Former Hawkeye Nate Kaeding Named Kicking Consultant in NFL
Nate Kaeding has former Iowa teammate Chad Greenway to thank for his new job. Kaeding has been hired as a kicking consultant for Greenway's former NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings. As a lifelong Minnesota fan, it's about time.
According to the Vikings website, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer says Nate is part-time and is commuting to the Twin Cities a couple days a week. Former Viking Chad Greenway, who was also Kaeding's teammate at Iowa, suggested Nate for the position and he's impressed Zimmer who said,
(He) gets the chance to watch these guys. But he’s sending video back and communicating with email and video and things like that. You have to have someone that really wants to do it, too. He was very adamant he wanted to do this.
I feel like it’s important that these specialists have someone who has been there and done that and can kind of watch the minute, little things that go on with the kicking game, whether it be the hold or the placement of the ball or when the snap is coming, just all these different things. I think it will be a good resource.
Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf says Kaeding's connection to the University of Iowa is part of the reason he ended up with Minnesota:
I’ve gotten to know him on a personal level because we know some mutual people at Iowa. He is another set of eyes.
He has done a real good job so far of communicating with players and making sure everybody is on the same page. I think it is really important that we are all talking the same language. He is somebody I could send with the specialists, and I can concentrate on other aspects, as well as the specialists.
Kaeding is ninth in NFL history, having converted 86.2 percent of his field goal attempts during a nine-year career. As any Vikings fan can attest, consistency has been a problem for awhile and big missed kicks have been the bane of our existence. Ok, maybe that's overstating it. A little.
Last season, Vikings kickers combined to make 22 of 32 field goal attempts. Sixty-eight percent won't cut it in the NFL. Current Vikings kicker Dan Bailey is fifth all-time with a field goal percentage of 86.6 percent but was just 21 of 28 in 14 games last year. Here's hoping Nate Kaeding can help him return to form.