Chandler Catanzaro, New York Jets’ kicker, had another stressful day and one he will be eager to forget. With the kicker in such a wobbly form, many have started to question the organization’s decision to allow kicker Jason Myers, a Pro Bowler, to leave the Jets in free agency.
Catanzaro had a poor 2018 season, which he spent playing for both Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. Nonetheless, the team from the MetLife Stadium decided to give the 28-year-old kicker a one-year deal. Contrary to Catanzaro, his predecessor, Jason Myers, matched the franchise record for field goal accuracy, hitting the target with a success rate of 91.7 percent. Moreover, Myers set a record of the league, hitting five field goals with the distance to the goal being at least 55 yards. He joined the Seattle Seahawks in a four-year deal worth $7 million in guarantees.
Catanzaro spent the 2017 season with the Jets, when he, as is the case today, worked under Brant Boyer, special team coordinator for the Jets. Boyer is reportedly a fan of Catanzaro’s, but despite that, The Cat Man still needs to show signs of significant improvement. We will have to wait and see how the Jets’ season pans out to know whether this risky strategy will pay off for the Gang Green or not. So far, fans are not optimistic. A few days ago, Catanzaro missed three field goals in a row. He followed it up with another two misses (from 40 and 45 yards) on Wednesday.
Head Coach’s Opinion
The team’s head coach, Adam Gase, was adamant he wouldn’t be adding competition to the Clemson graduate. The Buccaneers found Catanzaro surplus to requirements after playing nine games for the Bucs last season. In them, Catanzaro missed four field goals and failed to convert as many PATs. Obviously, if he continues in such light, Gase will have no other option but to revisit his decision not to bring in another kicker.
Gase said that the kicker had a productive spring this year. He supported the player, claiming that he was an experienced professional with a successful career behind him. Gase went on to say that the whole team was positive about Catanzaro’s past achievements, both personally and for the organization, and they were happy with his work rate on the spring training camp. Gase added that they didn’t only consider his performances during the training but all the information that was available to them.
Marcus Maye’s 2018 season was cut short due to a deep-seated shoulder injury. The extent of the injury is still unknown. Maye spent the opening six practices doing rehabilitation activities with a bucket hat. Trainers helped him along in a solo training on a side field. While talking to the media, Gase couldn’t give a specific answer as to when the medical staff expected Maye to be physically available to perform at the NFL level. During the last season, Maye also suffered from thumb and ankle injuries.
After Wednesday’s practice, Gase said that they would treat Maye’s recovery on a day-to-day basis, adding that his body needed time to heal fully, and they wouldn’t rush the process. According to the coach, Maye needs to have his strength back at the level where he feels right, and the team will wait for him.
The Jets kept Maye on the “physically unable to perform” list as a strategic move despite the player’s recovery development process being at the stage where he could join in on individual drills. Moreover, he’s ready enough to take part in 7-on-7 drills while wearing a no-contact jersey. As per NFL rules, if they remove him from the PUP list, he would join the active roster for Week 1. Since the Jets know he won’t be fully ready by then (September 8), they didn’t want to risk him on the active roster. Gase said that Maye’s placement on the PUP was a precaution, in case the season arrives and the kicker isn’t ready for a number of weeks.
Last year was Maye’s second season in the NFL, after playing 16 games in his rookie season, during which he pulled off some impressive plays. The safety hurt his ankle during the final game of the rookie season, which was followed by several bruises and bumps throughout last year. Maye had to have his thumb operated on and played through the pain. However, in November, he had a shoulder injury which removed him from the field.
Gase reportedly wasn’t all too sure about Maye and his future in the team mostly due to his proneness to injury. However, the coach changed his mind thanks to Maye’s exceptional talent on the field, with Gase acknowledging Maye’s usefulness in the back end. Gase said that Maye wasn’t holding anything back in his efforts during the recovery.
The coach praised the player for his work rate in the training and weight room, as well as the hard work he put in the classroom, working with other coaches on the tactical side of the game. Gase admitted that it was tough on Maye to be sidelined and that the 26-year-old couldn’t wait to get back on the field. However, the speed of the recovery process is not in his control, and he’ll be playing as soon as his body is ready again.
Other Players’ Condition
In addition to Maye, defensive back Jeremy Clark and tight end Bucky Hodges pulled their hamstrings during the practice and had to go for an early bath. In more positive news for the Jets fans, tight end Daniel Brown, who also had hamstring problems, returned to practice on Wednesday.