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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
John Kasay's life changed in a hurry

By Pat Yasinskas

John Kasay is 41, which is one of the major reasons the Carolina Panthers released the kicker last month. But as Kasay met with the New Orleans media after signing with the Saints on Tuesday, he said he feels like he still can be productive.

“I am not as young as I use to be,’’ Kasay said. “I am not fooling anybody with that but there have been a handful of guys who have done very well playing into their 40’s. Morten Anderson, John Carney, Gary Anderson, Matt Stover, Jason Hanson. It’s a privilege to be able to play and to do the same thing I was doing as a kid.”

Kasay said he had continued working out, even though he wasn’t sure he would get another chance to kick in the league. That changed quickly after New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley suffered a hip injury in Sunday night’s preseason game.

“This came together obviously very quickly based on what happened to Garrett,’’ Kasay said. “That’s just the nature of the league. I am married. I have four children and school started last week. I was back-to-school-night last night. That’s how fast life changes.”

Coach Sean Payton wouldn't go into specifics about the severity of Hartley's injury and it's unclear if the Saints think they'll be going with Kasay for the long term or only the short term. Payton said familiarity with Kasay is one reason the Saints chose him.

“With his experience, we know the player a little bit more than some of the others because he’s been in our division,'' Payton said. "He’s consistent. He’s a veteran player and we just started getting some work with him today. Really the adjustment is in the hold because he’s a left-footed kicker.”

Punter Thomas Morstead and backup quarterback Chase Daniel worked as holders with Kasay in Tuesday's practice.

“That’s a good question,'' Payton said when asked who will hold. "I think we’ll go with the holder that is most apt at doing it. Both of them, Chase right now and Thomas Morstead, are getting comfortable doing that and working through the kinks.”