Steve: Who will be the Saints kicker in 2014?
Talking about an NFL's team's kicking game never seems important, until you need the guy to drill a game-winning 49-yarder with seconds on the clock. When you look at the Saints roster this year, kicker is one of the few question marks.
Shanye Graham joined the Saints late last year after Garret Hartley was cut. The 37 year old has played for 8 other teams before coming to New Orleans. His longest stay was with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-2009. For his career, he has made 85.5% of his field goal attempts, and did a decent job for the Black and Gold last year.
In two regular season games, he was 2-for-2 and was instrumental in the team winning their first road playoff game against the Eagles, making all 4 kicks in a 35-24 win.
But Graham allowed some doubt to creep in when the Saints lost in Seattle the following week in the divisional round. He missed a 45-yarder in the 1st quarter and 48-yarder in the 4th and finished 0-for-2 on the day.
Enter 24 year old Derek Dimke! The youngster has a strong leg; problem is, he has never kicked in an actual NFL game. He first came into the league in 2012, signing with the Detriot Lions as an undrafted free agent. He was released after the preseason. He then had a one-month stint with the Jets from April to May of 2013, which was then followed by some time with the Bucs, who also cut him after the preseason.
Experience usually wins when it comes to a kicker, but this is definitely a position battle we will be watching during training camp.