Frank Reich and Chris Ballard are staking some of their reputation on keeping the kicker after his woeful start. What happens if he can’t fix the problems and make kicks anymore?
The Colts announced yesterday that they are going to keep longtime kicker Adam Vinatieri. Coach Reich came out and backed him and said that he is confident Vinatieri will work through this and figure it out. He also said the same thing last week before Vinny missed two extra points.
What happens if this poor kicking display continues this week against the Falcons? Do they finally cut bait and release Vinatieri? Or do they keep backing him then too? There are many questions that need to be asked, and the Colts aren’t really giving solid answers.
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If Vinatieri misses another kick on Sunday, he needs to be released immediately. And if he does miss kicks, Reich and Ballard deserve to hear it from the fans. This isn’t a business of blind loyalty and faith. This is a business of winning football games.
If Vinatieri doesn’t give the Colts the best chance to win football games, he has to go. Him missing kicks on Sunday would make the fanbase trust the decision makers of the Colts less, and I don’t blame them. This would be a bad look for the team if he can’t fix his issues.
As I said yesterday, I don’t think these issues can be fixed. It seems as though Vinny’s time in the league is over, and Father Time has caught up to him. The Colts need to go younger and look at the future of the kicking position.
But if Vinatieri is able to fix his issues, the Colts look like geniuses to stick with him. They can keep him through the end of the season and then make a decision then. This doesn’t seem likely, but it could happen. Then they can say “I told you so”.
This week is the most critical week of Vinatieri’s career. He is kicking for his NFL life and he knows it. It will be interesting to see how he responds.