NFC West: James Bettcher


Kicker Jay Feely, 37, is the oldest player on the Arizona Cardinals' roster. Now, he undoubtedly feels like it.

"Signs you're getting old: One of our Rookies told me in meetings today he thought all offseason I was a coach," Feely tweeted Saturday.

Feely is indeed older than assistant coaches James Bettcher, Ryan Slowik and Kevin Garver, who turns 26 on Sunday. Age is a relative thing, of course. The Cardinals' oldest assistant, Tom Pratt, turned 78 last month.

Feely made his NFL debut with Atlanta in 2001 after playing for two teams in the Arena League.

The Cardinals' youngest rookie, Tyrann Mathieu, was born in 1992, when Feely was about to turn 16.

The chart shows ages for the Cardinals' assistant coaches. Feely tied for ninth in overall field-goal accuracy last season, making 25 of 28 tries (89.3 percent). He might not be finished playing yet.

Recently hired Arizona Cardinals assistants Tom Pratt, 77, and Tom Moore, 74, stand out for their age in a young man's game.

Moore has given assurances that age will not hold him back, particularly after knee replacement surgeries restored his energy. Pratt has explained how focusing on the present makes the distant past less relevant.

The idea that age is only a number works both ways. How else to explain the news that Freddie Kitchens, the Cardinals' quarterbacks coach and one of the team's youngest assistants on staff, required heart surgery Tuesday?

Kitchens, 38, sat up in bed and showed a sense of humor hours after undergoing the surgery for a defective aorta, coach Bruce Arians told reporters Wednesday.

That seems like a positive sign for Kitchens, who was stricken by dizziness during organized team activities Tuesday. It's too early to know a longer-term prognosis. For now, Moore will coach quarterbacks as well.

Moore's status as a long-time NFL offensive coordinator and Arians' background as a quarterbacks coach puts the Cardinals in position to carry on from a coaching standpoint. Supporting Kitchens and his family through a difficult time is the immediate focus, of course.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

NFC WEST SCOREBOARD