There weren’t a ton of feel-good stories around the Dolphins last season, but Cody Parkey was one of them. The former Jupiter High School star suddenly landed with his hometown team after a surprising waiver claim the week of the season opener and kicked the game-winning field goal in his debut.
He went on to make 21 of 23 field goals, tying him with Jay Feely for the most accurate season ever by a Miami kicker. He also converted four onside kicks, which no kicker has done since the NFL started officially tracking that statistic in 1997. He was an elite player on kickoffs, too, helping the Dolphins give their opponents an average starting field position of their own 23-yard-line, the best in the league.
They should’ve kept him. Coach Adam Gase and special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi felt confident about Parkey and would’ve liked him to be their answer at that position long term. But Miami wasn’t willing to pay, and the Bears were. Chicago came in with a four-year, $15 million offer and secured The Jupiter Juggernaut.
He’ll face the Dolphins on Sunday for the first time since leaving. Here’s a conversation with him after Bears practice today:
First question: Are you still good?
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“Yeah. I’m still good. I’ve got a great holder and a great snapper and I’m just trying my best to make my kicks. So I think I’m still good.”
Pointing out the great long snapper you have now sounds passive aggressive. I assume the reason you left here must’ve been tension with John Denney.
“Yeah, John Denney, oof, big locker room problem.”
Your personality, his personality… Just too much.
“Yeah. The locker room wasn’t big enough for us both.”
Serious question: Why are you not a Miami Dolphin?
“I just felt like it was a good opportunity for me here in Chicago, honestly.”
Toward the end of last season, did you think you’d be back?
“Yeah. You always think you want to play for the team that all your friends are on and you get to know the guys on a personal level. You always assume that happens. But I can say this more than anybody because I’ve been on so many teams: It’s a business. Every team has to look out for their best interest, and every player has to look out for their best interest. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean you have any regrets or resentment toward anybody. I hope they have a great year, because I enjoyed playing for them.”
But it’s your home team. Were you disappointed?
“Disappointing? No. I’m sure my parents and grandparents were. For me, any time I have one of 32 jobs and any team thinks highly enough of me to want to keep me around, that’s good enough for me. Play for them was an awesome thing last year, but I don’t have any regrets.”
What cool thing did you buy with your money?
“I bought a house in Jupiter. That’s my home in the offseason.”
You already had a house in Jupiter. I mean like a boat or a pet tiger or a gold chain with your face on it or something.
“I had a townhouse. Now I have a real house. That’s an upgrade.”
We heard a lot about the Dolphins trying to change their culture in the offseason. Reading between the lines, obviously you were part of the problem.
“Hey, I can’t argue with that. You saw me in the locker room. I was going nuts in there, banging tables and yelling at guys, doing whatever it takes. But hey, I’m hoping to have a good year and I hope they have a good year, too. I’m just hoping I get the win on Sunday.”
Do you still root for the Dolphins other than when you play them?
“Yeah, I keep up with them. I’m pretty focused on what I’m doing here, but I keep up with them. Just being on the team, you form friendships. Matt Haack and John Denney, I’m always hoping they have good games and saying prayers for them. I always want the kickers and punters and snappers do well.”
That’s nice, but incredibly boring. Do you have one good story about your time here? Hopefully one about someone famous like Cameron Wake or Ndamukong Suh.
“Nothing that really comes to mind. I enjoyed my short, brief time there. I’m always grateful to them because they picked me up when I could’ve been doing nothing. I really liked playing for Rizzi and Moof (Dolphins assistant special teams coach Marwan Maalouf) and Coach Gase. I wish them the best of luck. I don’t have any crazy stories.”
Thanks. Anybody ever give you anything cool for making a game-winning kick? Anyone buy you dinner?
“Nothing cool. Just a couple handshakes from Dan Marino. I thought that was pretty neat having grown up a fan of him, obviously.”
How about a memorable exchange with Jay Cutler?
“He was a man of few words. So am I. He kept to himself. He was a good teammate. When I missed a kick, he came up to me and said, ‘You’re good, buddy. Make the next one.’ As a kicker, that’s what you want to hear from the starting quarterback.”
Name one Miami Dolphin from last season that definitely didn’t know your name, like every time he’d walk up to you he’d just say, “Hey, Chief,” or something like that.
“Actually, a lot of them called me Juggernaut. So thanks.”
In the locker room?
“Oh yeah. I got a few Juggernauts.”
Has it followed you to Chicago?
“It did not. Not many people here are familiar with the Jupiter area.”
Maybe if you were the Joliet Juggernaut.
Are you allowed to speak to Khalil Mack?
“Yes, they let me.”
Are you afraid to speak to Khalil Mack?
“No. We have that Florida bond. He’s from Fort Pierce; I’m from Jupiter.”
Do you have permission to look Khalil Mack in the eye?
“It depends. You’ve gotta see his mood for the day. You don’t want to catch him on the wrong day. He’s a big, strong man, so I try to judge his temperament for the day and go from there.”
What’s it like watching him in person?
“We watch him when we’re doing nothing on the sideline and we’re just like, ‘Holy crap, this guy is very good.’ He works hard in practice and works really hard in the gym.”
Prior to signing this contract, what did you own as far as a winter wardrobe?
“I did the two years in Philly and one in Cleveland, so I actually had a good amount. Before then it was really just a couple hoodies. As a Floridian, you usually just have a couple sweatshirts and one pair of jeans. My wardrobe has gotten better since those days.”
What do you like best about living in Chicago?
“The food is fantastic. I’ve been dabbling in the deep dish pizzas here. Incredible.”
So you’ve put on some weight.
“I’ve gotta bulk up for winter.”
Like an actual bear.
Source : https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/football/the-jupiter-juggernaut-returns-bears-cody-parkey-ready-unleash-fury-miami-dolphins/HVfS2U8YGV2EmUj1CWe4vM/