the study of all things kicker related

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Unknown Kick

Sometimes you were there to see it, and other times it's captured for posterity. But many things in this world go undocumented (although perhaps increasingly less so in the modern age). What is the most memorable kicking/punting moment that you ever witnessed, but of which the general public/media is not aware? 

"I'm from Miami Florida, a.k.a. hurricane and tropical storm country. One year we went out and kicked just a couple hours before a big storm hit, with winds gusting probably over 50-60mph. Standing in one endzone, I got into a sidewinder/rugby-style punt that I'm surprised didn't go into orbit. With the wind at my back, the ball spiraled high and tight the distance of the field, bounced in the other endzone and rolled another 50+ yards until it hit a fence. Easily over 95 yard punt in the air." 

"The scrambling drop kick I hit last year on the run in the last regular season game after a bad snap. It was the most ridiculous play I think I will ever accomplish."

"One that keeps coming back to me was a few seasons ago in Modesto California. I was working privately with the Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski and he was kicking 65, then he went back to like 77 yard field goals and was clearing them like extra points, and kicking off 4.4 plus over the uprights. Jason Wells from the Dallas Desperadoes was also in session. What can I say, it was awesome. In talking about the technique, after Sebastian just said, "it's really working good" and he went on this run of touchbacks from that point on leading the NFL. Good Memory." 

"This question reminds me of a quote that I once read from Gary Anderson. He said that, "I find that if I make my kicks in the 1st quarter, I usually don't have to make them in the 4th."

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Value of Proper Training

by special guest blogger Michael Husted, former NFL kicker and current instructor:

If you have the passion for kicking, punting or long snapping, going out and practicing your craft is easy to do. However, we can get into a pattern of:
  • Going through the motions
  • Trying to kick several 50+ yard field goals
  • Punting the ball as hard as we can
We have all heard the saying, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” When you are young, you have the stamina and endurance to go out and kick, punt or snap 75-100 footballs. Heck, we can probably do it 5 days a week, but will it really get you where you want to be? Quantity versus quality is something that we all tend to do from time to time. The hardest part is to stop practicing, whether we are having a great day or a crappy day.

If we are having a great day, we don’t want it to end and we feel that no matter what we do, we do it correctly and with ease. If we are having a bad day, we don’t want to get off of the field until we have everything corrected. Either way, we are going to get fatigued and injure ourself or we will start creating bad habits.

Being discipline in your training through quality will provide the best results. Putting yourself in different situations while practicing will prepare you way better than just going out and banging 100 reps. Giving yourself multiple routines when you train will allow you to work on different aspects of your “game” as well as keep your training from getting stale and monotonous.

While I was playing in the NFL, I spoke with several other NFL specialists and from our conversations, I was able to put together a routine that would get me prepared, whether it was:
  • The offseason
  • Mini camps
  • OTAs
  • Training camp
  • Pre Season games
  • Practices during the season leading up to Sundays
  • Regular season games
  • Play off games
These routines helped me while I was playing in the NFL, but just as importantly, they have helped me as I have begun coaching specialists. Having a quality routine in high school, college or the pros will only increase your chances of having a successful career at each level.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Post-Draft NFC South Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the NFC South:

Atlanta Falcons
  • K Matt Bryant, returning starter
  • P Matt Bosher, returning starter
  • P Dawson Zimmerman, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Joe Zelenka, returning starter re-signed March 23rd
  • LS Corey Adams, free agent signing on January 6th
  • LS Josh Harris, undrafted rookie free agent signing
Carolina Panthers
  • K Olindo Mare, returning starter who'll face competition from...
  • K Justin Medlock, free agent signing on March 6th
  • P Brad Nortman, drafted in the 6th round, he'll compete with...
  • P Nick Harris, free agent signing May 7th
  • LS J.J. Jansen, returning starter re-signed February 8th
New Orleans Saints
  • K Garrett Hartley, returning starter who missed last year with a hip injury and who'll compete with...
  • K John Kasay, returning starter from 2011 re-signed April 23rd
  • P Thomas Morstead, returning starter
  • LS Justin Drescher, returning starter
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • K Connor Barth, returning starter franchise tagged and then agreed to new 4-year deal on May 17th
  • K Kai Forbath, claimed off waivers from Dallas on April 17th
  • P Michael Koenen, returning starter
  • LS Andrew Economos, returning starter

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Post-Draft AFC West Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the AFC West:

Denver Broncos
  • K Matt Prater, returning starter if he signs his franchise tag tender
  • P Britton Colquitt, returning starter
  • LS Lonie Paxton, returning starter
  • LS Aaron Brewer, undrafted rookie free agent signing
Kansas City Chiefs
  • K Ryan Succop, returning starter signed to a 5-year extension last December
  • K Matt Szymanski, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Dustin Colquitt, returning starter
  • LS Thomas Gafford, returning starter
Oakland Raiders 
  • K Sebastian Janikowski, returning starter
  • P Shane Lechler, returning starter
  • P Marquette King, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Jon Condo, returning starter
San Diego Chargers
  • K Nate Kaeding, returning starter who missed last year after tearing his ACL on the season opening kickoff and who will compete with...
  • K Nick Novak, returning starter from last year
  • P Mike Scifres, returning starter
  • P Kyle Martens, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Mike Windt, returning starter re-signed March 12th
  • LS Nick Guess, undrafted rookie free agent signing

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Post-Draft NFC East Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys
  • K Dan Bailey, returning starter
  • K/P Delbert Alvarado, free agent re-signing May 8th
  • K Jacob Rogers, claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on May 8th
  • P Chris Jones, returning starter from several games last year
  • LS L.P. Ladouceur, returning starter
  • LS Charley Hughlett, undrafted rookie free agent signing 
New York Giants
  • K Lawrence Tynes, returning starter
  • P Steve Weatherford, returning starter re-signed March 19th
  • LS  Zak DeOssie, returning starter

Philadelphia Eagles
  • K Alex Henery, returning starter
  • P Chas Henry, returning starter
  • P Ryan Tydlacka, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Jon Dorenbos, returning starter
  • LS Matt Camilli, undrafted rookie free agent signing

Washington Redskins
  • K Graham Gano, returning starter who will compete with...
  • K Neil Rackers, free agent signing on April 30th
  • P Sav Rocca, returning starter
  • LS Nick Sundberg, returning starter

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Post-Draft AFC North Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens
  • K Billy Cundiff, returning starter
  • P Sam Koch, returning starter
  • LS Morgan Cox, returning starter
Cincinnati Bengals
  • K Mike Nugent, returning starter, signed franchise tag April 25th
  • K Thomas Weber, free agent re-signing January 6th
  • P Kevin Huber, returning starter
  • LS Clark Harris, returning starter
Cleveland Browns
  • K Phil Dawson, returning starter, signed franchise tag March 19th
  • K Jeff Wolfert, free agent re-signing January 8th
  • P Reggie Hodges, returning starter who missed 2011 with a torn achilles
  • K/P Spencer Lanning, free agent signing May 1st
  • LS Christian Yount, returning starter from the final month of 2011
Pittsburgh Steelers
  • K Shawn Suisham, returning starter 
  • K Danny Hrappman (Southern Miss), undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Jeremy Kapinos, returning starter from the second half of 2011 who'll face competition from...
  • P Drew Butler, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Greg Warren, returning starter

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Post-Draft NFC West Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the NFC West:

Arizona Cardinals
  • K Jay Feely, returning starter re-signed March 23rd
  • P Dave Zastudil, returning starter
  • K/P Ricky Schmitt, free agent signing May 14th
  • LS Mike Leach, returning starter re-signed March 26th
St. Louis Rams
  • K Greg Zuerlein (Missouri Western), new started drafted in the 6th round
  • K Garrett Lindholm, free agent signing on January 23rd
  • P Tom Malone, free agent signing on January 9th who'll be competing with...
  • P Johnny Hekker (Oregon State), undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Jake McQuaide, returning starter
  • LS Travis Tripucka, undrafted rookie free agent signing
San Francisco 49ers
  • K David Akers, returning starter
  • K Giorgio Tavecchio, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Andy Lee, returning starter
  • LS Brian Jennings, returning starter who'll compete with...
  • LS Ryan Pontbriand, free agent signing on February 21st
Seattle Seahawks
  • K Steven Hauschka, returning starter
  • K Carson Wiggs, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Jon Ryan, returning starter
  • LS Clint Gresham, returning starter

The Post-Draft AFC South Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the AFC South:

Houston Texans
  • K Randy Bullock (Texas A&M), drafted in the 5th round,  he'll compete with...
  • K Shayne Graham, free agent signing May 7th
  • P Brett Hartmann, returning starter who missed the last month of 2011 with a knee injury; will face competition from...
  • P Donnie Jones, free agent signing (from St, Louis) on March 30th
  • LS Jonathan Weeks, returning starter
Indianapolis Colts
  • K Adam Vinatieri, returning starter
  • P Pat McAfee, returning starter
  • P Brian Stahovich, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Matt Overton, free agent signing April 2nd
Jacksonville Jaguars
  • K Josh Scobee, returning starter if he signs his franchise tag or a long-term deal is reached
  • K Brandon Coutu, free agent signing May 14th
  • P Bryan Anger (California), new starter drafted in the 3rd round
  • LS Jeremey Cain, returning starter
Tennessee Titans
  • K Rob Bironas, returning starter
  • P Brett Kern, returning starter
  • P Will Batson, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Jake Ingram, free agent signing (from Saints & Patriots) January 7th
  • LS Beau Brinkley, undrafted rookie free agent signing

The Post-Draft NFC North Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the NFC North:  

Chicago Bears 
  • K Robbie Gould, returning starter
  • K Dave Teggart, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Adam Podlesh, returning starter
  • P Ryan Quigley, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Patrick Mannelly, returning starter  
Detroit Lions 
  • K Jason Hanson, returning starter 
  • K Derek Dimke, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P Ryan Donahue, returning starter who missed the latter part of 2011 with a quad injury 
  • P Ben Graham, returning starter who played the final seven games of 2011, re-signed March 19th
  • LS Don Muhlbach, returning starter re-signed on March 21st  
Green Bay Packers 
  • K Mason Crosby, returning starter 
  • P Tim Masthay, returning starter 
  • LS Brett Goode, returning starter  
Minnesota Vikings
  • K Blair Walsh (Georgia), new starter drafted in the 6th round 
  • P Chris Kluwe, returning starter 
  • LS, Cullen Loeffler, returning starter

The Post-Draft AFC East Specialists Landscape

Following free-agency, the NFL draft, and the flurry of undrafted signings, here is a snapshot of the current specialists in the AFC East:

Buffalo Bills
  • K Rian Lindell, returning starter re-signed February 7th
  • K John Potter (Western Michigan), potential kickoff specialist drafted in 7th round 
  • P Brian Moorman, returning starter 
  • P Shawn Powell, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • LS Garrison Sanborn, returning starter re-signed January 30th
Miami Dolphins 
  • K Dan Carpenter, returning starter 
  • P Brandon Fields, returning starter 
  • LS John Denney, returning starter 
New England Patriots 
  • K Stephen Gostkowski, returning starter 
  • K Chris Koepplin, free agent signing on April 16th 
  • P Zoltan Mesko, returning starter 
  • LS Danny Aiken, returning starter 
New York Jets
  • K Nick Folk, returning starter who'll compete with...
  • K Josh Brown, free agent signing May 1st
  • K Brody McKnight, undrafted rookie free agent signing
  • P T.J. Conley, returning starter 
  • P Travis Baltz, free agent signing on January 7th
  • LS Tanner Purdum, returning starter