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Hartley credits McCown for providing support - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Hartley credits McCown for providing support

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New Orleans, La. -

It has been a roller coaster season for Saints kicker Garrett Hartley.  In Sunday's win over the 49ers, Hartley was perfect, hitting three 4th quarter field goals, including the game winner as time expired, to lift the Saints past the 49ers 23-20.

But coming in to Sunday's game Hartley had missed four of his previous six field goal tries creating a situation which had the Saints bring three kickers in for workouts last week, including veterans Neil Rackers and Shayne Graham.  In the end, head coach Sean Payton chose to stay with Hartley who rewarded the confidence with perfection.

Hartley has made some of the biggest kicks in franchise history, including the overtime field goal in the 2009 NFC Championship to beat the Vikings and send the Saints to the Super Bowl.  Hartley also remains the only kicker in history to kick three field goal of 40 or more yards in a Super Bowl.  But he has also missed several chip shots since then and been inconsistent this year.

When we asked Hartley after Sunday's game if Coach Payton or any players had come to him with words of encouragement or advice last week when the team was looking at other kickers, Hartley said Luke McCown.  The former Louisianan Tech quarterback is not only back-up to Drew Brees, but the holder on field goals and extra points.  Hartley says McCown has given him professional and spiritual guidance, which he appreciates.  Hartley says he knows his job and the ups and downs that come with it.

Saints fans will hope the downs are a thing of the past and that there will be more ups before the season is over.

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