CODY PARKEY MUST BE A MAJOR WEAPON FOR EAGLES TO KEEP GOALS ALIVE
When you walk through the Eagles locker room, there are smiles and levity at almost every stop. One of the exceptions is the locker inhabited by rookie kicker Cody Parkey.
The 6-foot-0 190-pounder out of Auburn always has a look on his face that suggest impending doom. Parkey seems to have a look of focus at all times, even when it is OK to relax.
The 22-year old out of North Palm Beach Florida admitted in the preseason that he has had a chip on his shoulder ever since he missed a 33-yarder in Auburn’s three-point loss to Florida State in the 2013 BCS National Championship.
The Eagles can only hope he keeps that chip exactly right where it is right now.
Parkey has started his NFL career on a tear any kicker would be envious of.
Parkey is 23 for 23 on extra points and has hit 14 of 15 field goals. Three of the blasts are from beyond 50 yards.
In addition, over two-thirds of Parkey’s kickoffs are touchbacks, which is a huge weapon to have,especially in the playoffs – just ask any Eagles fans who watched the game against the Saints last year.
Parkey was asked if he expected to have Pro Bowl caliber success this early in his career.
“You know it’s something I’ve trained so long and so hard for,” Parkey said. “Before the season I said I never want to miss a field goal. Unfortunately that already happened. I’m just trying to make the rest of my kicks (this season) , get touchbacks and help the team any way I can.
“I’m not necessarily saying that I expected this or didn’t expect it. I’m just doing what I know I can do…and go out there and have fun.”
Superstitions are well known in sports. Baseball may have the most, especially with a hot pitcher. Parkey was asked if he has any superstitions or if his teammates are keeping their distance while his on this run.
“No…same deal,” Parkey said. “I have the same routine when I warm up. I do the same stretches I always do that gets me warm. But nothing special.”
So can we say sticking to doing the exact same routine every day, every practice, a form of a superstition?
“Yeah absolutely,” said Parkey, who came close to cracking a smile while collecting his thoughts. “I have a routine and I stick to it. It makes me feel good knowing that I have that routine to fall back on…it’s something that prepares me for the game.”
Parkey was asked if there any one moment between the time after leaving Auburn and landing in the Indianapolis Colts training camp last summer – locked in a duel with three-time Super Bowl champion Adam Vinatieri – that he knew he was going to be an NFL kicker?
“I’ve always had confidence,” Parkey said. “Sure it definitely helps going to Indianapolis and kicking with a 19-year veteran in Adam Vinatieri, a Super Bowl winner…the whole nine yards. And to be able to go kick-for-kick with him back and forth with him and to see what he does. That definitely gave me confidence. He installed confidence in me, he told me I was a great kicker and told me he thought I was going to make it as well.
“When I left (Indianapolis) he text-ed me to keep my head up and that he knows I am going to do great things. That definitely helps.”
Vinatieri is not the only one who sees greatness in Parkey.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly felt good enough about what he saw in Parkey to make a deal to acquire him in a deal with the Colts.
Kelly showed all the fans what he thinks of Parkey when, against the Arizona Cardinals on the road, the coach sent his rookie out to try a 54-yard field goal to keep the Birds in the game. Parkey drilled the ball through the uprights.
It was Parkey’s third made field goal from beyond 50 yards, and the longest by an Eagle since David Akers hit a 57-yarder in 2003.
Kelly will no doubt continue to test Parkey until he misses a few. But for now, Kelly is pushing the envelope with Parkey.
“Obviously he has a lot of confidence in me,” Parkey said. “He sees me kick every week in practice and training. He has confidence in me and that instill confidence in myself.”