NEW ORLEANS, LA (KPLC) - After showing signs of success at the Chicago Bears minicamp May 3-5, Lake Charles native and St. Louis graduate Alex Kjellsten got the opportunity to work out at the Saints rookie minicamp as well.
“First off, I need to credit my kicking coach Pat Neck for getting me this far,” Alex Kjellsten said. “I would not be anywhere near where I am today without his help.”
“Growing up in Louisiana it is hard not to love the Saints,” Kjellsten said. “My locker was right across from Drew Brees and I got to meet and talk to Sean Payton. Growing up and loving everything about this organization, from a fan’s point of view and dream standpoint, and then finally it is becoming a reality for me was really special.”
Following Chicago’s minicamp, the Bears decided to keep just two kickers and trade a future conditional seventh-round pick to Oakland for Eddy Pineiro, which is how Kjellsten ended up in New Orleans. Yes, the Saints have a kicker and punter who are both well established, but head coach Sean Payton implied that the organization is looking for a specialist who can both kick and punt at training camp to ease the work of both Wil Lutz and Thomas Morstead, while taking up just one roster spot.
“I’m glad I was able to catch their eye, because my whole career I feel like I have been overlooked for guys that were either bigger than me or played at bigger schools than I did," Kjellsten said. “So, it felt very rewarding to know that they based who they were bringing to veteran’s camp based off the stats from the minicamp competition rather than other factors that were out of my control.”
“On the last day of camp, a scout grabbed me from the locker room and brought me into the assistant general manager’s office where he told me that I had a great camp and that he was inviting me to their veteran’s minicamp as well,” Kjellsten added.
Kjellsten is set to arrive at Saints training camp on July 18. Camp will be held at the team headquarters in Metairie for the second year in a row.