During the lesson, on any flaw or correction I would notice and make, Ken was a quick fix.
During our open field punting period, he hit some good punts, however, his hang times were a little low. We adjusted his drop table and just like that, he hit some punts of 40 to 48 yards that had excellent hang times that ranged from 4.7 to 4.95 seconds. We both were seeing improvement.
We finished the lesson with some directional punting. He was a little inconsistent on his directional punting in my opinion, on Saturday we will work more on a that. It was a good first lesson considering he's been punting indoors or in poor weather back in Wisconsin for the last 8 weeks.
Taylor Mehlhaff was up next. Taylor is a solid 5'11 185 lb and benched 225, 13 times at the combine. There, I saw him kick for the 1st time and my first impression was, this kid has a big leg! Now, I get to view him up close and really get to know him.
Taylor starts by explaining his routine and why he does everything. He is a real knowledgeable and analytical kicker.
He mentioned that he had taken 2 weeks off to rest his legs and in the last couple of kicking sessions he had back in Wisconsin, he felt he was a little off. So, he asked me to watch closely and see if I could pick up on any little thing that he might be doing wrong.
He started his routine with some one step kicks and progressed to field goals. After about 20 kicks he hit 2 or 3 balls and shook his head. I knew it was time to step in and make a comment! I made some observations. We discussed and agreed upon, the reason he hit those bad balls.
We made a little correction and the next couple of field goals he bombed right down the middle! I'm thinking, this kid could really be good. Like with all kickers and punters it comes down to consistency!
We finish the lesson with kickoffs. Taylor was the National Kickoff Champion at Chris Sailer's Kicking Camp. He bombed the first kickoff 8 yards deep into the end zone. The next couple of kicks he hit with great hang times, (4.18 to 4.3), however, the distance was short. He again shook his head and mentioned he's been doing that a lot lately.
We video tape all the lessons, so we will get a chance to review and analyze his technique later. The lesson ends and Taylor is very disappointed with his kickoff performance. He's a perfectionist.
Justin Beaver who is 5'9 192 lbs and was Mr. All Everything in Division 3 fielded punts and kicks during both sessions. Just watching him you can see that this kid is a good athlete. He is quick and fast. He ran a 4.45 40 at his pro day. Viewing him from a distance, he seems to catch punts and kicks well. However, on Saturday we will video tape him up close and be ready to critique him more. This young man wants to learn and do everything he can to make it in the league. That's why he came to Scottsdale. At Whitewater, which was the NCAA Division 3 National Championship team, he was the star running back, and the coaches would not let him return punts or kickoffs. So, this is now a crash course to get him better!
Later in the afternoon we had our video review session. Both players get to see first hand the flaws I have mentioned to them on the field. Kenny and Taylor both take notes and will benefit from this information and take it to the field on Saturday and get better!
Justin and I watch video of several great NFL return men. He's like a sponge trying to absorb as much information on the return game as possible.
The 3 players had Friday night to themselves and I enjoyed dinner with my wife Michelle. We both needed a night out!
Stay tuned to more of Coach Zauner's Blog!