the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cain. Podlesh. Scobee…. Snap. Hold. Kick. (part 3)

Jeremy Cain snaps. Adam Podlesh holds. Josh Scobee kicks. We’ve already looked at elements of those individual roles. We’ve already looked at how they combine those roles into a common effort. But why does that combination succeed?

Many say that kicking is 80 to 90% mental. It has been a frequent topic of conversation on this website. Does that also apply to the other two specialists?
  • Cain: “Yea, I would say that. You gotta know what you can do. Once you know you can do it physically, it’s a challenge of staying consistent and executing on Sunday.”
  • Podlesh: “Absolutely. Absolutely. You can talk to a lot of kickers and punters, especially ones that play golf, they parallel their craft with playing golf. You’ve seen a lot of golfers that are very, very good at what they do and are not NFL quality physiques, to say the least. The craft that we do, although you do need to have a physical aspect to it, but being able to keep your swing as consistent as possible and maintain that throughout the whole season, being able to deal with the pressures and stresses of the NFL (which everybody has to deal with), being able to do that and keep yourself in a good consistent manner is very, very tough to do mentally. That’s the biggest key.”
Since the mental aspect of placekicking is already well documented, we asked Josh a collaborative variation on the question. Is the mental component purely an individual thing for each of the three of them, or does it in some way also apply to the group as a whole?
  • Scobee: “I would say so. Speaking for me individually, I try not to blame anything on anyone else as far as a bad snap or a bad hold. By that I’m basically trying to put the responsibility on my shoulders, that way I’m not making any excuses for myself. Granted, when things go right and we make I kick, I like to give them praise, but I like to put the responsibility on myself for making the kick. Obviously all three of us have our own individual jobs to add to the entire unit, but I like to take that responsibility if it’s a bad kick.”
For the moment, let’s set aside that mental part of kicking. Set aside all the physical skills and the integration of those skills. Forget about all the practice. Take away the K-ball, the playing field, the weather and any other conditions that impact kicking. What are we left with? Three guys – Jeremy, Adam, and Josh. For our final round of questions, we asked them about each other. And just for the sake of seeing what it yielded, we also asked each one of them what they thought their co-specialists would say about them.

Is there anything the public should know about Jeremy, but that he’s too modest to tell us?
  • Cain [on what he thought his fellow specialists would say about him]: I would hope that they’d say the same thing [sense of humor and fun].
  • Scobee: “Besides just snapping, which most people [falsely] think is a pretty easy job, he’s a tremendous athlete. He actually came into the NFL as a linebacker and actually played some fullback as well. I’m pretty sure he snapped in college, but he happened to pick up snapping just messing around one day while with another NFL team. So he was an athlete before he was a snapper.”
  • Podlesh: “I think he’s going to be in the league a long time doing what he does. He’s got one of the best work ethics I’ve ever seen. I think most people would say his work ethic that he has as a long snapper is second to none. Not to mention that he has played linebacker; he’s one of the best coverers that I’ve seen. He’s got the trifecta that you want for a long snapper: being able to protect, being able to snap consistently, and being able to cover down there and make a tackle if he has to. He’s done that. With his work ethic to be able to maintain that for years to come, I get excited thinking about the combination of us three. I feel I’ve been progressing pretty well myself, and for the years to come we’ve got a pretty good synergy between us.”
What should the public should know about Adam, but that he’s too modest to tell us?
  • Podlesh [on what he thought his fellow specialists would say about him]: “They would say that I use a lot of multi-syllable words that they don’t understand… I think they would say that I hold my own as a punter, and I’d like to think that they think I’m fun to be around. I think that’s one of the most important parts of having a good trio of specialists, because you obviously aren’t hanging around with a lot of other guys, you’re kind of doing your own thing.”
  • Cain: “I think Adam’s a great guy. A very strong character. He likes to have fun. Has a great sense of humor. I’ve been with him for two years and we’ve executed under pressure.”
  • Scobee: “He is incredibly intelligent. We actually laugh about it because Jeremy and I are always looking at each other wondering what Adam’s talking about, because he’s uses these big intelligent words that we’ve probably never heard of before. He’s extremely smart and makes us look really dumb.”
Is there anything the public know about Josh, but that he’s too modest to tell?
  • Scobee [on what he thought his fellow specialists would say about him]: "They’ll probably say – hopefully they’ll say this – I’m the one that tries to keep everything light and tries to have fun with everything."
  • Podlesh: “Well, I’ve said this from the first year I came to Jacksonville… he is the most impressive kicker I’ve ever been around. I feel that he is a Pro Bowl kicker. He has the ability to do that, and I believe that he will do that sometime. He has got probably the biggest cannon that I have ever seen kicking field goals and kicking off. Some of the things that I’ve seen him do on the football field, and some of the things that I’ve heard he had done in college even… it’s like, ‘how the heck do you kick the ball that far?’ It’s unbelievable. The last few years he’s really been putting the stress on keeping himself consistent. Really working on his field goals, and he’s been doing a great job. Like I said before, he’s a Pro Bowl kicker. He might not want to admit it, but I believe that he will be one.”
  • Cain: “Josh, he’s the same thing [as Adam]... he really has a great sense of humor, has fun. We always talk about executing under pressure, and that’s why we can do it.”
And all of that’s why they can do it well.

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