that he’s any better than the guy they just cut.

12 responses to “Panthers kicker pick backfires, but they’re sticking with Medlock

  1. Before people make too much out of this, it is nigh impossible to hit from 50+ at Heinz Field.

    Jeff Reed did it twice in TEN years as the Steelers kicker, with a long of 52. In fact, as far as I can tell, he is still the only NFL kicker to do it.

    It is the worst kicking stadium in the NFL by a wide margin.

  2. With Mare as the kicker, Panthers punt instead of trying those two FG’s. Really, he sucks because he missed two 50+ yarders? That’s stupid.

  3. One of my favorite things about Heinz Field is that for the past 10 years, anytime I’ve seen a kicker lineup from 45 yards, I knew there was only about a 40% chance he’d make it. And that number would decrease by about 8% with every yard +. 50 or more is almost impossible. It’s one of the biggest small advantages in the NFL.

    Expecting this guy to boot one from 56 there is absurd.

  4. lol @ the Candlestick guy.. Seriously dude? 49ers have the best kickers in the nation and their stadium is the hardest to kick in?

    Heinz field was positioned and elevated so that the winds from the river would swirl right into the open end. They play on grass which is usually messed up because Pitt U and a bunch of high schools play there as well. The only reason why the Panthers had that man kick there was because he needs the game experience. You can’t just try a 50+ yarder during the season when the game is on the line unless you know he can boom it. Coach Rivera and the Panthers ST coach were very positive with that kicker after his misses sooooo what’s the story here?

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