Cody Parkey makes case for kicker job

PHILADELPHIA -- The stakes for his team will be higher in the regular season than they were Thursday night. For Cody Parkey, though, the stakes couldn’t have been much higher.

The rookie was kicking for his NFL career, and he made two field goals over 50 yards in length. Parkey hit a 54-yarder, a 53-yarder and a 25-yard attempt in his only preseason game audition.

“It’s part of our job as a kicker to have a strong mind,” Parkey said after the Eagles’ 37-7 preseason win over the New York Jets. “I take a lot of visual reps and stuff like that. In warmups, me and Al (Henery) were both going back and it was a kick we both made. I knew I could make it.”

Parkey said his longest kick in warmups was good from 57 yards out. He will have to wait until Friday or Saturday to find out whether he beat out Henery.

“We’re not making any cuts right now,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said after the game. “We’ll go back and evaluate the tape, we’ll sit down as a staff (Friday) and Saturday and make final decisions on every position on our team.”

The Eagles acquired Parkey in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts one week ago. The Colts have a kicker named Adam Vinatieri on their roster. Parkey kicked well there, but not enough to dethrone Vinatieri.

Meanwhile, Henery beat out the rookie the Eagles signed right after the draft, Vanderbilt’s Corey Spear. But Henery also missed a 31-yard field goal last week, leaving the Eagles needing to have a contingency plan in place before the start of the season.

On Henery’s side: His accuracy over the last three years has been good. Henery has made 74 of his 86 attempts, a success rate of 86 percent. But he hasn’t made many high-pressure kicks, largely because he was kicking during Andy Reid’s final two seasons here and there weren’t many high-pressure moments.

In the playoff loss to New Orleans in January, Henery missed a 48-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter. The Eagles lost the game, 26-24.

The Eagles would also like to get more distance on their kickoffs. Parkey has been very good in that aspect of the game, as well.

“I need to get better,” Parkey said. “That’s one of my go-to (things), I’m pretty good at kickoffs. I work really hard at it. My goal is to put it out of the end zone every time so our guys never have to cover. Be a one-man kickoff team. That would be pretty cool.”