During the week I had attempted to call every kicking specialists that was in attendance at the College Senior Specialists Combine to give them my personal evaluation about their skill level and to listen to their feedback and comments.
On Friday afternoon I finished up my calls. Everyone seemed to respect my evaluation. Many were disappointed with their performances and said they were very nervous. Several mentioned they had never competed in a venue with such a large group of high caliber talent.
Friday evening it was time to meet up and say 'hi' to many of my coaching buddies from around the league. Many of my coaching friends with the Vikings and Ravens who are now scattered around the league with various teams... so goes life in the NFL.
Friday night I met up with former Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice and Dean Dalton exchanging some great stories. When i was coaching with the Vikings Mike was our tight ends coach and Dean was our running backs coach. Mike is now coaching with the Chicago Bears and Dean is doing TV shows back in Minnesota in addition to some Sirius NFL radio spots.
Saturday I headed over to the NFL Combine Headquarters, Lucas Oil Dome for the Sirius NFL radio gig with Dean. Dean was teamed up with Ross Tucker on Sirius NFL Radio at the Combine and invited me on their morning show to talk about the eight specialists invited to the NFL Combine and evaluate their performances.
After my interview I spent the rest of the day talking to several GM’s, Head Coaches and Special Teams Coordinators about my College Combine and Free Agent Combines in addition to possible future plans.
I had excellent conversations with GM Bill Polian (Colts), GM Jeff Ireland (Dolphins), GM Thomas Dimitroff (Falcons), GM Mark Dominik (Buccaneers), GM Scott Pioli (Chiefs), Head Coach Andy Reid (Eagles), Head Coach Norv Turner (Chargers), Head Coach Mike Smith (Atlanta), and Special Teams Coordinators Mike Westhoff (Jets), Steve Hoffman (Chiefs), and Super Bowl Champions Greg McMahon (Saints).
After seven hours of networking at the NFL Combine and talking about my future plans and getting their very positive reactions and feedback I was headed back to the hotel.
I received some excellent feedback and ideas from everyone resulting in me being on a natural high all day long talking about kicking and Combines. Everyone acknowledged that I have a passion for what I am doing and favored my ideas of thinking out of the box.
Running the two day Combine in Phoenix, editing video, preparing DVD’s, flying to Indy and networking for four days I can say one thing, 'I am exhausted!' It will be so nice to get back to Arizona... home sweet home.
I want to not only thank but let everyone know throughout the last couple of weeks my wife, Michelle has been the rock along with the Team Zauner support staff. She has spent an unbelievable amount of hours organizing the College Senior Specialists Combine and putting out numerous fires... she is simply the best!