The two clients flying into Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport tonight are, Mike Dragosavich former North Dakota State and New England Patriots punter and Nick Schirtzinger, kicker/punter at Robert Morris University. Both will be here through Thursday for
One on One Kicking and Punting Lessons. Alex Groh and Danny Baugher are both punters that live in the Phoenix area.
Dave Rayner, former Green Bay Packer and Kansas City Chiefs kicker flew into Scottsdale last night. Dave was release by the Miami Dolphins a couple of weeks ago. Dave called me and asked if he could come to Scottsdale for a One on One Lesson and check out his technique.
When I was the Special Teams Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens I worked Dave out when he was the kicker at Michigan State. So, I was fairly familiar with his technique. The one thing I remember is that he had a good kickoff leg.
Dave has a good background and is well educated when it comes to talking about the mechanics of kicking. On the ride from the airport last night and during the first session he talked a lot about mechanics and technique. He mentioned that Eddie Murray former Detroit Lions Great Kicker, has worked with him on his technique and I could tell.
A long time ago I use to help Eddie with his kicking when he needed help. However, that was not very often. Eddie and I had a great working relationship when he kicked for Detroit and Tampa Bay. Matter of fact when I was the Special Teams Coach for the Minnesota Vikings, we brought Eddie into kick for us one year when we were transitioning from Faud Reviez to Gary Anderson.
Dave, is a good looking kicker at about 6'2 and 205 pounds. He has good kicking mechanics, excellent leg strength and has always been known as an excellent kickoff man.
So, why is he here in Scottsdale doing a One on One with me? Could it be like most kickers and punters, Consistency? I'm not sure at the start but Dave is here and he wants me to take a look and give my expert opinion.
When he was in Miami, he worked with Steve Hoffman, former Dallas and Atlanta kicking coach who is a well known and respected kicking and punting coach in the NFL. Steve has produced a lot of outstanding kickers in the league.
Dave starts kicking and explains in detail his mechanics and technique. Plant foot, step pattern and everything else which goes into a kickers basket of fundamentals.
He explains his set up, approach and kicks several balls.
I detect what I think is causing his inconsistency or kicking problem. The key to my success is targeting the problem and coming up with the correct drill or drills to solve the problem. Also, key words during the drill to emphasize what I want his body to do or execute.
We move on to a combination One & Two Step Kicking Drill and Dave starts to hit a bunch of kicks, straight and directly down the middle of the goal posts. He is feeling good about his progress!
The second day of One on One's was even better for Dave. He Hit a bunch of One Steps directly down the middle.
The slight adjustments we worked on to refine his technique was working. His new muscle memory was setting in and he was feeling a little more comfortable. If he keeps working the drills the correct way, in two or three weeks he won't have to think much about it.
We did a short field goal workout starting with 35 yard field goals and moving back in five yard increments to 55 yards. Dave kicked from both hashes. Dave went 12 of 14 on his field goals. The two kicks he missed from the right hash, he knew right away the reason for the miss. All the kicks were flying straight with no hook or draw. Mission accomplished!
We finished with kickoffs. Dave was always a good kickoff man and for some reason the Dolphins changed his system on kickoffs. We were running out of time. However, I told Dave don't try to fix something that doesn't need fixing. Go back to the way you use to kickoff, because he did pretty good his way.
I think the trip to Scottsdale and his One on One Lessons gave Dave the answers he wanted on how he could get his field goal accuracy better.
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