Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fixing Feagles

Here's Jeff Feagles talking about his last three games, a nightmarish stretch during which neither his kicking nor his holding has been up to what fans expect from the 22nd-year veteran. In that span, he's hit 15 punts for a 35.4-yard average and botched a field goal snap bad enough that Lawrence Tynes couldn't even take a swing at it.

Before I turned the camera on, Feagles said a lot of his punting problems of late lay five inches apart. That would be the space between his ears. And facing the likes of three of the league's best punt returners in Arizona's Steve Breaston, Philadephia's DeSean Jackson, and San Diego's Darren Sproles hasn't helped.

"It's probably more in my mind than anything," Feagles said. "I honestly fear those guys that are back there. Darren Sproles and Jackson aren't any slouches, by any means. I don't want the ball in their hands, and Tom doesn't, either.

"But sometimes there has to be an opportunity that, when you're backed up, you have to get a little more field position. Sometimes, I'm so worked into my angles on the sideline that the angle the ball goes off with is compromised."

Feagles downplayed the notion that the coaching staff may have been so overbearing in telling Feagles to keep it away from Breaston, Jackson, and Sproles that his punting suffered as a result.

"Maybe a little bit," Feagles said. "But I just gotta kick better. I can put it down there. It's just been a bit of a struggle to get the ball inbounds. You look at last year when I was kicking well, they were all five yards from the sidelines. It sickens me to come off the field and see the referees going down the sidelines 30, 35 yards. It's very frustrating because I know I can put it down there 40, 45 yards.


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