Emphasizing ‘A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting’®, Coach Zauner’s teaching philosophy facilitates an environment where kicking specialists develop the skills, technique, and confidence to achieve their maximum physical and mental potential. At an amateur and professional level, Coach Zauner, LLC programs and events provide a kicker, punter or snapper ‘A Specialist’s Path to PRO Football'®...Coach Zauner, LLC Mission Statement

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Billy Cundiff Back in NFL

Last summer I received a call from Billy Cundiff and he wanted another set of eyes to take a look at his kicking technique. His agent, Paul Sheehy and I had talked several times about other clients but I kept asking about Billy. I suggested through my coaching technique of A Natural Style of Kicking and Punting we could achieve success of getting Billy back in the NFL.

Billy by any one's standard has an excellent kicking leg.

A matter of fact Billy finally decided to attend my 1st Annual Coach Zauner Free Agent Specialists Combine in Phoenix, Arizona and had a very good day. Several NFL Coaches asked me after they saw Billy kickoff and kick field goals why this guy (Billy) was not on an NFL roster.

In my mind Billy was the 'Best of the Best' at my combine and deserved to be at least signed and in camp with one of the 32 NFL teams.

Later in the summer after mini camps and most of training camps when the NFL has seen the new crop of College and free agent kickers I received calls from a couple of NFL teams asking who was the best kicker I had available. I kept saying Billy Cundiff. Most teams wanted a rookie because of the salary cap.

A side note to this story. After my 2009 free agent camp in April Dennis Green former Head Coach of the Minnesota Viking and Arizona Cardinals called and asked who was the best kicker he could sign for his new UFL California Redwoods team. I said Billy Cundiff.

Later in the summer I was asked by my former Head Coach Dennis Green to join his staff as his Special Teams Coordinator.

In July and August Billy and I talked a couple times about his plans for the upcoming season. He mentioned that he realized that after being away from the NFL for a couple seasons he needed to kick for someone, some place. If no one was going to give him another chance in the NFL then he was going to kick in the UFL for the team that drafted him, which was the California Redwoods.

In August the now former General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, George Kokinis (who I worked with at Baltimore Ravens) called and asked me the same question, who is the best kicker available. But now he wanted the best kicker not the youngest or cheapest. I still gave him the same answer, Billy Cundiff. Once the regular NFL season started Billy was signed by the Browns because of an injury to Phil Dawson.

Billy went to Cleveland and in several games was 6 for 6 (100%) on his field goals. Matter of fact he and Joshua Cribbs (Pro Bowl Return Specialists) were the only options for the Cleveland Browns to score.

Once Phil Dawson was healthy Billy was release. For a couple of weeks Billy was back in Phoenix, Arizona staying in shape and waiting for his next call.

Billy had shown the NFL he was back kicking well and was now back in the game and on the merry-go-round! All he needed now was another team to give him a chance where he could be the #1 guy. Two weeks ago Billy had a tryout with Baltimore Ravens along with Mike Nugent. The word I heard on the streets is that if the Ravens were going to make a change they were going to go with Billy Cundiff.

Billy Cundiff was signed and played in his first game this past Sunday. Billy was 5 for 6 on field goal attempts in his first game with the Baltimore Ravens.

In the little time I have worked with Billy, I noticed that he is not only a nice guy but a hard working professional. I wish him the best of luck in the future. "Go Ravens!"

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