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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bucknell University Phil Azarik

Bucknell University senior punter, Phil Azarik was in Scottsdale, Arizona for the past three days refining his punting technique and preparing himself for his upcoming NFL Pro Day.

Phil is a 6'2 and 206 pound left footed punter with pretty good form and a good leg. I believe if he can correct a couple of mechanical flaws in his technique, not only his form will get better and smoother but his distance and consistency will improve.

In the photo below, Phil is showing me his drop. He has been taught to place the ball outside his hip and go get it. There are too many instructors teaching this and this is not correct in my opinion.

This was causing Phil to chase and wipe the ball to create a spiral and then fall off to the side causing him to drive a lot of his punts. This is why Phil was inconsistent with his foot to ball contact.

In the photo below Phil is working my Drop Progression and One Step Drill emphasizing placing the ball directly out in front of his punting leg. I like the ball placed directly out in front of the punting leg and suspended and dropped, so the punter swings his leg straight up and through the ball hitting a (SNO) spiral nose over punt.

I have proven to the punters with slow motion video that the ball will naturally spiral off your foot and you don't have to wipe the ball to create a spiral.

When Phil dropped the ball correctly and punted up and through the ball he started to hit the ball with better hang times and distance with less effort.

Phil boomed a couple of 4.8 to 4.9 hang time, power zone punts with excellent distance and his comment was "I hardly hit it".

In the photo below, you can see Phil driving straight up and through this punt and not falling backwards or off to the side.

After three days of punting Phil knows what he needs to do to get better. The most important thing he and all punters must show scouts or special teams coaches is Consistency.

Phil has all the coaching points from his three lessons on a DVD to take home and review. He needs to work hard on the non-punting as well as the punting drills. I believe in a couple of weeks the drills will help Phil to create a new muscle memory that will make him a more consistent punter.

Click below to listen to Phil Azarik's testimonial working with Coach Zauner:

Phil was a pleasure to work with and I expect to see him back in the near future. I wish him the best of luck in his pursuit of a career in the NFL.

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