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Henery has room to improve

6/26/2014

Alex Henery has performed admirably since being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.

But Eagles special teams coach Dave Fipp believes the kicker can be much better.

The Eagles signed undrafted free-agent kicker Carey "Murderleg" Spear from Vanderbilt to challenge Henery in OTAs and training camp.

Fipp believes it will be difficult for Spear to outduel Henery for the starting job.

“At the end of the day he [Henery] is still a really good kicker,” Fipp told CSNPhilly.com. “There are a lot of teams that would like to have a kicker as accurate as him on their team. Would you like him to be better on kickoffs? Sure you would. But if you take both of those stats, where does he rank in the league in [field goals and kickoffs], and add 'em up and divide by two … he’s roughly the 14th-best kicker in this league. So there’s 17 teams that want a guy as good as him.”

Henery has missed just 12 field goals in his three seasons with the Eagles, going 74-for-86. When you’re a kicker, people tend to remember the ones that missed. Henery missed a crucial 48-yarder in the 26-24 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.

CSNPhilly.com noted that Henery has made only two kicks of 50 or more yards in his career.

So there’s clearly work to be done.

“Where his struggles are is long-range field goals,” Fipp told CSNPhilly.com. “And I’m not arguing with that, but you’ve got to put everything into perspective. What’s happening? You can’t just look at the end results and say, ‘His numbers are terrible.’ Really, his numbers in a lot of the ranges are really good and most teams in this league would take those numbers. Now, the dilemma is that he hasn’t kicked the ball off well enough, but short to mid to mid-long he’s a very accurate field goal kicker. … Now, touchbacks are a different story.

“But replacing a guy like that is not easy because who’s out there as a field goal kicker? If he’s out there, somebody’s taken him. So you’re trying to find a guy who’s hard to find. But the bottom line is Alex has got to get better. I’ve got to do a better job, he’s got to do a better job, but there are some things he’s really good at.”