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Santos plans to slow down the pace Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs' are sticking by struggling rookie kicker Cairo Santos but their patience has a limit. How far that limit goes remains to be seen but their patience might not last much longer without some improvement from Santos.

“We have to go back and remember the body of work that he showed us during training camp and the exhibition games," special-teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “If we brought five kickers in from the street right now and he was one of them, he’d still be the best kicker out of that group. We still believe in Cairo.

“He just needs confidence. I think he’s going to be fine. He needs to get some kicks in under his belt and then get into a groove and then I think he’ll be fine. You’ve got to be patient to a point. He knows there’s a sense of urgency. He understands that. We’re going to keep being patient."

Santos, who wasn’t drafted, was given the kicking job over incumbent Ryan Succop after a strong showing in training camp. He made one of two field goal attempts in the season opener but bounced both kicks off an upright.

He was again 1-of-2 in last week’s game against Denver. He missed from 37 yards in the third quarter when three points would have greatly aided the Chiefs in their comeback effort.

Santos indicated the problem is that he’s rushing his kicks and that he plans to slow things down in Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.

“I need to slow my pace down, look at the uprights, take a deep breath, just take my time," he said.

“When it comes time to kick a field goal in a game, I think I’ve gone off my routine. I’m going too fast to the field. Dustin Colquitt, our holder, told me when I got the kick off for the (missed) field goal that we had about 17 seconds on the play clock. That’s 17 seconds I could be taking my time."