This veteran is trying to win “dogfight’ for Jets’ kicking job

DETROIT — Chandler Catanzaro just shakes his head when he looks back at the 2016 season, his worst in the NFL.

The new Jets kicker made just 21 of 28 field goals and 43 of 47 extra points for the Cardinals last year.

“I did my best, but the results, obviously, weren’t up to my standards,” Catanzaro said this week.

The story is not quite as simple as Catanzaro struggling, though. Arizona went through two long snappers and three holders during the year, completely disrupting the timing of the kicks.

Still, the Cardinals moved on from Catanzaro and he landed with the Jets in March. Catanzaro knew Jets coach Todd Bowles from Bowles’ time as the Cardinals defensive coordinator and liked his style.

“It was definitely a tough year for me statistically,” Catanzaro said. “I was just looking for an opportunity. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait very long. The Jets called with interest. It’s a great organization, a great place to kick up here, the fans are awesome. I’m really excited about this year.”

The kicking job is not Catanzaro’s yet, though. He is competing with Ross Martin, who is in his second year trying to make the team after being cut last summer by the Jets. So far in practice, Martin has outkicked Catanzaro. But special teams coach Brant Boyer said the “preseason games are everything.”

“I think it’s a dogfight,” Boyer said of the competition. “I think they both have done a nice job. I think they both have some strengths but, I think it’s neck and neck and we will see how it plays out in the next three weeks.”

Catanzaro is not focusing on the competition.

“I’m all about controlling what I can control,” he said. “I’ve been hitting the ball really well. I feel like I’ve hit 100 percent of my kicks well, just a few of them haven’t gone in. I’m really confident in my process right now. That decision is up to the coaches. I’m going to let the chips fall where they may.”

Bowles was asked what he hopes to see from his team Saturday night against the Lions in their second preseason game.

“Just sharp on assignments and everybody getting on the same page [and] some continuity starting to gel on game day,” Bowles said. “Like to see a lot more effort out of certain guys on special teams that will show up that are right on the bubble, that will start to assert itself.”


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