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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Australian Workout & Fox News

On Monday Coach Zauner was in Melbourne, Australia doing an open workout with six Australian's who all had some type of Aussie Rules Football background. Steve Baker was the only participant that actually had some Australian Gridiron Football background.

All the punters wanted me to evaluate them and let them know if they had enough punting talent or what they needed to do to get better and have a chance to get an NFL tryout.

Other Aussie Rules players like Darren Bennett (Chargers and Vikings), Sav Rocca (Eagles) and Ben Graham (Cardinals) all had massive legs and made the transition from Aussie Rules Football (Footy) to the NFL.

The answer after Monday's workout was 'No'. However, two punters Steve Baker and Courtney Johns did show some definite potential. Both Steve and Courtney have very good leg strength and hit some great punts. However, the key to both of these punters success will be consistency. That starts with a better drop.

Once a punter with a big leg has a better drop and starts hitting the ball with more consistency then you can really tell what his potential will be in regards to getting a college scholarship, NFL tryout or contract.

When and if they become more consistent the next factor will be how they compete and perform under pressure. The pressure of a tryout or Free Agent Combine like I have in Phoenix, Arizona in front of many NFL Special Teams Coaches, Scouts and Personnel Directors and competing against other talented American Punters.

On Monday I started the open workout with everyone understanding the difference with the Aussie Rules Drop Punt and the American (NFL) Punters nose down drop. In the first photo below I huddle all the punters and showed them photos of many of the NFL punters and their grip, drop, contact, and follow-through when they hit their best punts.

Next I let the punters show me their talent level.

After I saw their talent level I worked on basic fundamentals. In about two hours I tried to give them some basic fundamentals and drills to help them all improve their technique.

The bottom line, after two hours of evaluation, drills and practice Steve and Courtney had the most potential.

In the next two days I had One on One sessions with both and saw even more potential.

Enjoy the photos and video interview below:

Coach showing photos of NFL punters fundamentals and techniques

Courtney Johns showed some excellent potential

Steve Baker hits a 5.0 second hang time punt

Punters working Goal Post Drill

Aussie's with Coach Zauner

It was great meeting all the punters and working with them. The young Aussie's as a nation definitely have much better foot skills than the high school and college players back in the US.

I wish Steve and Courtney the best of luck in taking their games to the next level.

Click below to watch and listen to Dan Jones (Fox Sports News Australia) interview Coach Zauner about Aussie punters and their 'Path to the NFL'.

Thanks to Dan Jones (Fox Sports News) for doing this excellent video on the Aussie's Down Under.

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