How does one really scout a specialist?
That’s one question that is dominating the discussion about Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst’s first NFL Draft at the helm of the franchise. He selected a punter and a long snapper at picks 172 and 239, respectively, and now the team must figure out how to use those players.
However, doing that is easier said than done. As we’ll learn in today’s curds, special teams coaches aren’t often well-versed in the finer points of kicking, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to extrapolate that out to snapping technique either. Therefore, it largely relies on the players themselves to make any tweaks that are necessary to their form in order to maintain their consistency.
The decision to draft two specialists was also an unusual one for the Packers, who had not drafted a dedicated special teamer since picking Mason Crosby 193rd overall in 2007. However, drafting JK Scott in round five was hardly the highest pick used on a specialist, even in the last two decades. The Packers picked three such players between rounds three and four from 1997 to 2004: third-round kicker Brett Conway in ‘97, fourth-round punter Josh Bidwell in ‘99, and third-round punter B.J. Sander in 2003.
In addition, this was the first time that the Packers drafted two specialists since the draft moved to its current seven-round format. The last time they drafted two such players was in 1989 (kicker Chris Jacke and punter Brian Shulman).
'Fall-back plan' quickly became Hunter Bradley's passion | Packers.com
Hunter Bradley's three ACL tears came in three straight years, leading him to long snapping instead of playing tight end. Now fully healthy, he has shown an ability to not only snap well, but to be a weapon in punt coverage as well.
NFL draft: Packers step out of comfort zone by taking punter JK Scott | Packersnews.com
Special teams coaches are notorious for not understanding the finer mechanics of kicking and punting. So if the coaching staff can't really tell good ones from bad ones, how are the scouts expected to do so?
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Moore, his coach, and a Packers scout all said the same thing about his drops: they're the result of trying to make a move with the football before it's secured. The Packers might be willing to live with a few bad drops if he turns the balls he does catch into big plays.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands' awesome comeback surprise from Aaron Rodgers | ESPN
A pro tennis player, Mattek-Sands suffered an awful knee injury last summer and is just getting back on the court. The lifelong Packers fan got a cool gift from a certain quarterback wishing her well in her comeback.
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Industry insiders thing that betting will start out in casinos and racetracks before eventually moving to a more convenient method like mobile apps.
Squirrels stash 50 lbs. of pine cones in Michigan man's car | Detroit Free Press
Don't forget to check under the hood of your car every once in a while, especially if you live in a state with lots of bushy-tailed rodents.