On Friday, Saturday and Sunday University of Georgia's Punter Drew Butler was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for another series of One on One Punting Lessons.
Also in town at the same time for One on One Long Snapping Lessons was Neal Dahlman a senior long snapper from Bowling Green State University. Neal mentioned he has been rated by one of the scouting services as one of the top (5) ranked snappers coming out in next years 2011 draft.
As a kicking coaching it is a great situation for me when I get a long snapper and punter both at the same time. First, because I don't have to catch snaps and secondly, each specialists not only gets his own One on One time but also gets some extra practice and drill time servicing each others drills. From a kicking coach perspective I feel it's a win win for both the specialists and myself.
Note: Neal can bring some heat! Drew's hands were stinging at the end of each session. Click here to read Neal Dahlman's entry from Coach Zauner's Blog.
Neal Dahlman (Left) and Drew Butler (Right)
As with every kicking, punting and long snapping lesson, Drew starts every lesson with my Drop Progression Drill. After he finishes his Drop Progression Drill he moves into a modified 'Power Zone Punting' Drill.
During our spring One on One Punting Lesson I asked Drew not to work my One Step Punting Drill for a while because I thought he was picking up a bad habit. Why? Because during the One Step Drill he was starting to crunch a little.
I don't want Drew working any drill that might give him any type of bad muscle memory. As I coach Drew I don't want any drills to interfere with Drew's ability to master my 'Natural' Style of Power Zone Punting Technique.
Drew's drop has progressed nicely from last year to this year. In 2009 he had a slight problem with a nose up drop. This year he is almost exclusively dropping the ball with the nose down. (Above photo).
During the second day for both specialists, Neal worked snapping, vertical setting and blocking while Drew was working on improving his Directional Punting Technique both right and left.
Drew is excellent going to his right like most right footed punters but needed to improve on his consistency going to his left. I emphasized pre-setting his hips to improve his body position and foot work. At the end of the second punting lesson Drew was hitting his punts more consistently going to his left.
After three days of One on One Punting Lessons Drew had practiced and punted in almost every punting situation that a punter will experience during the course of a season: Open Field, Directional, Pooch, End of the Game and Backed Up and Coming Out of the End Zone.
After three days of working on technique, Drew was ready to get back home to Georgia and work on finishing summer school and his summer workouts.
Drew is not only working on technique but how to be a true professional. His father Kevin Butler was a hard worker and a true professional when I worked with him as a kicking coach many years ago when he was a kicker with the Chicago Bears.
Coach Zauner watch Kevin Butler Warm Up in Pre Game
Side Note: My One on One Golf Match Play with kicking specialists is still perfect. I have not lost a match to anyone. Drew is the only specialists that has tied me. However, even though the above photo was taken in Arizona when Drew and I tied and we exchanged one dollar bills. This time Drew paid me a $1.00 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Westmoor Country Club.
It was again a pleasure working Drew Butler. I wish him and the Georgia Bulldog's the best of luck this upcoming season. Last year Drew won the prestigious Ray Guy Award. This year Drew needs to not worry about awards but take each punt one at a time.
I told him to be a team punter and punt for the situation. The best way to be recognized as a great punter is to punt according to the situation at hand not for average. Drew is a team player and will do whatever it takes to help his team win games.
I wish Drew the best in focusing on his goal of achieving a 'Path to PRO Football'.