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American Football: Cheifs kicker gets the boot at age 44

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posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 11:52 AM
Morten Andersen, the second-leading scorer in NFL history, was told Friday he has lost his job to a kicker 18 years younger.

"A tough decision. A risky decision," Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said.

The 44-year-old Andersen has scored 2,259 points since breaking into the NFL with New Orleans in 1982. Only Gary Anderson has scored more.

"Morten Andersen I think will kick in the league," Vermeil said. "If he's not kicking in the league and our decision ends up not being a good decision, we'll bring him back."

Vermeil said the Chiefs would contact other teams to help Andersen get another opportunity.

Kicking for the Chiefs will be 26-year-old Lawrence Tynes, who is coming off two successful seasons with the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. Tynes failed to unseat Andersen two years ago in the Chiefs' camp.

Andersen made his only field goal attempt in the preseason, a 28-yarder, but his range was clearly not as great as Tynes'.

Vermeil also said Friday that rookie tight end Kris Wilson, who figured prominently in this year's plans, would be out at least half the season with a broken left fibula.

Wilson, a second-round draft pick from Pittsburgh, was injured in Thursday night's game at Dallas. He had been impressive in training camp and now joins Marc Boerigter on the team's list of injured receivers.

Boerigter went on injured reserve this week with a knee injury.

Vermeil also said Steve Cheek, who was acquired earlier in the week from Houston, would replace Jason Baker as punter. Cheek kicked well in the Dallas game, his only appearance for the Chiefs in the preseason.

Baker, who punted for the Chiefs last year, had been inconsistent and clearly lost Vermeil's confidence.

Baker's failure also affected Andersen, Vermeil said, because Baker had been counted on for kickoffs. But Tynes, with a much stronger leg, will now be needed to kick off.

"And that had a trickle-down effect to Morten Andersen," Vermeil said. "I haven't properly prepared Morten Andersen for the kicking off situation. We didn't because we didn't want to drain his leg. We thought he was going to be the field goal kicker."

Vermeil said Andersen, who turned 44 less than a month ago, was very disappointed at the news.

"Keeping Morten Andersen would not have been a negative in any way," Vermeil said. "In no way could he hurt a football team."

The Chiefs are likely to have another starter go on injured reserve and be lost for the season on Saturday. Middle linebacker Mike Maslowski, who has been slow to recover from knee surgery, is not being counted on at all.

The Chiefs also said Friday they had waived six players in preparation for the mandatory cutdown to 53 players on Sunday. They were wide receiver John Booth, running back Ronnie Cruz, defensive end Robert Flickinger, cornerback Willie Ford, center Jonathan Ingram and linebacker Rich Scanlon.


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