September 29, 2010

Notes: Saints add Carney to boost Hartley, more

The Saints signed 46-year old veteran placekicker John Carney to their regular season roster today, adding a veteran presence to somehow calm the nerves of young leg Garrett Hartley.

Hartley has missed two game-winning field goals in the past 8 games stretching back to 2009, both resulting in eventual Saints losses. 

He's also nailed two game-winning field goals in that span, nevermind three long-distance three-pointers in Super Bowl XLIV.  But Hartley's job security is in doubt after missing three of seven field goals through three games, including two in the opener against Minnesota that would have made the game considerably less stressful, and in overtime on Sunday from short range.

Hartley was 14 of 16 last season through five regular season games and three playoff games, after taking over for Carney in Week 13.

Carney was the Saints kicker's through 11 games last season, and their only kicker in the first four games of the season with Hartley suspended because of a prohibited stimulant test in the 2009 offseason.

Carney spent the rest of the season as a paid consultant in a non-roster position with the Saints, mentoring Hartley. 

The Saints also reportedly tried out veteran kicker Matt Stover this week.  Stover, a Louisiana Tech alum,  missed a field goal against the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV as a member of the Colts.

Both Carney and Hartley will remain on the roster, as they did through December of last season. 

The Saints waived WR Adrian Arrington to make room for Carney.  Arrington must clear waivers but then could end up on the Saints' practice squad.

Walking wounded: The Saints featured QB Drew Brees in a left knee brace in practice on Wednesday, his knee sore but okay following an MRI that saw no problems. 

The Saints also saw RB Pierre Thomas miss practice with a left ankle injury. Thomas' loss could leave the Saints with aging veteran Ladell Betts and undrafted rookie Chris Ivory at runningback, and with veteran Deshawn Wynn on the practice squad ready to be promoted.   Ivory himself made a surprising return to action in Week 3 from an MCL sprain.

As for the Saints practice squad, the team re-signed T Jermey Parnell a raw athlete who has been developed by the team as an offensive lineman since going undrafted last year.  The team cut G Jacob Bender, RB Brandon Minor and QB Sean Canfield from its practice squad in recent days, and added Wynn and RB Jed Collins.

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