Chiefs may change kicker for Week 2

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Justin Medlock appeared to be on his way out to make way for Dave Rayner as kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs were disgusted enough with Medlock, a rookie they drafted in the fifth round out of UCLA and handed the job, that they were talking about a contract with Rayner on Monday. Medlock was inconsistent during an 0-4 preseason for Kansas City and missed a 30-yard attempt at the end of an exhausting 15-play drive in the first quarter against Houston on Sunday.

The Chiefs went on to lose the game 20-3.

A source said late Monday no contracts had been signed. But coach Herm Edwards confirmed that a change was certainly a possibility.

"We're contemplating that. If we do, we're thinking about Dave Rayner," he said.

Rayner was drafted by Indianapolis in 2005 and beaten out in Green Bay this year by rookie Mason Crosby, who kicked three field goals, including the game-winner, in Sunday's 16-13 victory over Philadelphia.

Medlock's failing and Crosby's succeeding would be a huge embarrassment for the Chiefs. Crosby was taken in the sixth round after KC went for Medlock in the fifth. The Chiefs defended their decision on draft day by saying they were sure that Medlock was more accurate.

With the Packers last year, Rayner made 26 of 36 field goal attempts.

"He's solid. He kicks off well and he's played in weather conditions," Edwards said. "You need a guy that's kicked outdoors and in the cold weather and with the wind blowing. He's done that in Green Bay. He's gone through that rookie thing you go through. Maybe that's what it takes."

Medlock would probably be kept on the practice squad, not the 53-man roster, Edwards said.

Edwards also said wide receiver Eddie Kennison would be out for Sunday's game at Chicago with a hamstring injury he sustained on the first offensive play against Houston. He also said cornerback Patrick Surtain would be questionable.

There could also be a new receiver in camp, he said.

"There are a couple of things we're juggling right now, figuring out what way we want to go," he said.

Medlock's problem is not a lack of physical ability, Edwards said.

"It's more mental than anything else. He's been very good in practice and very good in the pregame. He's just going out and putting a lot of pressure on himself. The one he missed he just kind of aimed it. He never followed through. It just went left off his foot.

"He is a talented kicker. He's just going through that deal. We're not scoring a lot of points and right now he's a 50 percent kicker. I don't think we're panicking by any stretch of the imagination. I felt very confident about him going into this game. I felt he was going to be fine. That's a field goal he has to make."

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