INDIANAPOLIS — Frank Reich began his weekly conference call with reporters on Monday with a short statement.
On Sunday, after Adam Vinatieri’s early-season struggles continued with two missed extra-point attempts in Indy’s narrow road victory over the Tennessee Titans, Reich said he had “zero concerns” about his veteran kicker’s abilities.
Reich on Monday doubled down on those postgame comments.
“I know there’s been a lot of discussion about Adam,” Reich said. “Just want to make this clear: Adam’s our kicker. Like I said yesterday, we have zero concern. He’s not only our kicker, he’s an instrumental leader on our team. When we talk about toughness and what we’re all about as a team and a program, there’s probably no one who epitomizes that more than Adam. So just want to make sure that’s clear.”
Vinatieri opened the season on Sept. 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers by missing two of his three field goal attempts, while also connecting on just one of his two extra-point tries. The Colts would go on to fall to the Chargers, 30-24, in overtime.
On Sunday against the Titans in Nashville, Tenn., Vinatieri missed two of his three extra-point attempts, though the Colts would fly home with a 19-17 come-from-behind road victory over their division rivals.
Against Tennessee, Reich said Vinatieri’s first extra-point miss, which went wide left, could be attributed to an issue with the entire snap-hold-kick operation.
“It was not a good operation,” Reich said. “The snap and hold was not clean, the ball barely got on the ground. It was not clean. So, it is what it is.”
Vinatieri’s second missed extra point on Sunday, meanwhile, hit off the right upright.
Reich said Vinatieri’s consistent strong performances in practices, coupled with his background as one of the greatest kickers in NFL history — he is the NFL’s all-time leader in points scored and made field goals, after all — creates a confidence that the kicking issues will get worked out sooner rather than later.
The Colts (1-1) next take on the Atlanta Falcons (1-1) this Sunday in their 2019 home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Reich, for one, is eagerly anticipating Vinatieri putting multiple kicks through the uprights and moving on from there.
“Whatever the struggles Adam has had the first two games, just to say it this way, we’re just very confident that those are going to get worked out; that it’s a fluke, and he’s going to do everything necessary to get out of that,” Reich said Monday night in his weekly appearance on “Colts Roundtable Live” on 1075 The Fan in Indianapolis. “So we’re looking forward to that, (him) doing it here at home in front of Colts fans.”