Before training camp started, the Bills weren’t sure if Dan Carpenter was going to be their top kicker or if they would have to give the job to someone else.
Dan Carpenter struggled with his consistency last season and it led to uncertainty surrounding the kicker for the Buffalo Bills. During the offseason, he knew he had to make some adjustments on and off the field if he wanted to remain the Bills’ lead kicker.
With a 85.2% field goal conversion rate last season, Carpenter’s first move this offseason was to restructure his contract to drop his base salary this season. It only felt right after such a poor season, which included 6 missed extra-point attempts. His salary dropped from $2.025 million to $1.775 million this season.
The salary drop was enough for the Bills to keep him on the roster and give him a chance to earn the team’s trust again. However, shortly after the NFL Draft ended, the Bills announced the signing of 14 undrafted free agents, one of those being kicker Marshall Morgan. Headed into training camp, he was expected to make good competition with Dan Carpenter.
When training camp started, that reigned true. Through the first few days, Marshall Morgan was beating out Dan Carpenter. Morgan started camp by going 5/5 from distances of 33, 33, 35, 40 and 45. On the other hand, Dan Carpenter went 4/6 and made them from 26, 28, 33 and 43 while missing from 37 and 40 yards.
It wasn’t until August 1st that our thoughts were all flipped around. When the Bills announced the signing of free agent Reggie Bush, they also announced the release of Marshall Morgan. However, they still needed competition for Dan Carpenter, who still had yet to impress the coaches. They began giving Jordan Gay some shots.
That’s when Carpenter decided to finally find his rhythm. On Day 5 of training camp, Carpenter attempted a total of 10 field goals… And made all 10 of them. That continued for Day 6 of training camp, when he went perfect yet again — this time going 11/11. After making 21 straight field goals, he’s leaving behind any doubt that he can bounce back this season.
It might just be two good days, but confidence is one of the biggest factors for kickers in the NFL. If a kicker can get that confidence, then he can hit a field goal from however far out. This is a good sign for the Bills, who missed a lot of points last season from missed field goals and missed extra points.
Dan Carpenter is back and he is killin’ it. Bills’ fans should be excited!
Do you think Dan Carpenter’s hot foot will continue? Leave your comments below!