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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 2 Lessons with Brett Kern

Saturday was another beautiful day in Scottsdale, Arizona. The temperature was in the high 70's with a very slight breeze. It was a great day for kicking or golf!

Brett took what he saw on video to the field and had immediate results. He boomed several one step punts a total of 50 to 55 yards with a couple of 5.0 plus hang times.

Personally, I haven't seen too many one step punts go that far with those types of hang times in all my coaching and consulting days. It was quiet impressive, especially it being only his second day executing the one step drill.

Brett, has not had many individual workouts to date. But neither have many other punters and kickers around the country. The NFL special teams coaches are first getting through free agency and then moving towards the draft. Of course not going to the NFL combine will hurt not only Brett but also a lot of the players I have mentioned on my Sirius NFL Radio segment on Tuesdays at 3:45 PM ET.

Today, I put together a practice or workout routine that would simulate an NFL special teams coach working him out.

We started the session with some open field punts from the 30 yard line. I told him the situation on the field: 4th and long with an 8 man front. We recorded get offs, hang times, and distances. We took 8 punts in both directions. Today the wind was not a factor!

Next, we took 8 directional punts from the right and left hash marks and punted to the short side of the field. We punted in both directions. He directionally punted to or outside the numbers extremely well. Sometimes when you directional punt hang times are not as important to me as is accuracy. However, if you can do both it's a real bonus for your coverage team.

In a regular workout I would have given him two more situations. I would have made him punt some balls from the back of his end zone and also some punts from midfield, executing several pooch punt situations. During a workout I like to try all the situations you might experience in a game.

However, we adjusted our schedule. Brett wanted to spend time working on kickoffs, so we worked the remained of our lesson on kickoff technique. For a guy that has never kicked off, Brett has a strong leg and some real potential. Most NFL coaches don't even know that he can kickoff.

So far this year Brett Kern is the best college punter my eyes have seen during either; individual workouts, the NFL combine, college TV games, bowl games or on tape. He has a strong leg! He hit a bunch of 50 yard punts in the open field or directionally with 4.7 to 5.1 second hang times. During the workout we used 8 almost brand new (K) kicking balls!

Brett is about 6' 3" 212 pounds and is a gifted athlete. He has some great upside. He just needs to work out some minor flaws with his technique. For a guy that is basically self taught he made some great strides and improvement in just two lessons. The key to his success is consistency.

Go to my web site and click on: One on One Lessons to view Brett's punting & kickoff workout.
Video will be up Monday evening!

Why Brett wasn't invited to the NFL combine is beyond my comprehension. He punted in the Hula and East-West Shrine games and was second in the nation in punting with a 46.1 yard gross average and doesn't get invited to the NFL combine, "Go figure!"

The draft is a crap shoot from year to year with kicking personnel. Last year I believe three college punters made NFL teams. (Pittsburgh, Miami, and Jacksonville) How many teams need a punter this year besides Denver? Several teams might draft or sign a priority rookie punter to replace their aging veteran punter. (Titans and Texans?) What are the Patriots going to do? Some playoff teams don't want to take a chance on a rookie punter or kicker. It's up to the Head Coach and GM. The questions will be answered on draft day.
Stay tuned for more of Coach Zauner's Blogs!