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Eagles’ Jake Elliott is working to curb ‘embarrassing’ slump | Why he hasn’t been replaced

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Eagles’ Jake Elliott is working to curb ‘embarrassing’ slump | Why he hasn’t been replaced

By Mike Kaye | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

When Jake Elliott misses a field-goal attempt — like his 22-yard shank against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday — he obsessively self-scouts the error.

The Eagles kicker watches film over and over again. He slows down the footage and studies his form to figure out what’s wrong with his motion.

Elliott has meticulously dissected all five of his missed field-goal attempts this season. The chip-shot miss against the Saints might have been the most frustrating failure of all.

"I would say it’s embarrassing,” Elliott said Wednesday. "In my profession, if you’re not perfect, it’s a bad day.”


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The Eagles signed Elliott to a five-year, $19.3 million contract extension during Thanksgiving week of last year. Since signing the extension, he’s missed 11 attempts, including two extra-point tries.


Still, the Eagles are sticking with him, partially because of his contract. Cutting Elliott would create an $8.16 million dead-money hit on their salary cap this season, according to Over The Cap. He also has a $5.6 million dead-money hit next year.

"Obviously, the last three weeks he’s had some short misses there,” special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said. "It’s unacceptable for us. He knows that, I know that.”


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Fipp has worked with Elliott for four seasons. The Eagles haven’t challenged Elliott with offseason competition since he helped the team win Super Bowl LII as a rookie following the 2017 season.


Some might wonder if his contract extension and unchallenged status have made him complacent.


"I don’t think that’s changed me as a person, I don’t think that’s changed me as a player at all,” Elliott said. "I still show up to work and do the same thing every day. I work my tail off, it’s really, really important to me.”


Despite the misses, Elliott still feels confident that he can get his groove back. Fipp also thinks this slump is temporary.


"I think with Jake, obviously the guy has a pretty strong track record,” Fipp said. "This is the first blip on the radar, I would say. He’s been a really consistent player for us the last handful of years, so I look forward to the opportunity to get him back on track here.”


Elliott’s self-scouting has helped him diagnose his mistakes on short kicks. He said a recent film study led to the realization that he’s rushing his follow-through on shorter targets.


"I really need to home in on making good contact and finishing my swing,” Elliott said.


The Eagles have three games left on their schedule, including this week’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. To make an epic comeback and earn their second consecutive NFC East title, the team will need to be nearly flawless down the stretch.

That means that Elliott can’t continue to struggle when his number is called. He knows there’s a spotlight shining on him with every kick, and it’s on him to finish the season strong.


"It’s a tough position because you only get so many opportunities,” Elliott said. "When I get them, I have to capitalize.”


For a kicker, those are astronomical numbers to eat on a bad deal. So, the Eagles have little choice but to wait out Elliott’s slump as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive.


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While I also find it rather maddening watching the offense work the 2 min drill to near perfection driving us down into FG range to witness Elliott miss a chip shot, I also realize pretty much all kickers go through slumps.  Need to see if he can work his way out of it - hopefully he does because for better or worse, due to his contract we’re stuck with him for at least another year.  

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