The Jets may not need to go outside the organization for a placekicker after all.
For one night at least, Taylor Bertolet gave the team’s decision makers something to think about before looking for someone else. He made both of his attempts, from 48 and 56 yards, and hit an extra point in the Jets’ 28-13 loss to the Saints at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night.
“It was good to see the kicker go out there and hammer a couple good ones,” coach Adam Gase said. “I think he looked good tonight and did a good job of making the ones he had an opportunity on. We were hoping to be able to do that. … We wanted to give him opportunities. You can see his leg is live. It’s all about controlling it.”
It was a much-needed clean night for Bertolet, who missed two extra points in the previous game against the Falcons, though he did hit a field goal from 49 yards. He was with the Jets last summer, before losing out to Jason Myers in training camp. He was brought back this year when Chandler Catanzaro retired during camp.
“I thought it was important to have a bounce-back game. I’ve had games in my career that weren’t my best performance and I’ve always bounced back from them,” Bertolet said. “I think it’s the true testament of a kicker, to be able to handle a little adversity you’re going to face.”
Bertolet felt good in warmups and was making kicks up to 58 yards, so he wasn’t surprised when Gase called on him to attempt the 56-yard attempt early in the second half.
“It was big, it was big to not try and overswing, just have an easy swing like I had all night,” he said.
Bertolet wasn’t trying to make too much out of the evening, knowing he needs to kick well again in the preseason finale Thursday against the Eagles and continue to perform well in practice.
“I think every day I have to go out and compete, I think no matter what,” Bertolet said. “I’m not changing my mindset.”
The performance only could help him, though. Before the game, general manager Joe Douglas said it was an important night for the 26-year-old Bertolet to be evaluated.
“Right now, he’s our kicker and we’re going to support him,” Douglas said.