I received a phone call from one of the Special Teams coaches I met on Wednesday who wanted to get together for 15 minutes and view my Special Teams Power Point Presentation. On my way downstairs to the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, I got into the elevator and there was Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith.
I introduced myelf and then was a bit speechless. But only for a bit.
We talked for the duration of the elevator ride and then continued our conversation down in the lobby for a couple of minutes. I mentioned that we had Robbie Gould in Baltimore for about four or five weeks on our practice squad and had to cut him. It was a very hard cut because during those weeks I saw the potential the young kicker had.
The Bears were smart!
The next season Robbie went on to his first Pro Bowl!
I also mentioned to him how I admired the way the Bears organization signs and drafts, and puts their team together with Special Teams emphasis. It was a credit to not only him but also the Pro Personnel Director Bobby De Paul! The Bears are coached by Special Teams coach Dave Toub. He does a great job coaching an excellent group of core Special Teams players led Pro Bowlers Brendon Ayanbadejo and Return Specialist Devin Hester.
After this brief, but enjoyable encounter I continued off to my meeting. There, my 15 minute Power Point meeting turned into an hour. The Coach was very impressed. He was going to talk to his Head Coach to see if we could create a consulting package for himself and his kickers. It was pretty exciting to get such a positve response. I was excited!
As the day continued, I saw 4 more Special Teams Coaches, and gave presentations to them. The responses were excellent! I was a busy and productive morning and afternoon.
To see an example of the Special Teams Power Point presentation, go to my website and click on the Special Teams button.
During the day I received a call from a college Special Teams Coach who wants to visit Scottsdale, Arizona to spend time going over kicking and the parts of the Kicking Game. Great! I enjoy giving clinics in my office (and it also means I don’t have to fly!).
I also had two more kickers call about lessons. Business is good.
It's amazing how the Internet and my website have helped in my new consulting business (more on this in a different post).
After a little R&R (that would be 'rest and relaxation' not 'rock-n-roll') I left to attend the annual Special Teams Dinner that is put on by the Super Bowls winning team’s Special Teams Coach.
This year it was Giants Special Teams Coach, Tom Quinn.
It’s great seeing the guys and exchanging stories and talking special teams. As always, it was a very nice function. About 80% of the NFL Special Teams Coaches attended. John Harbaugh, the new Head Coach for the Baltimore Ravens showed up and got a standing ovation. For many years he was one of the league’s outstanding Special Teams Coaches.
During all my conversations with people throughout the evening one question kept coming up, and that was 'how many games are won and lost by 3 points?'. It's a good question...and I think I'll have try and find that stat and post it here on my blog.
Later, in the evening I talked for several minutes with Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid. Andy was a player at BYU when I was Coaching Kicking and Special Teams there for Head Coach LaVell Edwards. It was great seeing and talking to Andy. He’s always been a great guy and still is. And now he is also a great Head Coach!
As I finished the evening and was getting ready to leave I ran into Atlanta’s New Head Coach Mike Smith. Mike and I coached together for 5 years at San Diego State in the early 1980’s and also, at the Ravens in 2002.
I am so happy for Mike. He’s worked his butt off over the years and it’s paid dividends for him.
He’ll do a great job in Atlanta.
Stay tuned for more from the NFL Combine here on the Coach Zauner blog.