Year End Kicking Update Letter
* One on One Lessons Pay Dividends for NFL Kickers and Punters
* Results of FA Combine – 17 of 41 Sign with NFL, UFL or CFL
* 2nd FA Specialists Combine in Phoenix, AZ March 27-28
* College Specialists Drew Butler – Wins ‘Ray Guy’ Award
* Rob Maver - Canada’s Best Combination P / PK Specialist
* College Senior Specialists Combine in Phoenix, AZ Feb. 20-21
2009 has been another excellent year for my consulting business, which has had a few unexpected twists and turns thrown into the mix. In fact, I am writing this year-end update from Melbourne, Australia where I was scouting Australian kicking talent for my next Free Agent Specialist Combine.
Coach Zauner & Michelle at Melbourne Sanctuary
One on One Lessons Pay Dividends for NFL Kickers and Punters:
Over the last few years, my One on One Lessons have paid dividends for those kicking specialists I have worked with. Here are a few highlights:
Rian Lindell: In 2007 comes for One on One Lessons to improve his ability to directional kickoff. Special Teams Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Bobby April and Lindell were both very satisfied with the positive results.
Jon Ryan: In 2007 Jon gets released by the Packers and comes immediately for One on One Lessons. Afterward he has a great workout, got signed, and has now taken his game to the next level the last two seasons with the Seahawks. After 15 games this season he has a 47.1 gross and 39.3 net punting average.
Brett Kern and Garrett Hartley: In 2007 both come for One on One Lessons. Both get recommended and sign as free agents with the Broncos. Both are having solid 2009 seasons.
Mitch Berger: In 2007, 08, and 09 uses One on One training every summer in Scottsdale, Arizona to prepare for training camp or NFL workouts. The last three years he has signed and played with the Cardinals, Steelers and Broncos.
One on Ones Produce Results for Janikowski & Cundiff:
In the summer of 2008 Sebastian Janikowski came to Phoenix, Arizona for a three day series of kicking lessons. Sebastian who is known to have the biggest leg in the NFL came to improve his accuracy on long field goals. During the three day lesson he improved his technique, consistency and most important accuracy at all distances.
Sebastian kicked only 71.9 % of his field goal attempts during his 2007 season (with many of the misses being beyond 50 yards attempts).
Sebastian was sent to me by his agent Paul Healy. After three days of instruction Sebastian was kicking with much better tempo and rhythm. He was very happy with his results. Sebastian's stats improved from 71.9 % in 2007 to 80 % in 2008. This year as of 12 / 29 / 2009 Sebastian is 24 of 27 or 88.9% for the 2009 season.
Another veteran who is having a very good year is Billy Cundiff. Billy came to me last summer for some One on One Lessons looking for another set of eyes to evaluate his technique. We worked for two days and at the end of the two day sessions he was again kicking the ball high, far and much straighter with better consistency.
Once he was kicking better, the only thing he needed was exposure to NFL teams who were looking for kicking talent.
So this past spring, I invited Billy to attend my Free Agent Specialists Combine. He was certainly qualified to be there. He accepted the invitation and in front of the 32 NFL, CFL and UFL teams showed everyone he was back and kicking better than ever.
Shortly after the Combine, Cleveland Browns General Manager, George Kokinis called me in early August asking me for the name of the best veteran kicker I knew available. At that time the answer was easy; Billy Cundiff!
Billy went to the Browns for several games and was 6 for 6. When Phil Dawson was healthy Billy was release and signed by Baltimore. Now, with the Ravens as of 12/28/09 he is 18 of 21 or 85.7 % for the 2009 season.
Results of 2009 Free Agent Combine: 17 of 41 Sign Contracts
Billy Cundiff was not the only success story to come out of my 1st Annual Free Agent Specialists Combine. There were many. Veterans: Scott Player, Derrick Frost, Eddie Johnson, Shane Andrus, and Utility Player / Snapper Richard Owens.
In all 32 professional teams and 41 kicking specialists attended. This included 26 National Football League (NFL), 4 United Football League (UFL) and 2 Canadian Football League (CFL). Of the 41 specialists who attended, 17 eventually in 2009 signed contracts with NFL, CFL or UFL teams.
One on One Lessons & PRO Development Camps Pay Dividends for American and Canadian College Punters:
I started my 2009 year and was quite busy with, my One on One Lessons and in summer started my PRO Development Camps. As with previous years, my kicking, punting and snapping lessons and kicking camps crossed country boundaries and included a successful season and career for Rob Maver, Canada's best college combination punter/kicking specialist.
In the United States, I am proud to say my One on One Lessons and PRO Development Camps with college punting specialists culminated with Georgia's sophomore Drew Butler winning the prestigious 'Ray Guy' Award.
You can listen to Drew's father, college Hall of Famer, Kevin Butler talk about Drew's One on One Lesson with me below. Click to Listen!
Coach Zauner Coaching in the UFL
In late July, Dennis Green, my former Head Coach with the Vikings and Cardinals asked me if I would be the Special Teams Coordinator for him in the newly formed United Football League (UFL). So in August, I went back to 'active' coaching with the UFL's California Redwoods for three months.
It was a lot of fun and I got to do what I do best... COACH! Coaching Special Teams and kicking specialists, it just doesn't get any better than that.
At the end of my UFL season, November 30, Michelle and I were on a plane to Melbourne, Australia.
Over the last few years, the NFL has seen a number of 'big legs' coming out of Australia. This includes Darren Bennett, Ben Graham, Mat McBriar and Sav Rocca.
Being a fan -and advocate- of kicking and punting game, and always having wanted to go to Australia, it only made sense to come to Melbourne -the hot spot for Aussie Rules Football- to meet with and evaluate, some of the kicking talent here to see if they might qualify for the Free Agent Specialists Combine I will be conducting in Phoenix, Arizona in late March of 2010.
From what I've seen so far, there is some serious 'raw' talent here. As I mentioned, last year's Free Agent Specialists Combine was a success according to both the players and the teams that attended. I am looking forward to an even more successful Combine this year with even more teams, and a larger group of highly talented kicking specialists attending.
Click below to view Australian Dan Jones of Australian Fox Sports video clip about Coach Zauner in Australia:
Coach Zauner's New 2010 College Senior Specialists Combine
In addition too, and to compliment my Free Agent Specialists Combine, I will also be hosting a College Senior Specialists Combine in Phoenix, Arizona February 20 -21, 2010 for kicking specialists ‘NOT’ invited to the NFL Combine.
It has been my and maybe your experience that over the years, not all the best college kicking specialists are invited or seen at the NFL Combine. I think this is unfortunate for both the college players who do have the talent to be NFL kicking specialists, and the NFL teams that are looking for new and undiscovered talent.
Like last year's Free Agent Specialists Combine, this will be a first for me. However, I have been working with, and hearing from, some of the best college kicking specialist's talent in the country. My guess is this College Senior Specialists Combine will yield positive results for both the players and for the NFL, CFL and UFL teams looking for fresh young talent. By rule No NFL, CFL or UFL Scouts or Coaches are allowed at this combine.
I look back at the last two years with gratitude and appreciation and look forward to this next season. I realize how blessed I am to still be involved in the work I love so much; coaching kicking specialists.
If there is anything I can do for you or another kicking specialist you know, don’t hesitate to call. You can view my One on One Lessons, Free Agent & College Specialtists Combines, PRO Development Camps and Schedule at: www.coachzauner.com
I want to send my New Years greetings to all and wish the best to you and yours in 2010.
Sincerely, Coach Zauner
List of Professional Kicking Specialists that I have Coached, Consulted, trained or Worked with in Camps During my 37 year Career:
NFL KICKERS: Gary Anderson, Chris Barr, Cary Blanchard, Doug Brien, Kevin Butler, John Carney, Michael Cofer, Billy Cundiff, Brad Daluiso, Greg Davis, Sandro DeAngelis, Lin Elliott, Tony Franklin, Robbie Gould, Garrett Hartley, Michael Husted, Jeff Jaeger, Sebastian Janikowski, John Kasay, Rian Lindell, Rhys Lloyd, Chip Lohmiller, Nick Lowery, Mick Luckhurst, Eddie Murray, Nick Novak, Todd Peterson, Neil Rackers, Dave Rayner, Fuad Reveiz, Wade Richey, Matt Stover, David Treadwell, Mike Vanderjagt, and Adam Vinatieri.
NFL PUNTERS: Mitclh Berger, Bryan Barker, Maury Buford, Paul Ernster, Russell Erxleben, Derrick Frost, Chris Gardocki, Barry Helton, Mike Horan, Eddie Johnson, Lee Johnson, Brett Kern, Josh Miller, Ralp Mojsiejenko, Scott Player, Max Runager, Jon Ryan, Mike Saxon, Rick Tuten, Klaus Wilmsmeyer, and David Zastudil.
NFL SNAPPERS: David Binn, Nathan Hodel, Trey Junkin, Matt Katula, Randy Kirk, Brody Liddiard, Joe Maese, Mike Morris, Don Mulbach, Mark Rodenhauser, Tyler Schmitt, and Nick Sundberg.
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