Cody Parkey wasn't on the Eagles' roster until midway through the preseason, but the undrafted kicker out of Auburn is the NFL's leading scorer ...
It didn't take long for Cody Parkey to learn about the business of the NFL.
The undrafted rookie out of Auburn battled Adam Vinatieri for the Indianapolis Colts' kicker job in Training Camp. Vinatieri, who has three Super Bowl-winning kicks on his résumé, showed no signs of slowing down at the age of 42. The Colts were going to release Parkey, but instead general manager Ryan Grigson, who spent eight years in the player personnel ranks with the Eagles, and Eagles general manager Howie Roseman struck a deal.
In a matter of hours, Parkey went from losing a job to being thrust into a new competition. He was en route from Indianapolis to Atlanta when he learned of the trade. He hopped a flight to Philadelphia and arrived in the early morning hours on August 21 just hours before the Eagles' third preseason game against the Steelers. He met head coach Chip Kelly for the first time in the locker room and quickly went to making an impact on the field. Against the Jets in the preseason finale, Parkey hit all three field goal attempts, including two from beyond 50 yards, to win the kicker job.
"I'm not a quarterback so there are not a lot of plays. I have one job and that's to make kicks," said Parkey, who lived out of a suitcase in the team hotel before eventually finding his own place. "The hardest part was getting a rhythm with (longsnapper) Jon (Dorenbos) and (punter) Donnie (Jones). They go a little faster than I did in Indianapolis. Once I got used to that after a couple of days, I was ready to roll."
The pressure has only escalated since. In his NFL debut, Parkey hit a 51-yard field goal against Jacksonville that tied the game early in the fourth quarter. One week later, Parkey kicked a walkoff field goal to beat his former team - the Colts.
"It was sweet making a kick against a team that didn't want me to stick around, for obvious reasons since they have Adam Vinatieri," Parkey said. "It was awesome hitting it against them."
Parkey has flourished under the pressure in Philadelphia. He's the league leader with 123 points, which is already an Eagles rookie record. He's tied for first in the league with 27 successful field goal attempts. At one point, Parkey connected on 17 straight field goal attempts, which tied the second-longest streak in team history. Parkey's current 93.1 percent success rate on field goals would be a franchise record. In fact, no kicker in team history has ever finished above 90 percent. He's the first kicker in team history make four field goals of 50 yards or more in a single season. Parkey is also tied for fifth in the league with 41 touchbacks, more than the Eagles had in all of 2013.
"He's a really professional player. He's a hard worker," said special teams coordinator Dave Fipp. "What he's done off the field is just as important as what he does on the field. He's exceptional off the field. He trains really hard. He watches all of the film. He studies every kick he's ever hard. He charts everything he's ever done. He's extremely consistent off the field and I think that leads him to being consistent on the field."