the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mare, Koenen, Akers & Podlesh Discuss Their New Homes

Among the numerous free agent signings in the past week were two kickers and two punters who each landed multi-year deals with new teams. All four recently discussed their new opportunity.

"I don't think you can come in here and replace a guy [John Kasay] like that, be like him. I want to do what I do best - kick like I've been kicking the past 15 years - and that'll be good enough... You try to model your game and really your life after somebody like that. It's hard to imagine that coming here was on the list when he's done so well. But I'm happy to be here....

I'm from South Florida and my wife is from New York, so it's 11 hours each way It's going to be great to play at home."
Michael Koenen, from Atlanta to Tampa Bay
"The first time I spoke to the special teams coordinator and the head coach they said, 'I’m excited to have you here'. That really meant a lot to me. When you come to a place where you feel welcome it means a whole lot more than just the money, so I’m real excited....

Free agency period was definitely crazy. My agent called me and told me they were very interested and it was a good possibility. It sounded great, so we jumped on it and made it happen. We had been talking to Atlanta, also. There were a couple of other teams, but it was a good fit for us."
"I think it’s an honor to be part of an organization with so much history. I came from an organization that won a lot of games, but we weren’t able to finally get over that hump and win a championship. To come out here and play for another Harbaugh is really important to me. I’m just looking forward to the start of the season....

Coach [Brad] Seely helped me a whole lot coming out of college. Once I was able to apply what he was teaching it propelled me forward to be the kicker that I am today. It’s great to go full circle and be back here with him today....

[Joe Nedney] had such a wonderful career here and what a great guy for the community and what he did for team was amazing. I’m not trying to replace Joe. I’m just trying to come out and do the same thing I was able to do in Philly....

[Candlestick Park]’s a stadium that obviously has some wind, but I’ve played in Veteran’s Stadium for a few years and then at Lincoln Financial which was a windy environment. So I feel like you get in, you get used to it, and you start to figure things out."
"I'm extremely excited. Obviously it's a very prestigious organization and they're obviously a high caliber team. Looking for a super bowl so I'm excited to be a part of that....

I first and foremost wanted to stay a Jaguar. And so this is, I have a lot of friends in this organization. It's the only organization that I've called home for the past four years... You know I have very good ties with Jeremy [Cain] and especially Josh [Scobee], we're very good friends. It was tough to make this decision but from how things transpired the last few days it was a decision that I had to make....

The Bears seemed to feel they had to have me. That's how they felt. They made me feel that way. The way that they held themselves and went about the business of it was impressive to me. They felt like I was their guy and they needed to have me. It seemed like everybody else, they didn't seem like they had that urgency."

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