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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NFL : Meola Headed Toward Practice Squad

Newsday

Tony Meola, the World Cup soccer goaltender who is trying to make the New York Jets as a kickoff specialist, appears headed to the practice squad. Coach Pete Carroll indicated Monday that Meola probably won’t make the 53-man roster.

“He’s only four or five yards from kicking the ball into the end zone, but I don’t know if he’s going to get it done in time,” Carroll said. “He may get it done a month from now. We’re still going to keep our eye on him. We’d like to watch and see how he does.”

Meola has attempted five kickoffs in two preseason games, but only one has reached the end zone. In the Giant game last Saturday, he got off a low kick that was returned 56 yards by Dave Meggett. The hang time on the kick was 3.5 seconds, and “that’s not good enough,” Carroll said. The ideal hang time is 3.9 seconds.

Meola said he is happy with his improvement, but sounded resigned to the likelihood of being released.

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“When I came in, I didn’t expect to make the roster this year,” he said. “My hope was to be part of the practice squad all year. Anything after that would be a bonus for me.”


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