Attending Specialists Make
Coach Zauner's 2012 Free Agent Kicking Combine a Success
It's always good to know that hard work pays off. In 2011 I had One on One Kicking and Punting Lessons with veteran specialists: Jeff Reed, Shayne Graham and Matt Dodge. All three attended my Free Agent Combine this year and had excellent performances. Also, Robert Malone and Clint Stitser other veteran NFL specialists attended and had an excellent showing.
Ever, since kicker Billy Cundiff (Baltimore Ravens) attended the 2009 Free Agent Specialist's Kicking Combine as a platform to showcase his talents, more and more veteran specialists are deciding to attend this Combine to get the exposure they want from NFL teams.
|Veteran NFL Kicker Clint Stitser (Fresno State and Bengals) Field Goal Contest|
|Veteran NFL Punter, Matt Dodge (East Carolina and Giants)|
|Veteran NFL Punter Robert Malone (Fresno State and Buccaneers)|
|NFL and CFL Special Teams Coaches and Scouts Evaluate Snappers|
The Free Agent Combine is meant to be a platform for specialists at various points in their careers to get exposure from NFL personnel. The 4th Annual Coach Zauner’s Free Agent Kicking Combine took place on March 20th at Paradise Valley High School and was our most successful yet.
|Snappers Warm Up in Beautiful Arizona Weather|
After a week of uncharacteristically bad weather in Phoenix, it was roughly sixty degrees the morning of the combine, eighty by mid-afternoon, there were mild winds and not a single cloud in the sky. Fortunately for the athletes, that makes for optimal kicking conditions.
The 2012 Free Agent Specialist's Combine welcomed sixty specialists: 24 kickers, 18 punters and 18 snappers, all of whom were eligible to sign contracts at the professional level. Each of the specialists hoping to catch the eye of one or two and maybe three of the Special Teams Coaches, Scouts and Directors of Pro Personnel that attend. Over the years there has been an average of 26 NFL, CFL and UFL Coaches.
|Seahawks, Bengals, Falcons, Dolphins, Browns Special Teams Coaches Register for Combine|
The NFL was represented by 19 teams. This number of teams was a little low. However this year several teams franchised there kicking specialists and had little reason to attend.
|Coaches and Scouts Watch Snappers During Warmup|
Tuesday morning, the snappers were on display for the NFL and CFL coaches and scouts who filled bleachers on the field. The prospective athletes then partook in a variety of drills and assessments meant to showcase their talent in attempt to win a roster spot at the next level.
Following the snappers, the punters and kickers participated in a variety of skill tests and were evaluated by the same group of evaluators who were sitting up close and personal on the sidelines.
|Coach Zauner Gives Directions to Snappers and Punters Before Punting Competition|
|Coach Zauner Gives Instruction to the (24) Kickers Competing|
Ultimately, the goal of Coach Zauner’s Free Agent Combine is to act as a link between free agent specialists and NFL and CFL representatives looking to fill roster spots. Every year, I receive feedback from the players and coaches, commending what we did right and offering suggestions for improvements.
This year, several coaches approached me at the culmination of the Combine and commented on the exceptional level of talent on the field. They even went as far as to say it was the most impressive group they have seen yet. It’s no secret that I’m an immaculate perfectionist, but hearing such positive feedback from people who judge NFL talent for a living I couldn’t help but think, “Hey, maybe we’re doing something right!”
As I always say, “Coaches Coach and Players Play” and the athletes who attended the 2012 Free Agent Combine deserve all the credit in the world for putting in the blood, sweat and tears to get better at what they do. Several of the specialists on the field Tuesday, I work with in One on One training and many have attended one or more of Coach Zauner’s PRO Development Camps. Knowing on a personal level, the time and effort they’ve put in, I couldn’t be more pleased with their performances at the Combine.
Several of the participants have already called to share the good news that they had been contacted by a scout or staff member on hand at the 2012 Free Agent Specialist's Combine and are currently engaging in conversations about future tryouts.
|Assistants Steve Hoppe and Billy Khayat|
'A Specialist's Path To PRO Football' was essentially developed as a blueprint for prospective kickers, punters and snappers with aspirations of playing at an elite level. My staff and I are constantly learning through experience, both personally and vicariously, more efficient ways to assist our athletes in realizing their dreams. The success of the 4th Annual Coach Zauner’s Free Agent Combine would not have been possible without the help and support of everyone involved. I‘d like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of the coaches, scouts and athletes in attendance, my incredible staff and my beautiful wife.
|Nick Schirtzinger - Special Assistant and Nicole Flanary (Stats)|
While that is a wrap on another fantastic Combine, there’s a great deal on the horizon for Coach Zauner, LLC including a speaking opportunity March 23rd-24th at the 2012 Alabama Spring Football Coaching Clinic. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post about Coach Zauner’s experience at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and don’t forget to check the blog section on my website www.coachzauner.com every week for the most recent updates, pictures and information on future events!
|Shayne Graham Checks Out The New NFL (K) Balls Used For Testing|
Just a side note: All testing at Coach Zauner's College Senior and Free Agent Specialist's Combines are done with new NFL (K) Balls.
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