Coach Caldwell Talks Matt Prater

“He’s one of the guys that you can look at, his track record has been very good, he’s been a pro bowler, been in big games, and kicked in adverse conditions. We’re happy to have him”

 

In today’s press conference, Coach Caldwell was asked many questions on Prater, on his vetting process, on how the organization plans to support Prater in his sobriety, and if the organization put any parameters around the hiring.

On what Prater did or said to convince him that his past mistakes won’t occur again:

“I’m not going to talk to you about exactly was said. I think that information is private between what he and I said and talked about. I think he gave you a pretty good synopsis of how he felt and that’s the most important thing. Those of us that certainly understand problems in that area or have dealt with it in our families and things of that nature, it’s really up to the individual that’s dealing with it. I think he set the stage for that, but I am one who believes in a second chance. Probably unlike most of you out there I’ve had a few second chances in my life and it made a tremendous difference. I know maybe some of you experienced some of the same things. I do think the young man is sincere and it wasn’t just the hour conversation we vetted him thoroughly a number of different ways like we typically do in those situations. Martin (Mayhew) did a great job with that and the scouting staff as well, so it’s a lot of guys involved in that process.”

On doing anything to help ensure that Prater is supported throughout the organization:

“We have I think within our structure, a lot of different layers to deal with different issues. You all know anytime that you have 60 some odd guys that there are varied issues and problems. I think we are well equipped to handle those from Dr. Galen Duncan to a number of individuals that are trained in those particular areas that stay in close contact with our guys. I think you’ve seen that and we got good people here. That’s one of the things that I noticed when I first came just how many good people are in this organization. I’m talking about players and when you do have that many good people often times they find a way to kind of insulate, take care one another, talk to him, and they certainly can help Matt I think and take him under their wings and do a great job with him in that regard.”

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On if any parameters have been set for Prater: ”

“Every situation is a little bit different and you have to be able to handle those accordingly. Where we think those measures are necessary we do so but, I’m not going to talk about those in detail at this point.”

On if he reached out to Broncos QB Peyton Manning to find out information about Prater:

“He was properly vetted.”

On if he feels fortunate to get an All-Pro kicker after the recent struggles:

“Yeah, it’s highly unusual that it just kind of falls in the wind. It may be unusual for some vantage points but from mine I think it’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re happy to have him, the timing was right, it was good and I think obviously with a guy like that. You know, we went through a little bit of kicking struggle in Indianapolis which no one realizes. Adam Vinatieri was hurt and had a couple operations, so we were kind of in the same situation. We found a guy who had been around a little bit that kicked once in a while, Matt Stover, who came in, did a nice job and kicked us all the way into the Super Bowl. I do think there are guys that are out there that have the kind of expertise that Matt has, fortunately it was the right time. There were several teams that certainly were suiting him as well but I think it was the right time and the right place.”

On if Prater’s performance in the tryout or what he said before was more impressive:

“One of the things that you’ll understand and realize is everything in this league is documented, it’s on film. You can look at it and see what an individual does in the heat of the moment, heat of the battle, adverse conditions, you can look at all the statistical data, and get a good sense from there. That’s the true measure of that particular area, but the face to face, one on one contact talking and talking to people that know him, things of that nature are the things that make a difference.”

On if P Sam Martin will continue to kickoff or if Prater will do the kickoffs:

“Yeah, he’s (Prater) done a little bit of both and it just depends on the situation. John Bonamego and Devin Fitzsimmons will look at all those areas and make a determination.”