Brett Maher was in training camp or on the practice squad for four NFL teams last season. This year, the kicker's quest to make a regular-season roster will begin with some preseason work for the New Orleans Saints, who signed him after Saints kicker Wil Lutz underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury. Lutz will be sidelined an undetermined amount of time.
"It's interesting," said Maher, who spent last season with the New York Jets, Washington, Houston and Arizona franchises. "There's a lot of time where you don't feel like you're in control of what your situation is, but to be able to stay kind of in the grind of it and do what you need to do to stay sharp mentally and physically to be ready when a situation arises, I feel like I did a good job with that over the last six or seven months. Hopefully I can continue to prove myself here and get a shot and help this team win some games."
Maher, who last kicked in the NFL in 2019 and made 20 of 30 field goal and all 36 point-after attempts, worked out for New Orleans on Monday.
"He's pretty consistent," Coach Sean Payton said. "We had two (kickers in for tryouts), he did a better job. I thought you saw good leg strength, he can kick off as well. We've seen him, of course, when he played with Dallas."
"I felt like it was pretty clean on my end," Maher said of the workout. "You come here and expect to make kicks, and that's what I did. I'm glad to have the opportunity now to prove myself with this organization and help win some games.
Maher said the Saints' tryout was his first one during this training camp circuit, but that it wasn't a nerve-wracking process.
"I think if you're not prepared for it, it can be," he said. "It's just different, every job has its own stressers and I'm not immune to that. But to be able to kind of be prepared; I've seen situations like that, so I had a little bit of an idea what to expect, and was able to come out here and have a good day (Monday). But none of that matters if you don't keep it going moving forward.
"I bounced around. I was with four different teams last year – practice squads, training camp – so it was a little bit of a whirlwind for me. But I met a lot of great people, had a lot of great experiences and was able to grow from each one of those."
The New Orleans Saints take the field for Day 11 of Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center
THERE'S WORK TO DO: The Saints went through some two-minute installation in Tuesday's training camp practice at their indoor facility, and there are kinks to be smoothed.
"There's going to be a ton of things to coach off of," Payton said. "I saw the ball on the ground rolling around, at times moving. We need to – the emphasis obviously is to get out of bounds. We had a penalty, offsides, to extend the drill. There's a number of good coaching points.
"Pretty much maybe like you'd expect on the first day, some good, some bad. Fortunately we have a lot of time to clean it up."