Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Shayne Graham (3) kicks the game winning field goal on the final play of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Saints won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Saints Kicking Competition Heating Up

15480028-mmmainPhoto Courtesy: The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints wrapped up their third day of training camp today. In case you missed it, the kicking competition is quietly becoming a big interest for the team. Veteran kicker Shayne Graham is battling youngster Derek Dimke for the starting kicking job.

During a press conference today, Sean Payton had this to say about the competition:

“There’s competition there, but his (Graham’s) efficiency and percentage numbers are very good, and I thought he performed very well for us last year,” 

If you’ve followed us for a bit, you know that this is not the first time you’ve heard about Derek Dimke, as he’s not a stranger to the NFL. Dimke nearly beat out Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker, Rian Lindell, in preseason last year. Here are some articles on Dimke:

I’ve also gone on to say that Dimke will win the starting job.

Despite a contract, Shayne Graham is not a lock to be the Saints kicker in 2014. I’ve been fairly high on Dimke in various articles, and firmly believe that he will challenge Graham for the team’s starting job. The two have been fairly perfect in kick-for-kick matches thus far, and I think it will boil down to the long-range game, something that Graham does not have the advantage in. Further to my point, Graham went 4/9 in 50+ yard field goal tries in 2012 with the Houston Texans. Not having a kicker that could boot a long field goal when needed doesn’t work for the New Orleans Saints offense. I’m saying that Dimke wins the job in the preseason.

While it may be early, we have to know that if Dimke continues on this path, there will be a very hard roster decision coming for general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton.

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