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  1. #31
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    ROFL....really.....ROFL. Norv Turner mentions that his kicker is kicking 60 yards on their own 20 all the way to the other team's 15 or 10 yard line which is a "challenge" for the coverage guys. DAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. The reassessment he speaks of, how do you equate that to reducing the kick length? That's not what he is eluding to. But I disagree with him regarding the minute you ask guys like Turk to start aiming for the sidelines is when you get those awful shanks and short punts. Listen, I'll slow it down for you. On kick offs. Is there anyone near the player receiving the ball? NO. Now, you two seem to feel that there has to be someone within 5 yards of the receiver on punts, otherwise, well that kicker is just screwing everything up by kicking it so damn far. The problem isn't the speed of the coverage team. As I stated before, the second stringers on the special teams are not that much slower than the starters. It's a matter of technique. Shedding blocks. Penetrating return schemes set up by the other team. Why do you think that teams occasionally blitz a punter? 1. Its risky because the kicking team players can release down the field unimpeded and surround your receiver, and; 2. However, if you get the punter to hurry a punt, then it will be short, shanked, line drived, or ideally blocked.

    Punting and kicking to the sidelines to shrink the lanes your coverage team has to cover is risky business, and tells the other team your coverage players suck. More often than not, it doesn't work out favorably for the kicking team.

    I just don't understand the mentality that wants a punter who can kick the ball 60 yards with 6 to 7 seconds hang time to shank it shorter and to the left or right rather than get the coverage team to perform better. Like I said, its early guys. The coverage team hasn't had a lot of practice given the circumstances. LET TURK KICK. LET TURK KICK. LET TURK KICK.

    Now go to your rooms and not another peep out of ye!
    Last edited by bigredman; -08-25-2006 at 09:07 PM.

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  2. #32
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Norv Turner mentions that his kicker is kicking 60 yards on their own 20 all the way to the other team's 15 or 10 yard line which is a "challenge" for the coverage guys. DAAAAAAHHHHHHHH. The reassessment he speaks of, how do you equate that to reducing the kick length?
    The argument was whether or not outkicking your coverage actually happens, and the excerpt provided by Mike illustrates it perfectly. It's pretty clear what Turner means when he says "the field is really stretched out" and causes "a challenge for your coverage guys."

    Again, I tend to put a decent amount of weight on the opinion of employed NFL coaches. Don't worry, though. Later in this response, I'll provide another source that is accurate enough, considering you cited him in an earlier post of your own.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    I just don't understand the mentality that wants a punter who can kick the ball 60 yards with 6 to 7 seconds hang time to shank it shorter and to the left or right rather than get the coverage team to perform better.
    Ugh. READ MY POST.

    If you'd have done so, you would have found this:

    I love seeing these huge punts, but I would much rather Turk put more hang time under those long distance kicks to allow more time for our unit to get downfield. If that's not possible, then the only other option I see is to have Turk take some distance off the kick so that our unit does not have to travel as far.
    The point? I have no problem with 60-yard punts... when they have enough hang time to allow our coverage team to get into position. It's when 60-yard punts don't have the proper hang time where I start to worry, and I specifically talked about taking heat off the ball only if the hang time thing is not possible. Mike has agreed with as much, so I'm not sure where you're getting the alleged mentality that you cite.

    Furthermore, I'm quoting you here: "Let's not exaggerate here buddy." Now I'm going to make the same request of you. From my own viewing and analysis of the Texans game, I saw no punt from Matt Turk with a 6-7 second hang time you claim he's achieving.

    Collecting the data myself using a video of the game and a stopwatch as well as taking in multiple reviews of each punt to ensure accurate readings, this is what I found:

    -Turk's first punt of the night (50-yards) was fair caught with approximately 5.1 seconds of hangtime.

    -The second punt, 50-yards of which Buchanon returned, had a hang time of about 4.9 seconds.

    -The third punt, a 59-yarder which Buchanon also brought back, had a hang time of 5.3 seconds. I'd like to point out that when Buchanon fielded this kick, no Ram was within 15 yards of him.

    -Turk's final puint of the night was for 57-yards with a hang time of 5.3 seconds, and only two Rams were near the play. Those Rams were Tye Hill (4.34 forty) and Jon Alston (4.4 forty), and I point out their forty times only to show the kind of speed it takes to get downfield in time on a 57-yard punt with a little over five seconds of hang time.
    So first off, let's not pretend that Turk is booming punts with 6+ seconds of hang time and somehow that's not enough. That'd be fantastic if he was, but that's not what's happening. I watched and timed it myself, so please don't make that claim unless you're ready to provide the video from the Texans game to dispute it.

    Secondly, the best part of rewatching this game to collect the above info? The very next play after the third punt, the announcer clearly says, and I quote: "...59-yard punt by Matt Turk, so perhaps he did outkick the coverage." I only bring it up since you specifically used comments made by the same announce team about Turk's punting in an earlier response to support your case. Now, I can clearly do the same to support mine.

    Again though, the point is not once did I count 6-7 seconds worth of hangtime that you claim our mentality is not satisified with. On the contrary, six to seven seconds would be amazing on a near 60-yard punt, and would certainly allow our coverage unit enough time to get down field on a consistent basis. However, that's not what's happening.

    What is in fact happening is that a 57-59 yard kick with a little over five seconds of hang time did not consistently allow our coverage team enough time to get down field, nor is it realistic to field a ten-man coverage team of guys who all run 4.4 forty times.

    Which brings me back to the assertion from my previous post, now the third time I've posted it:

    I love seeing these huge punts, but I would much rather Turk put more hang time under those long distance kicks to allow more time for our unit to get downfield. If that's not possible, then the only other option I see is to have Turk take some distance off the kick so that our unit does not have to travel as far.
    It's much easier to ask ONE punter to alter the way he kicks the ball - a skill that he should have complete control over - than it is to ask TEN coverage players to alter the speed at which they run - an attribute that they cannot significantly if even moderately improve on at this point in their career.

    Preferably, I would have Turk increase his hang time on these booming punts. If that's not possible, then I would consider shortening the kick while maintaining high hang times to better our chances of forcing fair catches.

    So... understand? Or do I need to slow it down for you?
    Last edited by Nick; -08-25-2006 at 10:24 PM.

  3. #33
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    Throw it down BRM, throw it down! Did you notice I added "although some may disagree" on my original post? I knew something would be coming. Anyway.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Listen, I'll slow it down for you. On kick offs. Is there anyone near the player receiving the ball? NO. Now, you two seem to feel that there has to be someone within 5 yards of the receiver on punts, otherwise, well that kicker is just screwing everything up by kicking it so damn far. The problem isn't the speed of the coverage team.
    OK, I'll slow it down a tad too. Your kickoff analogy is a good one. It's true there are no coverage guys near the returner on a kickoff. What's the result? Longer returns. Terrance McGee led the NFL with a 30.2 yard average returning kicks. Punts are a different story. Reno Mahe led the NFL with a 12.8 yard average returning punts. Why the difference? The coverage guys are right up on the punt returner, giving him less room, resulting in returns that are substantially shorter.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman
    I just don't understand the mentality that wants a punter who can kick the ball 60 yards with 6 to 7 seconds hang time to shank it shorter and to the left or right rather than get the coverage team to perform better.
    Like Nick pointed out, this is the problem. 6 to 7 seconds is not what Turk was getting. If he can combine his 60 yard punts with 6 to 7 seconds of hang time, we're home free. If he can't, something has to give.

    After all this lively debate, I actually can't wait to see what happens with the punting game tomorrow night.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Now go to your rooms and not another peep out of ye!
    Now BRM, you didn't really think Nick or I are the type to go to our rooms without another peep did you??
    Last edited by Nick; -08-25-2006 at 11:22 PM.

  4. #34
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Now Nick, using my super calibrated, Swiss timing, nuclear infrared tripped timing device with synchronized professional digital video playback....(I love dueling with Nick....the man is a maniac)....I reviewed my earlier post....I misspoke regarding 6 to 7 seconds....no one kicks a 6 to 7 second punts...NO ONE...I meant 5 to 6. The NFL average is 4.5 seconds. I didn't go through the trouble of timing it...I went off a comment made by a broadcaster. However, I feel a sense of pride that I made Nick go back and actually time the damn things. Hang time not withstanding, special teams are much more complicated than the kicker aiming the ball. The coverage scheme (I.E. stunts by the kicking team, the wide outs ability to shed the often double team protect while staying in bounds is the key to successfully corralling the return man, whether the kick is down the middle long, or a shorter ranged angled kick. Personally (and yes Nick, I noticed the shot regarding current NFL coaching opinion must trump my lowly Pop Warner opinion), my experience as a player and coach, kickers are not all that sophisticated to consistently "pinpoint" their kicks, no matter what level. If you can kick to the 1 to 5 yard line on a kick off (55 to 60 yards), and hold the returner under the 20 yard line, then you have a very good coverage team. Same goes with the punt team. Of course, the kick off team doesn't have to defend the kicker, and immediately have someone in their face when the ball is kicked, however, the punt team has the advantage of beating their man quickly without any players falling back to form a wall as they do in kick off either. Turk was kicking pretty consistently at the 4.5+ range with great distance, which is very good. If I were King of the Rams, I wouldn't mess with his kicks, I would kick some special team player's butts (and of course design a brilliant coverage scheme to defeat the other team's blocking). I guess I just have more faith in my ability than you do with the Ram's current special team's coach! (Yes...that's joke guys)
    r8rh8rmike....nah....I knew you two wouldn't stay in your rooms...I could hear you giggling the minute I shut the door and started walking down the hall.

    As HUbison pointed out....isn't this a wonderful dilemma to be in?
    Last edited by bigredman; -08-26-2006 at 09:20 PM.
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  5. #35
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    The NFL average is 4.5 seconds.
    Source on this?

    While we're at it, what's the NFL average for punt length? Somehow I doubt it's 57-59 yards.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Hang time not withstanding, special teams are much more complicated than the kicker aiming the ball.
    Just as they're much more complicated than the kicker just booting it as far as he can.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    kickers are not all that sophisticated to consistently "pinpoint" their kicks, no matter what level.
    Really? Kickers and punters aren't sophisticated with their kicks? Punters are required multiple times during the season to kick a punt inside an opponent's 20-yard line optimally without resulting in a touchback. In order to do so, they often have to take some heat off of their kicks to try and get perfect placement. Furthermore, punters directionally kick to the sideline in some scenarios to either limit the field returners have to work with if not kick it completely out of bounds while also trying to maximize distance.

    Placekickers try to kick the ball as close to the goalline as possible without going deep into the endzone. Kick it too short and you're giving the opposition free yards. Kick it too deep and it results in a touchback. The optimal target is the goalline or one yard line.

    Yet you're telling me that kickers and punters don't consistently try to pinpoint their kick to a target location or distance? To me, that's probably the most important aspect of kicking!


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    If I were King of the Rams, I wouldn't mess with his kicks, I would kick some special team player's butts
    And this would increase their speed how? As I established in my last post, it's much easier to ask one punter to adjust how he kicks rather than ask ten coverage men to adjust how fast they run.

    Adjusting how you kick should be quite easy for a punter since it's a basic part of the position. Adjusting how fast you can go is significantly tougher.

    You say you'd kick their butts, but I'm still waiting on the magical solution to make our coverage team move faster as opposed to simply asking the veteran Turk to adjust his kicking.

    I'll go to my room again, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for that solution.

  6. #36
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Source on this?
    The 4.5 average came from a NFL stat book by Sporting News I got for Christmas covering the 2004 season.

    While we're at it, what's the NFL average for punt length? Somehow I doubt it's 57-59 yards.
    Never claimed that to be the average. Just said that to have a 4.5 to 5 second hang time for a 57-59 yard punt is very good. Many punters only get 4.5 with a 40 to 50 yard punt. BTW...average punt was 34 yards net (after return) in 2004.

    Just as they're much more complicated than the kicker just booting it as far as he can.
    Are you starting to take this personally? Yes, it is much more complicated than the kicker just booting it as far as he can. I am assuming we are talking about when we are 60 or more yards away from the goal line. It appears you are expanding the parameters of this discussion to make more sense of your argument. If you are closer, then you must either try to drop the kick inside the 10 or angle it to the corner. I never claimed otherwise. (more on this next).

    Really? Kickers and punters aren't sophisticated with their kicks? Punters are required multiple times during the season to kick a punt inside an opponent's 20-yard line optimally without resulting in a touchback. In order to do so, they often have to take some heat off of their kicks to try and get perfect placement. Furthermore, punters directionally kick to the sideline in some scenarios to either limit the field returners have to work with if not kick it completely out of bounds while also trying to maximize distance.
    Placekickers try to kick the ball as close to the goalline as possible without going deep into the endzone. Kick it too short and you're giving the opposition free yards. Kick it too deep and it results in a touchback. The optimal target is the goalline or one yard line.
    Yet you're telling me that kickers and punters don't consistently try to pinpoint their kick to a target location or distance? To me, that's probably the most important aspect of kicking.
    Now don't put words in my mouth that I haven't uttered. I'm not saying you should never do it or that many kickers don't try under instruction of their coaches, I'm saying when you have more than 50 to 60 yards, its my opinion you boom the kick and cover, don't mess with the sidelines or aiming to one side of the field or the other. However NIck, just how successful are punters at angling or dropping kicks to pin the opponent inside the 10, let alone the 5 or 1. VERY seldom does it work. Why? Because kicking, no matter how long you've been doing it, is a "feel" thing. It also involves putting your foot onto an oblong ball, that doesn't always fly or bounce the way you want because of its shape and the elements affecting it. Hense, kicking is not sophiticated. Its an art performed in a wind storm of unknowns and uncontrollable forces. You have much better success as a coach controlling the players on the coverage team than that stinking ball coming off punter's foot.

    And this would increase their speed how? As I established in my last post, it's much easier to ask one punter to adjust how he kicks rather than ask ten coverage men to adjust how fast they run.
    You increase the coverage team's speed of getting down the field by improving their technique of shedding their blocks, maintaining their lanes of responsibility, and getting players that are truly fearless. Like I said, you don't simply fix this by putting more starters on special teams. The second and third stringers aren't that much slower running free down the field, but you find those starters and backups that have that certain "it" to play special teams. Shed your blocks, design a coverage scheme to penetrate their protection and "wellla" your coverage team is faster getting down the field and better at containing the returner.


    Adjusting how you kick should be quite easy for a punter since it's a basic part of the position. Adjusting how fast you can go is significantly tougher.

    You say you'd kick their butts, but I'm still waiting on the magical solution to make our coverage team move faster as opposed to simply asking the veteran Turk to adjust his kicking.
    You want magic? There is none sonny. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but nothing in life and football is easy. There are no quick fixes like you seem to suggest. You think you can cure this by simply sprinkling your fairy dust on Turk, tell him to be nice to his teammates and kick it shorter and to one side or the other, and the problem will go away? I'll tell you what. I would love for you to be the opposing coach during a game I'm coaching in. While I have all my players reaching to perform to the next level, you can tell your better players to hold back because the rest of the team can't keep up.

    I'll go to my room again, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for that solution.
    See....you wouldn't even of had a chance to turn blue if you had held your breath. Now stay in there or next time I'm coming back with my belt!
    Last edited by bigredman; -08-27-2006 at 07:50 PM.
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  7. #37
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Never claimed that to be the average. Just said that to have a 4.5 to 5 second hang time for a 57-59 yard punt is very good. Many punters only get 4.5 with a 40 to 50 yard punt. BTW...average punt was 34 yards in 2004.
    Sorry BRM, but in my opinion, this couldn't be more inaccurate. 4.5 to 5 seconds on a 57-59 yard punt is not very good.

    Go back and watch the Texans game. Turk's first punt was a 50-yarder with five seconds of hang time, and our special teams players were able to get down field and were in a positrion to minimize the return had Buchanon not called for the fair catch. That's a perfectly fine distance/hangtime ratio in my book. Ideally, I would even suggest a five second hang time on punts anywhere from 45-50 yards if possible, but that's the hang time I'd shoot for at the 50-yard mark.

    But to add 7-9 yards to that same time if not less time and still try to claim it's very good makes absolutely no sense to me. And again, it makes no sense based upon what I saw on the field. Look at his punts that were 57 and 59 yards. He had 5.3 seconds of hang time on both by my timing of them and that certainly wasn't adequate at all for the 59 yarder, let alone "very good" for either. Suggesting that nearly a second less of hang time is still very good on that distance? Sorry, just not buying it.

    You know what is very good hang time though? 5.7 seconds, which is what Texans punter Chads Stanley got on a 49-yard punt in the Texans' first preseason game. Now that's some great hang time.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    OK, I'm really going to slow this down for you.
    Do you believe that our special teams coahces haven't been doing this all spring and summer? Do you really think Bob Ligashesky isn't emphasizing getting off blocks and staying in your lanes? It'd be a wonder he's even employed if those things didn't come up on a regular basis.


    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    While I have all my players reaching to perform to the next level, you can tell your better players to hold back because the rest of the team can't keep up.
    You make it sound like teams never ask certain players to reign things back for the betterment of the team. It happens. Look at Brett Favre. He's known for throwing bullets that have broken the hands and fingers of his receivers before. You don't think he pulls back for the rest of his team? You don't think running backs across the league capable of blazing down field don't hold back on their speed depending on the play call or the speed of their blockers?

    The two options aren't as concretely good and bad as you make them sound. This is a team sport that hinges on team success. Asking a punter to take some heat off of the ball so that the coverage team has a better chance of getting downfield in time is not a lot to ask in my opinion, especially when the goal is to force more fair catches and minimize returns.

    The funny thing is it's not even my preferred solution. As I've repeated many many times now, my preferred solution is just to have Turk put more hang time under those long punts.

    Since it's now been days of debate with neither of us budging on this issue, I'm simply going to agree to disagree about it. We've both put forth our thoughts on the issue. That's really all we can do.

  8. #38
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    Re: Matt Turk And Punt Coverage

    Agreed. As always....I enjoy debating with you Nick. And for everyone else sitting on the sidelines....you're welcome!
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