the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Edmonton Eskimos Kicker, Punter & Snapper News


October 3, 2015 - Sean Whyte kicks 53 yard game winner over Winnipeg
"Whyte booted a career-high 53-yard field goal on the last play of the Canadian Football League game at Investors Group Field to give the Eskimos their third consecutive come-from-behind victory and clinch a playoff berth in the West Division.... 'It’s been a weird year for me so far, switching teams and everything that’s happened, so it feels good to actually get this under my belt and get a win for the guys,' said Whyte. 'I’m the late guy to this team. I’ve always wanted to play well so these guys accept me. It’s a tight group. I think I’m accepted now.'  Two months ago, Whyte, who’ll turn 30 later this month, was ready to walk away from football. A seven-year CFL veteran, he had been released by the Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 10 after being a backup kicker for six weeks. When the Eskimos called in early September offering a spot on their practice roster, he was ready to take a job offer as a technician in Vancouver instead because it would pay more money than football ever did. He initially said no to his agent, but asked for a couple of hours to think about the offer and talk to his parents. 'My dad just said: ‘You’re not done yet. You’ve got to go. Take that (Eskimos) job,’ said Whyte, who ended up with the best of both worlds." - Edmonton Journal

September 4, 2015 - kicker/punter Sean Whyte signed
"Whyte was awarded the Lew Hayman Trophy as the East Division most outstanding Canadian in 2011, when he set a Montreal Alouettes record with 24 consecutive field goals. The native of White Rock, B.C., originally signed with the B.C. Lions in 2007. He made his CFL debut on July 16, 2009, against Edmonton, and went on to make 27-of-35 field goals attempts and 30 converts. He also recorded 86 punts for 3,548 yards and five singles. In 2011, he was traded to Montreal where he made 160-of-190 field goal attempts and 174 converts over five seasons. He also recorded 508 punts for 21,869 yards and 33 singles." - CBC

August 13, 2015 - Grant Shaw kicks game winner
"It wasn't Grant Shaw's night, and yet the Edmonton Eskimos kicker still provided the tying and winning points with his right boot. After missing three field goals, Shaw was good from 28 yards on the final play of the game as the Eskimos downed the Alouettes 15-12 in a defensive CFL battle on Thursday night for only their second win in Montreal since 2007. Edmonton went into the second half down 12-7, but got a safety, a pair of singles off missed field goals and another off a punt to tie it before Shaw's game-winner. 'I kind of felt off all night,' said Shaw. 'The offence and defence buckled down when it counted and they made my job easy. There was little or no pressure on the final kick. All I had to do was hit it clean and it was going to go out the back of the end zone and we were going to win'." - TSN

July 17, 2015 - kicker Grant Shaw hits five field goals in win over Ottawa
"Grant Shaw's five field goals and Matt Nichols' fourth-quarter touchdown pass was enough to lead the Eskimos past the Redblacks 23-12 Friday night, giving Edmonton two victories in its home-and-home set with Ottawa.... A 23-yard field goal from Shaw before the end of the quarter put the Eskimos up 5-0, but it could have been worse had Jerrell Gavins not intercepted Nichols in the end zone on the Edmonton possession prior to the field goal....  Jovon Johnson also had one in the second quarter, but the Eskimos followed that up with three points on their next possession thanks to Shaw's 22-yard field goal.... Shaw's 39 and 37-yard field goals closed the scoring." - CBC

June 21, 2015 - kicker/punter Zackary Medeiros released
"Edmonton’s kicking game will need an immediate adjustment after Zack Medeiros was cut. As it stands now, fourth-year Eskimo Grant Shaw is the only boot on the roster." - Edmonton Journal

May 14, 2015 - kicker/punter Zackary Medeiros signed
"With just one kicker on their roster since the end of January, the Edmonton Eskimos have given Grant Shaw some company. The team announced on Thursday morning that it has signed national kicker/punter Zackary Medeiros, who was chosen by the Eskimos in the sixth-round of the 2014 Canadian Football League Canadian draft. The team released him on June 21 and he returned to Western University, where he made 24 of 33 field goals and had 57 punts for a total of 2,183 yards. Shaw was the Eskimos’ primary kicker/punter last year until he tore his pectoral muscle in the Labour Day Classic against the Calgary Stampeders and was lost for the season. Kicking duties fell to Hugh O’Neill for the remainder of the season, and the Eskimos released him on Jan. 21." - Edmonton Journal

March 20, 2015 - kicker Grant Shaw injury update
"Esks kicker/punter Grant Shaw is quietly working his way back to game-day shape. A torn right pectoral muscle ended a great season for the Edmonton-bred kicker on Labour Day last year. On Friday while he worked out with long-snapper Ryan King, the 30-year-old was talking about increasing workout weights by five pounds a week as he strengthens the surgically-repaired muscle." - MSN

January 21, 2015 - kicker/punter Hugh O’Neill released
"The six-foot-two, 185-pound Edmonton native signed with the Eskimos as a free agent Aug. 19, 2013 and made 31-of-42 attempted field goals while adding 48 converts with the CFL club. O'Neill took over kicking and punting duties after incumbent Grant Shaw sustained a season-ending chest injury in Edmonton's 28-13 Labour Day loss to Calgary. The 25-year-old ended up making 20-of-26 field goals and 26 converts while boasting a 44.4-yard punting average." - Winnipeg Free Press

September 17, 2014 - kicker Hugh O’Neill
"In the two games since Shaw’s injury, O’Neill has stepped in and assumed all of the kicking duties. He has made five out of six field goal attempts for a career-best 83.3 per cent accuracy and has punted 15 times for 632 yards. It’s a small sample size, but the Eskimos are obviously pleased with the results to this point. 'You always wonder how a guy is going to react when the lights are on,' Eskimos special teams coach Craig Dickenson said of O’Neill. 'But I think we’ve done a pretty good job as a group, players, coaches and everything, making practices as game-like as possible. What we’ve seen in games from Hugh is honestly what we’ve seen in practices: a good, solid performance'." - Edmonton Journal

September 8, 2014 - kicker Luca Congi signed
"With starter Grant Shaw gone for the season following surgery, the Edmonton Eskimos signed kicker Luca Congi on Monday morning. Congi, 31, was a free agent who had spent the 2012 and 2013 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Before that, the Waterloo, Ont., native spent six seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders." - Edmonton Journal

September 7, 2014 - kicker Grant Shaw has surgery, done for season
"Grant Shaw's season is over. The Edmonton Eskimos announced Sunday the kicker-punter suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in the club's 28-13 loss [last] Monday to the Calgary Stampeders. The Eskimos said Shaw underwent successful surgery and is expected to make a full recovery." - Cambridge Times

September 5, 2014 - kicker Grant Shaw out at least six games
The Edmonton Eskimos put kicker Grant Shaw on the six-game injured list on Friday. While his injury hasn’t been disclosed, head coach Chris Jones labelled the recovery long-term.... Reading between the lines, the use of past tense could mean that Shaw’s season is finished, while word out of Commonwealth Stadium over the week has been the Eskimos are looking at two or three kickers to potentially bring in to replace him. Chief among them is former Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats place kicker Luca Congi. 'We’ll discuss that next week,' Jones said, when asked about bringing in a replacement for Shaw to complement Hugh O’Neill, who will take over all three kicking duties in Saturday’s Labour Day rematch." - Edmonton Sun

September 4, 2014 - kicker Grant Shaw injured, backup Hugh O’Neill preparing
"Word out of Commonwealth Stadium is the injury to Edmonton Eskimos kicker Grant Shaw could be severe enough to require that the team bring in another kicker. Shaw was slow to get up after tackling Calgary Stampeders punt returner Jock Sanders in Monday’s Labour Day Classic, saving a would-be touchdown in the process. Ironically, an off-sides call earlier in the play not only negated the sacrificial heroics, but forced Shaw to go right back out on the field for a reboot. While he finished out the game, Shaw has been absent from practice all week ahead of Saturday’s rematch. That’s got the Eskimos turning to the backup boot belonging to Hugh O’Neill in the meantime. 'A little busier than usual. I’m not really sure what’s going on with Grant right now,' said O’Neill, a U of A Golden Bears product in his fourth CFL season. 'I know he took a bit of a hit last game, so they’ve asked me to step in'.... Officially, the Eskimos aren’t ruling Shaw out for Saturday. 'We’re not sure what way we’re going to go, Grant’s still getting checked over, he got a little nicked up in that game,' said special-teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson. 'And he’s having a heck of a year, but we’ve got Hugh here for a reason. He’s a heck of a kicker and he can punt as well, so we feel like we’re covered either way'.” - Edmonton Sun

August 15, 2014 - Grant Shaw kicks game winner over Redblacks
"A 27-yard field goal by Grant Shaw with 20 seconds remaining in the game gave the Eskimos a 10-8 win over the Ottawa Redblacks Friday night.... The Eskimos got their first point of the game on a 52-yard punt single from Shaw just 42 seconds into the second quarter. After Brett Maher connected on a 20-yard field goal to give the Redblacks a 7-1 lead, Shaw returned the favour with a 39-yard field goal of his own to make it a three-point game once again.... A 28-yard field goal from Shaw was the only scoring of the third quarter and it pulled the Eskimos to within a single point of the Redblacks at 8-7." - Sportsnet

July 7, 2014 - kicker Grant Shaw makes correction
"There were a couple of tense moments Friday when Shaw missed back-to-back attempts, but he’s quite willing to take the responsibility. At the end of the day, Shaw has hit six of eight attempts this season. 'It’s unfortunate that I missed two in the game (from 37 and 38 yards) and there were huge kicks, but all the credit goes to the team and especially to the defence for making the plays,' said Shaw. 'We got another opportunity to march the field and get the last two. It was all on me. I kinda just missed them by just a little bit. I felt I hit them really well and I feel I’ve been hitting the ball well all year. It’s just a small correction I needed to make. After that, it was right down the middle'.” - Edmonton Sun

July 4, 2014 - kicker Grant Shaw misses early, connects late in win over Hamilton
"After two earlier misses, Grant Shaw was clutch when it counted, hitting a pair of field goals to help the Edmonton Eskimos edge out the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28-24 at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night.... With 1:30 on the clock and down by a deuce, Shaw had his chance at redemption.  After missing the previous two kicks, Shaw stepped into a 43-yarder and nailed it down the middle to give Edmonton a 25-24 lead....  Edmonton's forced turnover gave Shaw another chance to put points on the board, hitting a field goal from 15-yards out to extend the lead to 28-24 with just under a minute remaining." - CFL

June 21, 2014 - roster moves
National punter/kicker Zackary Medeiros released. - Eskimos

June 18, 2014 - kicker support
The 25,000 in the stands at Commonwealth Stadium last Friday watched him miss wide from 37 yards out to settle for a single point out the back of the end zone before clanking his chance at redemption squarely off the post. There were also two pairs of eyes watching intently from the sidelines, belonging to veteran kickers Grant Shaw and Hugh O’Neill. 'They’ve been great, they welcomed me in and there’s been no animosity between us,' Zackary Medeiros said. 'We get along great and after that game, they just said: ‘Hey, you know what? It happens.’ They told me about how they’ve missed field goals as well earlier on in their careers and to just shrug it off and put it in the past because that’s normal. Especially as a kicker'.” - Edmonton Sun

June 16, 2014 - kicker Zackary Medeiros injured
"Rookie kicker Zackary Medeiros was noticeably absent from Monday’s practice. Considering it comes on the heels of Friday’s preseason loss to the B.C. Lions, where the 48th overall selection in this year’s draft went 0-for-2 between the uprights in his CFL debut, it might not have been surprising if he wasn’t invited back. Instead, he was sitting out because of injury. 'We’re still evaluating exactly what that is,' said head coach Chris Jones. 'Unfortunately he missed a couple of kicks there and had a tough night, but that doesn’t have anything to do with today'.... But the 24-year-old survived the first round of roster cuts on Sunday, which means he will likely get a chance at redemption in exhibition against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday." - Edmonton Sun

June 1, 2014 - kicking competition
"Field goals, or the lack of them, were an ongoing issue for an Eskimos team that went 4-14 last season. For Grant Shaw and Hugh O’Neill, a fresh start under a new coaching staff was warmly welcomed. 'I think if there’s not pressure on us, we’re putting pressure on ourselves, for sure,' said O’Neill, whose mountain man beard looks to be a full off-season longer. 'We have to do better. For all of us, that urgency is there'.... 'I think there’s pressure on all the units,' said Shaw, who was married this past winter. 'I mean, we’re not really talking about last year, but we’re trying to come in and be the best that we can be this year.' Shaw goes into training camp with a small edge over his competition. The Eskimos sent him and special teams coach Craig Dickenson to a kickers clinic in San Diego during the off-season to fine-tune his game.... Training camp didn’t open with a flood of new kickers on the roster, like in years past. The team drafted kicker/punter Zackary Medeiros 48th overall and signed him, along with the rest of their 2014 draft class, on Saturday. Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey said before the CFL Canadian draft that his kickers would have training camp to show Dickenson what they can do." - Edmonton Journal

May 20, 2014 - long snapper Ryan King, less is more
With every snap, Ryan King is becoming more confident as the Eskimos long-snapper. The key:  taking fewer snaps in practice and in training. It sounds strange, but for King it's worked. 'My first year, I probably snapped 100 balls in practice a day. Last year, I was in the 60 range, but now, I'm in the 40 range. You start to realize that you snap one ball at a time during the game,' says King. 'I stressed out way too much my first year. I would have one small error on the sidelines and it would throw me off. Confidence is key and I'm a confident snapper now. My fearless mindset is what allows me to make that snap when the game is on the line. I want to be in those moments. I crave them'.” - Eskimos

May 13, 2014 - kicker punter Zackary Medeiros drafted
"Round 6: Edmonton selects K/P Zackary Medeiros, London Beefeaters (CJFL) (48th overall) The five-foot-11, 205 pound kicker spent two years with the London Beefeaters of the Ontario Football Conference. The St. Thomas, Ont. product made 33 of 49 field goal attempts over two seasons. He also recorded 126 punts for 4,830 yards (38.3 yard average)." - Esks

April 29, 2014 - kicking plans
“When we look at the kicking situation, we want to give the guys we currently have [Grant Shaw and Hugh O’Neill] an opportunity to come in and compete,' GM Ed Hervey said. 'But we do acknowledge that is an area of concern. It’s an area we look at and want to make certain that, if it doesn’t work out, we have a couple of guys that are aware of the situation, and we do have guys that, if need be, we’ll pick up the phone and call.' Hervey emphasized that Shaw and O’Neill will have training camp to work with new special teams coach Craig Dickenson. 'This will be their opportunity ... They have coach Dickenson to work with, and he’s regarded as one of the best in the business — especially working with kickers,' Hervey said. 'We want to give them a chance. You have to give these guys a chance to work with someone who has an understanding of the kicking game and kicking mechanics. I don’t think it’s all on them, all their fault. I think we have to be open and fair and see what they can do with this type of coaching, and if they continue to struggle, we’ll address it in time'." - Edmonton Journal

April 17, 2014 - long snapper Ryan King
"The Edmonton Eskimos signed Canadian long snapper Ryan King to a contract extension Thursday that runs through the 2015 season. The 28-year-old Edmonton native was selected by the Eskimos in the fifth round (No. 38 overall) of the 2012 CFL Canadian Draft. King has made 15 special-teams tackles in 33 games over the last two seasons." - TSN

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