JK Scott’s ability has never been in question. The 6-foot-6 punter’s talent has always been evident, and typically it’s been borne out by the results on the field.
Typically, but not always. Consistency has been, well, a consistent problem for the third-year punter. A midseason swoon in 2019 is Exhibit A in his consistency struggles, followed closely by his slumping numbers as the calendar turns to the colder months in both his NFL seasons so far.
But equipped with a little extra offseason practice time courtesy of the ongoing pandemic, Scott has developed a new approach toward maintaining consistency throughout the season, starting with taking better care of his body.
“One [thing with consistency] is just the physical managing my body throughout the season. The physical fatigue and things like that,” Scott said in his press conference Tuesday. “The other thing is, when you get into some different conditions and wind, you’ve got to make some adjustments, not just hit away.”
Implementing that new approach has been a bit of a challenge, though. Throughout much of camp so far, Scott has been flying solo on special teams, since kicker Mason Crosby and long snapper Hunter Bradley were both on the Packers’ COVID-19 list. Unable to practice with his field goal unit battery mates, Scott’s been left to work on some other aspects of punting, like working on his drops or catching snaps from the JUGS machine.
With Crosby and Bradley off the list now, though, Scott’s been able to get back to a more regular practice schedule, relishing the opportunity to work with his teammates. Entering his third year working with Crosby and Bradley, he’s excited to deepen their partnership.
“Just kind of building that relationship,” he said. “We’re connected, we’ve got a good thing going.”
Their relationship may be an important stabilizing factor for a third-year punter heading into a season that’s sure to be a little strange. Scott will likely be punting in empty or mostly empty stadiums this year, though that’s not something he’s particularly concerned about.
“It’s weird, when I’m on the field, I forget about the crowd,” he said. “And once you’re on the sideline and used to being in the game, you don’t even think about it after a while.”