SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers signed kicker Joey Slye on Tuesday to temporarily replace Robbie Gould, who will miss three to five weeks with a groin injury.
Here's what 49ers special teams coach Richard Hightower said Wednesday about Slye, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department.
Q: Can you give us the lowdown on the new kicker and what you expect from him?
“Yeah. Joey is a really good kicker. I like Joey a lot. Joey was obviously a guy that came in at Carolina in 2019. He was a rookie when Mitch was a rookie. He’s kicked in this stadium before. He's kicked about 80-percent. He won that job as a rookie. It’s hard to do that, you know, especially when you're not drafted and he has a very strong leg. He had a really good workout yesterday. He had a really good workout. And he's been really good in the meetings. So we're looking for him to come in and fill in there for us and help us win this game against Arizona.”
Q: When you have the workouts, is it inside the stadium or do you go to the practice fields?
“We can have them either, or. That particular workout we had inside the stadium. So that was a good workout. Obviously you guys know [K Michael] Badgley was in here. [K] Brett Maher was in here and those guys did a nice job as well. But Joey ended up separating himself from the competition on that. And he earned it and we're looking forward to having him on our team and kicking this Sunday.”
Q: Can he handle kickoffs for you as well?
“I can't answer that question for you because of a competitive advantage, but you guys know he's kicked off in the past. He has the ability to kick off and Mitch has the ability to kick off. So we really had the same thing we have if Robbie was healthy. So we have two guys that can kick. So, sorry, I can't answer that directly for you, but he's in the mix to kick off just like Mitch is.”
Q: Let me ask it this way, did the fact that he can do kickoffs and has a big leg, did that factor into your decision?
“Everything that every guy that came in to work out, everything that they can do always factors in. That was not the deciding factor for any for any reason, but he can do that. That's something everybody knows across the league. He has a strength at that. And so does Mitch. So I think we're fortunate there to be in that situation this week, especially going against a dangerous kid like [Arizona Cardinals WR] Rondale Moore. That kid has stop and start ability. He is one of the, I think he's going to be one of the elite returners in this league. He's outstanding. I mean, he hasn't scored a touchdown yet, but he has a long punt return. And guys can see it on tape. We saw it in the meeting room today and we're very aware of his ability. He has cat-like quickness and he has some really good guys blocking for him as well. Arizona, like I said, their special teams, they're loaded with talent. They're really good. [Arizona Cardinals LB] Ezekiel Turner's a good player, 47 for them. Fifty-one, [Arizona Cardinals LB] Tanner Vallejo is a good player for them. [Arizona Cardinals LB Dennis] Gardeck is a really good player for them. So we’ve got our hands full. We’ve got a challenge, but what better week would you love to have than this week, second division game. Our guys are ready to go. So can't wait to go to practice today. I’ll tell you that.”