Feely, Jay

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Feely after his FG miss against New England
Thomas "Jay" Feely was a kicker for the New York Jets from 2008 to 2009.


Contents

Background and college

Born May 23, 1976 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Feely attended Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. While there, he set Hillsborough County career and season records for field goals and extra points. Feely was a four-year letterman at the University of Michigan from 1995 to 1998. As a senior in 1998, he converted 17 of 22 field goal attempts and 40 of 41 point-after attempts on his way to an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten team. His longest career field goal was 51-yard kick against Baylor as a junior. He finished his career 20-for-26 in field goals and 43-for-44 in extra points.

AFL Career

After going undrafted in the 1999 NFL Draft, Feely kicked for the Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League. That season, he went 2-for-5 in field goal attempts and 8-for-13 in extra point attempts. He also added three tackles and forced a fumble. Feely kicked for his hometown Tampa Bay Storm in 2000, converting one of six field goal attempts and three of four extra point attempts. He also returned one kickoff for 22 yards.

NFL Career

Before the Jets

In 2001, Feely signed a one-year, $209,000 contract with the Atlanta Falcons. That season Feely converted 29 of 37 field goal attempts (78.4%) and all 28 extra point attempts. He also converted 14 of 15 field goals away from the Georgia Dome. His 115 was tied for second in the NFC. For his performance during the season, Feely was a consensus all-rookie selection. In 2002 he converted 32 of 40 field goal attempts and all but one of 43 extra point attempts, breaking Morten Andersen's previous franchise record of 31 FG's set in 1995. Feely earned NFL Special Teams Player of the Week honors after converting three field goals of more than 40 yards against the Carolina Panthers, and eventually earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors for converting 9 of 10 field goals and all nine PATs. In 2003, Feely converted 19 of 27 field goal attempts (70.4 percent) and 32 of 33 extra point attempts. In 2004, he achieved a field goal percentage of 78.3 by converting 18 of 23 tries. Feely also connected on all 40 of his extra point attempts that season. On September 19 against the St. Louis Rams, he recorded his own onside kick. In two playoff games, Feely was a perfect 2-for-2 in field goals and 7-for-7 on PATs.

In 2005 Feely signed a three-year deal with the New York Giants and in a preseason game against the Jets, he scored all the Giants points in a 15-14 victory by connecting on five field goals, including two over 50 yards. On November 27th 2005, Feeley missed 3 game winning field goals against the Seattle Seahawks, causing them to lose the game in overtime.

A free agent in the 2007 offseason, the Miami Dolphins signed Feely. During his first season with the Dolphins, Feely experienced the most productive season of his career and in franchise history. He missed just two of his 23 field goal attempts, setting a new franchise record for field goal percentage at 91.3. Through the 2007 season, Feely had converted 164 straight extra point attempts and had created five recovered onside kicks.

During the 2008 offseason, it was reported that new Dolphins Vice President Bill Parcells did not like Feely's outspoken nature and that he would not be assured a roster spot despite his 2007 success. Feely was released by the Miami Dolphins on August 12, 2008.

On August 25, 2008, Feely was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs, and released just a day later. Apparently he turned his nose up at the ribs that had been offered. These had been especially grilled for him by the Chiefs' gourmet coach Herm Edwards.

As a Jet

After the Jets kicker Mike Nugent was injured in the team's Week 1 contest against the Dolphins, Feely was signed by the team on September 8. In his first game, against the New England Patriots, Feely missed a 31 yard field goal attempt. In week 10, Feely kicked a 55 yarder against the St. Louis Rams, equalling the team record distance for a field goal, jointly held by Pat Leahy and John Hall.

Through 10 games, Feely had made 16 of his 20 field goal attempts, with an average of 35.1 yards and a long of 55 yards and converted all 23 PATs for a total of 71 points. Feely reportedly began working out his upper body five days a week in the Jets new training facility, saying, "I work out hard in the weight room just so I don't get injured." On March 4, 2009, Feely re-signed a one-year contract with the Jets. In the game against the Buffalo Bills, Feely broke Pat Leahy's record of 23 consecutive field goals hitting his 24th however he would later miss a second-quarter field goal leaving the record at 24. On December 21, 2009, Feely went 0-2 in field goal attempts. He "shanked" a 38-yard try and had 37-yarder blocked, as the Jets lost to the Atlanta Falcons 10-7. On January 9, 2010, Feely recorded his first career punt in a playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he was unexpectedly pressed into service after his teammate Steve Weatherford was sidelined with an irregular heartbeat. However two weeks later, in the AFC Conference Championship game, Feely would miss two field goals against the Indianapolis Colts, as the Jets lost 30-17.

After the Jets

Feely signed with the Arizona Cardinals on April 2, 2010. On December 12, 2010, Feely became just the fourth kicker in 40 years to run for a touchdown, scoring on a fake field goal against the Denver Broncos. Feely also kicked a career-high five field goals in the game. Feely scored 25 points in that game, the most points scored by a player in a single game since October 21, 2007, when Rob Bironas scored 26 against the Houston Texans. On Christmas Day in 2010, Feely kicked a 48-yard field goal for a win over the Dallas Cowboys. On October 14, 2012 in a Week 6 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Feely hit a 61-yard field goal, setting a new career best. Ironically, in the same game, he missed a game winning 38-yard field goal after it was deflected with 3 seconds left in the regulation which the Cardinals went onto lose 16-19 in OT. Feely re-signed with the Cardinals for the 2014 season, but he was released on August 25, 2014. Feely signed for the Chicago Bears on December 3, 2014 as injury cover for Robbie Gould when he was considered doubtful for the game against the Dallas Cowboys on December 4. The game was his first at Soldier Field, and late in the game, he recorded the first successful onside kick for the Bears since 2003.


Personal

A number of Feely's family members have also been involved in football. His father, Tom, is a football coach, and his brother Ryan kicked for Central Florida and Jacksonville University. Feely is married to Rebecca, and they have four children.

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