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Dolphins Sign Kicker Connor Barth

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Article Courtesy MiamiDolphins.com Kicker Dan Carpenter finds himself in an impromptu battle for his job with free agent kicker Connor Barth, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on July 28 and signed by Miami today. Barth is coming off of a strong finish to the 2008 season during which he made 10 of his 12 field goal attempts and all 24 extra points after rejoining the team for the last 10 teams following his release at the end of training camp. Barth is a Wilmington native, Hoggard graduate and the career record holder at UNC for kicking. Carpenter turned in a memorable rookie campaign last year, setting a franchise rookie record for most consecutive fields goals made with 14 and tying the NFL rookie record set by Ali Haki-Sheikh of the 1983 New York Giants. So with that in mind there sometimes comes a sense of entitlement, but Carpenter is focused on keeping his head on straight and doing the things that won him the job the last year when he was the undrafted rookie agent who beat out incumbent kicker Jay Feeley last year. "Nobody strives for perfection more than I do so there's nothing anyone can say or do that's going to push me to be more perfect than I am going to do myself," said Carpenter, ranked second behind Fuad Reveiz (22) for most field goals made by a Dolphins rookie in 2008 by hitting 21-of-25. "I'll just worry about what I can control and work to get better. It all comes down to me and if I miss a kick there's no one that's more upset with myself than me, and I've been struggling with some things so far in camp and nitpicking at myself but we're just kind of turning the page and starting over fresh." For Barth, the last 24 hours have been a little bit hectic as he was kicking footballs on his high school field in Wilmington, North Carolina last night when he got the phone call from his agent telling him to stop kicking and board a plane for Miami. People down here best remember Barth for his game-winning field goal as a freshman in 2004 up in Chapel Hill that beat the University of Miami, then ranked No. 4, as time expired, 31-28. At 5-foot-11 and 193 yards Barth is giving away three inches and 32 pounds to Carpenter and the two kickers entered the professional ranks at the same time last year. Barth set school records for the Tar Heels during his four-year career by making 54 of 71 field goals (76.1 percent) and 103 of 109 PATs for 265 points. He faced the Dolphins last year at Arrowhead Stadium and made a 27-yard field goal and all four of his PATs in a 38-31 loss on Dec. 21, but he couldn't think about any of that today when he arrived. "I was up at 4 a.m. this morning and it's been a heck of a day, a long day," Barth said. "I got in an airplane at 6 and was here to work out at 10:30 for all the doctor stuff and then got here and worked out at 2:30. I kicked off pretty well but I would have liked to have kicked off better but went 12-for-12 on my field goals so I was impressed with that and happy with that for getting up at 4 in the morning and jumping on the bandwagon. I haven't put on pads since the end of the season so it's been a long, long time and it felt weird but you get back into it. It's a lot of fun and I'm excited to be here and I'm excited to be part of the team." Carpenter's 103 points also were second behind only Reveiz's 116 in 1985. His 50-yarder against the Buffalo Bills in Toronto was the fifth longest field goal by a Dolphins rookie and he was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the month of November. He also earned All-Rookie honors from The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly and the Professional Football Writers Association of America. "Dan had a great season last year and he's a tremendous kicker so I was little surprised when I got the call," Barth said. "But it's the NFL and competition's always a good thing and I'm just hoping we'll push each other and make each other better." Article Courtesy MiamiDolphins.com