The coaching staff probably already has an idea of who they want to handle kicking duties this season.
But if things come in as a push and the Saints can’t choose between Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke, the coaching staff might look to the stopwatches to decide.
When Saints coach Sean Payton was discussing the kicker battle earlier this week, he said he would look at efficiency, distance, and get-off time.
We already know that both kickers have connecting on all four of their attempts (Graham missed an extra point and Dimke missed a long field goal that was nullified by a penalty), so the next element is get-off time*.
And there, on the stopwatches, it appears that Graham holds a slight edge. The incumbent kicker has posted an average get-off time of .87 seconds, while Dimke comes in at a slightly slower .96 seconds.
The difference might seem minor, but that could be the difference between getting a kick off and having it blocked.
While the samples are small and it might not matter since Thomas Morstead could be asked to handle kick-off duties, Graham also holds an edge in kickoff hang times.
On his one kickoff this preseason, he hung the ball 4.18 seconds. Dimke came in at an average of 3.89 seconds.
So if the clocks decide things, Graham is the clear winner.
Fortunately for Dimke, there are additional layers to this battle. And one could argue that he holds an edge in some of those other areas.
** Each kick was timed from when the kicker began his motion and the holder fielded the snap and began his motion to spot it.