Another former Iowa football player has found a home in the NFL, but this time as a coach. Nate Kaeding is the new kicking coach for Minnesota.
In an otherwise quiet time for football with the summer months looming, there was a bit of excitement today when it was announced that former Iowa football player Nate Kaeding would be joining the Minnesota Vikings as a part-time kicking coach.
Kaeding, a former All-American and Lou Groza Award winner, has been out of the NFL for nearly six years until his recent addition to the Minnesota Viking coaching staff.
His first job back won’t be an easy one either.
The Minnesota Vikings had the worst field goal percentage in the NFL last season, making just 68.8% of their kicks. That number is nearly 30 points lower than the top-rated kicking team in the NFL last season, the San Francisco 49ers.
Minnesota started the season with former Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson who proceeded to miss 3 of his first 4 field goal attempts in the 2018 season. The Vikings, probably still a little gun shy after dealing with the Blair Walsh saga for a few years, made a quick switch bringing in veteran kicker Dan Bailey.
The move made sense considering Bailey was a career 88.2% kicker in his time with the Dallas Cowboys.
He struggled mightily though. He made just 75% of his field goals tied for the worst season of his career and he also missed an extra point.
Enter in former Pro Bowl and All-Pro kicker and owner of a career 86.2% field goal success rate Nate Kaeding.
Kaeding spent nine seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
Given Kaeding’s relative proximity and obvious talent at kicking the ball, this is a great move for the Vikings.
If the Minnesota Vikings see success, which really shouldn’t be difficult given how terribly they performed last year in the kicking game, it could be the in that Kaeding may need to begin moving up the ranks as a coach at the NFL level.