Rookie kicker Cody Parkey was an Indianapolis Colt for Training Camp and the first half of the preseason. On August 20 that changed; first thought to be waived by the Colts, Parkey ended up being traded to the Eagles.
The Eagles had a preseason game the next day. Parkey kicked an extra point. In the Eagles' final preseason game on August 28, Parkey nailed three field goals and two extra points.
In eight days, he went from being waived by the Colts to being the Eagles' kicker.
"It was hectic, it was crazy, and it was awesome," Parkey said recalling the day he was both waived and traded. "I thought I was waived, and then they picked me back up and traded me, so this was the best thing that could have happened to me."
Head coach Chip Kelly said Thursday that the Eagles made the trade instead of waiting out the waiver process because they were worried he wouldn't be there by the time their chance came. So the Eagles pulled the trigger on the deal and ended up finding their new placekicker.
This Monday night, Parkey will return to Lucas Oil Stadium when the Eagles take on the Colts in Indianapolis. Parkey says his time with the Colts, while relatively brief, was an important time in his development as a kicker.
"They drilled a mindset into me that a 50-yard field goal really isn't that far anymore," Parkey said. "I kicked a lot of far field goals there, so I kind of had no choice. We were kicking 60-yarders and stuff like that, so the whole mindset completely changed for me."
In that fourth preseason game against the Jets Parkey nailed two kicks from beyond 50 yards, which excited Eagles coaches, especially special teams coordinator Dave Fipp.
In the Eagles' season opener last Sunday, Parkey delivered from deep again, nailing a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 17, and tacking on another field goal later in the quarter for good measure.
Parkey says the difference in pressure between kicking in the preseason versus kicking during the regular season is negligible. With everything moving so fast these past couple of weeks, he hasn't had time to slow down and worry about the pressure on his right foot.
It's all about just making kicks.
"I don't even think about it in terms of pressure," Parkey explained. "If I miss in practice I'm just as mad as if I miss in the game and vice versa. I'm my own biggest critic and I just want to make every kick."
On Thursday, Kelly revealed an interesting detail about Parkey that showed just how invested the rookie is in bettering himself, something that made Kelly call his new kicker "an interesting kid."
Parkey keeps a notebook of every kick he's ever attempted.
"He's got a notebook on all his kicks in college, a notebook on all of his kicks in Indianapolis and he's got a notebook and charting everything we did here," Kelly said.
Parkey got the idea from Rich Bisaccia, his special teams coach at Auburn University. When Parkey was traded to the Eagles in late August, Parkey had to pick up a new notebook to chart all his kicks in the green and white.
However, he kept his notebook from Indianapolis. Parkey said his time with the Colts will make heading back to Indianapolis an exciting trip because he will get to see guys he spent four months with for the first time since mid-August.
One of those players is 19-year veteran Adam Vinatieri, whom the Colts decided to keep over Parkey in large part because of his pedigree as one of the best kickers in league history. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano referred to Vinatieri as a "Hall of Fame kicker."
During his time with the Colts, Parkey spent a lot of time with Vinatieri, who has converted 449 field goals during his 274-game career.
"He's awesome," Parkey said of the veteran Vinatieri. "I became good buddies with him; seeing him every day, I really had no choice but to become good friends with all those guys. I texted him when I got traded and when I got released, and he just told me to keep doing what I'll be doing and I'll be doing it for a while."
If Parkey keeps putting 50-yard kicks through the uprights, Vinatieri will be accurate, as usual.