Philadelphia Eagles: What’s Wrong With Cody Parkey?


Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s kind of rare when anyone pays attention to an NFL kicker. That’s just the honest truth, fans and media like to clown on the kickers for various reason. They aren’t athletic, they just sit around at practice, they look funny in pads. While some of this is true, the importance of an NFL kicker is immense.

Philadelphia Eagles fans know all too well about how a bad kicker can affect your team. The team went through some rough times with veteran Alex Henery, but they found the answer to their kicking woes in Cody Parkey, or did they?

Parkey had a wonderful 2014 year coming out of nowhere late in the preseason as a long shot and dethroned Alex Henrey as the starting kicker. Parkey went 32 for 36 with his longest of a 54 yards and made the pro bowl as a rookie. Parkey was almost automatic from anywhere on the field and his kickoffs had a ton of power that forced teams into bad field position.

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This was obviously a refreshing sight to see, especially after the Alex Henery saga just a year ago. Henery was somehow drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011 in the fourth round (yes someone decided to draft a kicker) and as a rookie broke an NFL record for kicking accuracy. Seems legit right? The team felt Henery was the future, but it all went down hill from there.

I’m not sure if it was confidence, technique, kicking power, or the criticism, but Henery’s future became very rocky with all the pressure mounting. Henery played a huge role in multiple losses in 2013, including a playoff loss to New Orleans, due to his terrible kickoffs, spotty accuracy, and weak range. After one year of success, Henery will probably never wear another NFL uniform again because of his horrid play later in his career.

So now it’s 2015, and the Philadelphia Eagles think they have found their kicker for the next 15 years in Cody Parkey. The only problem is that maybe we are all making the same mistakes as we did with Alex Henery. Parkey has had some real struggles this training camp and it carried over into Sunday’s blowout of the Indianapolis Colts.

Cody managed to miss a PAT (which is now a 33 yard attempt), a 34 yard field goal, and barley by the skin of his teeth made a 48 yarder. This was a total change from his rookie season when Cody was money from almost anywhere. Head coach Chip Kelly quickly dismissed any problems with Parkey after the game, but at todays joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens, Parkey managed to go 7 for 10 in FG attempts, missing from a variety of ranges.

I’m not saying Cody Parkey is going to turn into the next Alex Henery this early into the season, but sometimes as fans we put too much expectations on a young player. Sometimes the weight of the pressure, especially in Philly, can be detrimental to young players. I believe Cody has a superior leg and stronger mentality than Alex Henery so a few rough days might not be able to rattle Cody like it did Alex.

It’s still something to keep a close eye on because the truth is, the Philadelphia Eagles need Cody Parkey to play at a high level. NFL kickers might be the ones who get clowned on the most, but make no mistake, kickers have the ability to cripple or strengthen a team. Cody Parkey might be going through a little rough patch and we’ll all look back at this with a smile when he turns back to his pro bowl self, or we’ll say that this was the beginning of the end of Cody Parkey.

Next: How Does Ed Reynolds Fit In The Secondary?

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