DAVIE, Fla. (AP)
The Miami Dolphins cut kicker Jay Feely a year after he set the team's single-season record for field-goal percentage. Feely's release Tuesday clears the way for undrafted rookie Dan Carpenter to take over as the starting kicker. "It's Dan's job to lose," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said after Tuesday morning's practice. Carpenter, a former University of Montana kicker from Helena made field goals of 41 and 49 yards in Miami's 17-6 preseason loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, but he was surprised when he learned Feely had been cut. "Of course it was a shock," Carpenter said. "I'm a rookie coming in and Jay's a great kicker and he's got a lot of experience and I'm just here to do my best and hopefully that's the best." Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Carpenter outperformed Feely and handled the pressure of an NFL camp as a rookie. "The decision was made purely on numbers, on performance and Carpenter has outperformed him right now. That's the bottom line," Sparano said. "We chart a ton of categories with the kickers and Carpenter has outperformed him." Carpenter had a string of 23 consecutive kicks before missing one on Tuesday morning. "Prior to today's practice he made 93 percent of his kicks," Sparano said. "The numbers weren't close." Carpenter converted 75 of 103 field goals at Montana and 182 of 188 extra points over four seasons. "First of all, the kid's kicked in Montana, so I don't know much about anything, but I know that Montana's not always good weather," Sparano said. "Secondly, when you're a rookie, no matter what it is, going into that kind of environment or this environment in practice right now, you're kicking in pressure situations, especially, and with all due respect, when you have a veteran player like Jay Feely ... competing against you, and this kid competed." Feely made 21 of 23 field goals last season, or 91.3 percent, one of the few bright spots on the 1-15 Dolphins. But his outspoken nature often clashed with the new Bill Parcells-led regime, which has overhauled the roster with younger players.