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Kicker Cody Parkey aware of opportunity he has with New Orleans Saints

'I know this is Wil's job. I'm just here to do a great job until he's healthy'


Cody Parkey wasn't wishing ill on Aldrick Rosas, or any other NFL kicker. It's a small fraternity and if all kickers aren't friends, it likely is only because they haven't met.

But Rosas' misfortune (missing three of four field goals in the New Orleans Saints' first four games this season) turned into Parkey's good fortune on Tuesday, when he was signed to kick for the Saints after Rosas was released.

Parkey's first game action with the Saints (2-2) will be Sunday, against the Washington Football Team (2-2) at FedExField in Landover, Md.

"When you're on the outside looking in, you kind of look at who did good, who did bad and unfortunately, I've been in that situation," Parkey said Thursday. "When you're on the outside looking in, someone has to do bad or get injured for an opening to happen. Obviously, you never want that to happen to anybody because I've been in those shoes before. But a door opened for me, and here I am."

Parkey had been home in Jupiter, Fla., rehabbing from a quadriceps strain that he said led to his release from Cleveland in training camp. He was placed on injured reserve Aug. 23, and released the next day. But upon his return to full health, the 29-year-old again was ready to kick in the NFL when the opportunity arose.

"The last couple of weeks I've been feeling good, and got the opportunity here," he said. "I was just itching to get back on the field, (and) happy to be here."

Parkey, who previously has kicked for the Eagles, Browns (twice), Dolphins, Bears and Titans in his seven seasons, has made 121 of 143 field goals (84.6 percent), with a long of 54 yards (twice, most recently in 2017).

For the Saints, he understands that he's holding down the position until Wil Lutz returns. Lutz had core muscle surgery in August and currently is on injured reserve.

"It's the National Football League," Parkey said. "It's a week-to-week job. You make your kicks, you've got a job – that's kind of how it works. I've kind of been unlucky with an injury here or there or something along those lines. I'm just happy to fill in while Wil is recovering and I'm going to do the best I can to help this team win.

"I know this is Wil's job. I'm just here to do a great job until he's healthy, whenever that may be. I'm just going to go week by week and try to help this team win."

While with the Dolphins, Parkey was coached by current Saints special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi. That season, 2017, Parkey made 21 of 23 field-goal attempts (91.3 percent), the highest percentage he's had in any season where he has attempted at least 20 field goals.

"I think he just treats us really well," Parkey said of Rizzi. "He makes things fun and energetic. The mood is pretty light and when it needs to be serious, it's serious. But he's just someone that I look back on the coordinators that I've played for, he's definitely one of my favorites to play for."

Coach Sean Payton said Parkey's workout and kicking history led to the decision to sign the free agent.

"He's been steady," Payton said. "His numbers have been good. Just go back through it relative to his consistency and his accuracy. Overall, it's kind of a result-oriented business where you're wanting to get to a certain percentage of made tries within a distance that you feel like you're comfortable with relative to leg strength. He's a veteran player, he's a guy with, I think, poise. I think he's mentally tough and we're looking forward to having him."

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