Quinn Nordin was one of the side stories worth monitoring for the Patriots as they entered their second preseason exhibition of the summer on Thursday. After all, the rookie kicker impressed in the opener against Washington, netting all three of his field-goal attempts which included a boot from 50 yards out. By night's end in Philly, however, Nordin looked like a rookie kicker. In what was otherwise a dominant night for New England, he missed two extra-point attempts and a field goal try.
With Nick Folk still on the mend, Nordin does have a window to make a case to be the starter. That said, performances that leave you holding your breath when he lines up the kick aren't exactly putting him on the fast track to leapfrog someone on the depth chart, especially when looking at Folk, who converted 92.9% of his field-goal attempts and 90.9% of his extra points for New England last season.
"I think when you go through any player's performance in the preseason and really in any game, player or coach, they're always some good plays and then some plays that we'd all like to have back," Belichick said Friday when asked about Nordin's performance. "I thought Quinn did a good job of rebounding there in the second half, came back and hit the ball well, but obviously a big part of everybody's game and certainly the specialists game is consistency and so, let's say that we've seen a little bit of that from all the specialists in the first two preseason games. We're all obviously working for more consistency and especially when you have a three-man operation there with a snapper, a holder and a kicker, then there's an element of that. We'll keep working through it and see where it goes."
Even if Nordin doesn't display enough to fully take over kicking duties, he'll need to inspire enough confidence in the coaching staff to keep him heading into the regular season in the event that Folk still isn't back to full strength. If Nordin continues to struggle and Folk needs more time to recover, the Patriots could find themselves pretty thin at a key spot on the roster.
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