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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scobee Kicks Game Winning 59-Yard Field Goal

Here’s a great article about Josh Scobee who kicked a game winning 59-yd field goal for the Jacksonville Jaguars this last weekend. The kick was the longest in Jaguar’s history, and it tied for the eighth-longest NFL field goal ever made.

It was this last March when Josh came to Arizona so I could have a look at his technique.

During the two days he was here, we realized he definitely needed to make a ‘swing’ change. And once we knew this change had to be made, it was Josh’s willingness to make the change, and then his willingness to work all summer to refine that change, that has now taken him to the top of his game.

And being on top of his game is not only showing in his kicking technique, but it has also added to his confidence. There is no question it took a great deal of confidence and mental discipline to make that record setting field goal under so much pressure.

Great job Josh and congratulations on earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week!

I appreciate the credit Josh gives me for his current success, but his success truly belongs to his talent and his efforts.

Read article below;

Josh Scobee's new swing feels like a sure thing
Jaguars kicker's offseason work with guru pays big dividends
Article Written by: Tania Ganguli

The genesis of that 59-yard field goal that kicker Josh Scobee sent through with ease came nine months ago in Mobile, Ala.

Gary Zauner, a kicking guru, approached Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio at the Senior Bowl about the team's kicking problem. Scobee missed 10 field-goal attempts in 2009, and while five of those misses were from longer than 50 yards, his coaches wanted improvement.

Scobee did, too. When Del Rio brought him Zauner's name, Scobee had already been thinking about calling Zauner. The pair worked together for two days in Scottsdale, Ariz., back in March, and it changed the way Scobee kicked.

So far this season, it's shown. Four games in, Scobee is perfect. He didn't miss a field goal all through the preseason and is 5 for 5 in the regular season, with all of those kicks longer than 40 yards.

On Sunday, he kicked the longest field goal in Jaguars history to lift his team to a scintillating 31-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts. By that point, his teammates' faith in him was so great that many of them didn't just think he could make the kick from that distance — tied for the eighth-longest NFL field goal ever made — they expected it.

"He's off to a great start," Del Rio said. "He's maturing as a player. He's always had an incredibly strong leg. He's blessed with that, and he came into the league with that, but he's worked on becoming more consistent."

Leg strength was never a problem for Scobee. He wasn't sure exactly what the problem was.

"Last year was the type of year I didn't want to have," Scobee said. "... You have to go back and do some soul-searching and figure out why you had a bad year and not make any excuses."

Zauner, a longtime NFL special-teams coach, had some ideas.

"Josh wanted me to look at his technique," Zauner said. "I know he felt there was some pressure on him to do better. ... He had a couple of glitches."

Zauner saw Scobee's body "crunching" forward when he kicked long-range field goals. He saw his ankles roll in a way that made his motion less efficient. The pressure of the distance changed the way his body moved, as it does for most people.

During those two days in March, Zauner worked with Scobee to change his form. They spoke the same language, too - Zauner colored his instructions with golf analogies, something very familiar to Scobee.

Zauner recorded DVDs of each of their sessions and sent Scobee home with them.

"It was a swing change for me, and more of a philosophy change," Scobee said. "Once I caught on and saw exactly what he talked about, I built a lot of good swings off it and at the same time got the confidence in what I was doing."

It gave him the confidence to approach the 59-yard field goal, in a game that the team so desperately needed on the line, without nerves.

The kick hit near dead-center and cleared the goal posts with more than 3 yards to spare.

Scobee hasn't been out much since Sunday, but when he is, he gets a few more autograph requests and congratulations. Monday morning, at a gas station he regularly stops by, someone recognized his face. A few others saw approached him, too. They bought newspapers and had Scobee sign them. At a charity function on Monday night, Scobee was introduced as a "hero of the First Coast" and greeted by cheers.

"I'm taking it all with a grain of salt," Scobee said. "Just trying to keep a level head about it."

He's quick to share credit with Zauner.

"Even though it was two days, it was two meaningful days," Scobee said. "I really can't thank him enough."

Zauner didn't see the now famous field goal live.

"But I've seen the kick about 100 times," Zauner said.

He'd like to get a closer look, but from what he's seen on replays, Scobee's form on that kick matched what the two of them discussed in the spring.

His handiwork is etched in Jaguars lore.

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