As a kicker, we often get smirks about how we wear our socks, put different style shoes on, etc. Whatever the case may be, there are things that may separate a kicker from the other players. It does not make sense since we too are just as important to the team. While we can be the deciding factor in a game to win, we can also lose the game. Unfortunately, Cody Parkey, the former kicker for the bears, has found himself in a rough place right now.
To be honest, most kickers have had rough games before. And usually, bouncing back takes time to do. However, with enough time, patience, and dedication to improvement, it can definitely happen. This post will highlight the career of Cody Parkey and where he has come from and shine some light on what he will be capable of moving forward. So grab your favorite glass of OJ, and relax, this will be fun.
“All We Do Is Kick”
That being said, kickers do not get the praise other players get and that is expected. When we get on the field, our only expectation is to hit that ball through the yellow things. Some people call them uprights, science has never confirmed that though.
As we prepare for the kick, we have our routine that we do, then acknowledge to the holder that we are ready. Shortly after, the snap comes, we approach the ball, kick it, and hopefully, get 3 points out of it. People love to make this job seem easy. While it can be, until they have gotten out on the field and had a few kicks, they will realize they were not ready for that amount of coordination.
There are many arguments to be made about how we only have one job. Well technically, so does every other position. Kick returners only have to catch and return the ball downfield, offensive lineman has to protect the quarterback. Defensive lineman has to get the quarterback. Cornerbacks try to stop their opponent from getting a catch. Wide receivers just have to catch the ball.
Sure there are other assignments that go along with being in that position. But it is the same for kickers. We have to kickoff, or even punt the ball away from or out of reach of the opponent. There are many aspects of kicking that do not get seen.
“All We Do Is Kick” Continued
Anyway, the kicker, once successful on his or her kick, must celebrate for a minimum of 15 seconds. If they do not do this, Pat McAfee will not highlight you on his Instagram. You definitely want that opportunity to shine.
When it comes to Parkey and his unfortunate game against the eagles, almost every kicker has had a performance that they are not proud of. That being said, it needs to be known that every kicker has bad performances.
Not even kickers, all players have had bad games. In this scenario, it happened in front of a lot of people. But we are all human so this has become something that no one deserves backlash for. While he was 3 for 3 going into that last kick, he did not convert and starts getting hate for it. It is definitely a bad situation to be in.
However, he will definitely grow from this situation a bigger, and better kicker. The annoyance when kicking Field Goals starts when players think that it is so easy. While in essence, kicking a field goal may SEEM simple, there are so many factors that come into play. A few factors that are not under our control.
- The Snap
- How the holder holds the ball #lacesout
- How the lineman block for you
- The surface a kicker stands on
“All We Do Is Kick” Continued… Again
The rest of the things that kickers face should be in their control. We are in control of our body, and how we respond to that. Too often, players get upset with our performances because we do not make the kick.
Statistically, the average of made field goals increases division to division. For example, middle school field goal percentages will be substantially lower than they would in high school, college, then pros. Each division gets a little higher as you move up the ladder. Therefore, a professional might have an expectation to make over 80% or more of their kicks. Unfortunately, Parkey made 76% that season that he was on the bears. Now it is not a surprise if he was having a 76% season that he made 3/4 field goals against the Eagles.
It just so happened that he missed the kick in front of a lot of people. But so what? Did anyone die from this game? Sure it was heartbreaking but at the end of the day, there is so much more to it than the game itself.
These players might not be playing again in 5-10 years so what is the big deal? So relax people. Cody Parkey, who may have not made a kick to move on to the next round, is also human. His misses were not even for a lack of Power. So seriously, do some Meditation, Workouts, Leg Workouts, or even Core Workouts. Whatever the situation, chill out.
How Did Cody Parkey Have a Game Like This?
Nobody in the history of any sport dreams of the moment they cause their team to lose and send them home in the playoffs. So when it comes to Parkey and his performance against the Eagles, this situation is no different.
I bet when he put his shoes on in the morning he was no dreaming of the moment his team would need him and he fell short. That might be a nightmare for many! So why in the world do people feel the need to remind him of his mistakes?
The next time you mess up on a test, at work, or at home, imagine someone tweeting you daily talking about your failures. You know you did not take advantage of the opportunity but there does not need to be anyone reminding you of it. So think of that next time. Cody will bounce back from this and will be on a team and thrive there shortly.
Cody Parkey has a great future ahead of him as he has a great fundamental swing and ability to repeat his form kick after kick. In 2015, he was a pro bowl kicker.
After having some Injuries in September 2015, Parkey continued to play for various teams around the NFL. Playing well for most of the teams, he never got a chance to be on a specific team for the long term. The Chicago Bears gave him that opportunity and he did perfectly fine basically the whole season.
How Did Cody Parkey Have a Game Like This? Continued
One of the weird games during the season was the game against the Lions where he missed all 4 kicks by hitting the uprights. Mind you, the wing was not a light breeze. The flags are quite stiff. It can be possible that the ball just flies differently under these conditions. While the weather cannot be controlled, the focus must be all in for the kicks to be made.
Again, the weather should not be an excuse, but there are conditions where the weather makes those almost too easy kicks, deceiving. Often times, the shorter kicks in bad weather are the ones kickers miss. The longer ones either do not get attempted or the kicker knows going in that they have to put some extra focus into aiming and hitting the ball well. There must be an increase in focus for the kicks to go through.
Therefore, Cody must have gotten in his head and just simply went through a tough game. It just so happens that the way he had a tough game was hitting the upright every kick. Just so everyone knows, hitting the upright is not easy. The fact that Cody did it 4 times, every kick, becomes hilarious. I could not do that if I tried. If anything he deserves a medal of some sort. That is extremely impressive.
Cody Parkey’s Season With The Bears
While having a down season, as most players do, Parkey was still able to perform at a high level. He got NFC special teams player of the week by making 3 field goals against the Minnesota Vikings. Upon joining the bears, he has kept his efficiency up. A few injuries here and there but overall ability to maintain good performances.
Now what most people do not know is the amount of room for error in the NFL magnifies with kickers and punters. Players often have multiple games where if they perform poorly, they get cut. As a kicker, one bad game (1 or more missed kicks) results in a potential cut. Clearly any professional teams only want the best for their team. But when a player has one of those games where everyone looks around like the world is on fire.
Some players (myself included) would have one really bad game and then the rest of the season was great. The argument becomes why are the teams not letting that player ride it out for 2+ more games. By having the reaction to cut them the second they have a bad game, their confidence may never come back. That being said, a constant environment where there is support must become more present.
People mess up all the time. So how a team responds during a mess-up could greatly relate to that player’s future performance. Approach the player with the understanding that things happen, and everyone has a better perspective. Through constant communication and built trust, that players will do their absolute best for their team.
Cody Parkey’s Season With The Bears Continued
Cody Parkey needs a team that trusts and believes in him as well. No player deserves to play for a team anxious about messing up. Professional football is a business. But the way to make the most money is by investing in the people.
Eventually, they will feel extra motivation to do their best in everything they do. By trusting the players to give it their all, instead of bashing and cutting them from one mistake, separates the elite from the average.
There are many people that believe Cody Parkey may not stay on a team any longer after last year. But as mentioned earlier, he never really had a bad year. 76% conversion on field goals is not that bad. Some of the best kickers in the league have had seasons well below 76% percent. So do not get your panties in a bunch and accept that he will be better moving forward.
Challenges Create Opportunity
Early on in Sebastian Janikowski’s career, he had a reputation for lack of Consistency. Kicking below 70% in his first season, he definitely made a name for himself through his antics. Then, he made improvements and went down as one of the best kickers in history through his challenges. Another example; Adam Vinatieri, who became very close to being cut in his rookie season. He was one bad kick away from being let go from the patriots. As you can imagine, he made the kick, thankfully he did, the Patriots won the super bowl that year. Most likely only because of Vinatieri.
Cody Parkey The Comeback Kid
While many people have already counted Cody out, it should be noted that he has plenty of room for growth. There are so many opportunities for Cody moving forward. What blows my mind, is how many people do not realize the difficulties in Kicking.
In essence, Kicking might seem simple. However, Kicking might bring a great deal of mental stress when compounded through a bad game experience. We only have a limited amount of opportunities to prove ourselves. Let us say we miss a kick, it happens. Now we may not have another chance at it for the remainder of the game. Likewise, most position players get dozens and dozens of opportunities to shine and vice versa.
Cody The Comeback Kid
And I say have a really bad game, oftentimes though and really notices. Unfortunately for kickers, our problems are magnified. Any and all mistakes that we make have a black and white result. Meaning if we miss a kick, everyone knows about it. If we make a kick, not many people really care.
That being said, I really hope Cody finds his groove, he has done well consistently throughout his playing career, and to be honest, 76% conversion is nothing to be ashamed of. It just so happens at the misses he had was in grand fashion. Cody Parkey, will only grow from this situation and continue to better himself and have a long-term contract fairly soon. He has already been working with numerous Kicking Coaches in order to fix some of his minor flaws. We are all rooting for you Cody now go get ‘em! If you enjoyed reading this article, please share this so we can continue to grow! Also, if you have any suggestions for what we should write about next, let us know!
Thanks for reading and stay amazing!