Special Teams?

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AngryJohnny51
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Special Teams?

Postby AngryJohnny51 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:32 am

What's everyone's opinion about special teams this year? "Special" good or riding the "short bus" to school special? Our coverage and return teams are no brainers, easily in the top third if not the top team overall in the NFL.

What concerns me is the kicking game. Peterson is not the answer in my opinion. He does not have the leg strength or the accuracy needed to put those "bonus" points on the board. Feely was suspect but I strongly feel that Peterson was a downgrade.

Gowin was just downright brutal with the Jets last year punting. The last two seasons he has just averaged 38 yards per kick. I suspect there is a reason he is with his fifth team in the past 8 years.

The kicking game will win you or lose you 2-3 games a year. Let's hope my concerns with these two are way off base.

Thoughts??

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Postby dirtybirdnw » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:09 pm

I hope and believe that Koenen will beat out Gowin for the punter job. Like Pudge and others have stated before it depends on who performs the best during the Jax game. Koenen has much better hangtime then Gowin and I think has a little bit more range.

Peterson is brutal beyond about 42 yards. But we usually stall around the 20 or so if we are going to stall so he should OK. I really wish we could have gotten ahold of Nugent in the draft. That would have solved all our kicking problems.

While I have confidence our return unit and coverage unit will be among the NFL elite we did have tackling problems this preseason. A lot of shoulder grabs that didn't stop the returner. I think we might see the yards surrendered on a return inch up a few yards otherwise we should be solid. Especially with the addition of Ike Reese and pleasent rookie surprises Beck & Boley.

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Postby dirtybirdnw » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:11 pm

Isn't Sebastion Janikowski a free agent next year? If the Raiders let him walk we should snatch him up.

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Special

Postby MarylandFalcon1 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:20 pm

Coach D will have the basic return and coverage teams ready and I don't think that is a worry.

As for punting, Coach D likes hang time and has said he would perfer no returns at all but the problem with that is if we have to go someplace deep in the season or postseason that has nasty weather. Remember the misery of our punts in the NFC Championship last year. Those high kicks for hang time turn into near nothing in wind and that scares me. Dirty, you seem to know alot about Koenen, as you have said he is from Washington, can he kick low and long if we need him to?

Peterson couldn't possibly make me any more worried than I was every time Feely kicked for us. Feely spent way too much time in the weight room and looked more concerned with his 'guns' than with his kicks the last couple of years.

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Postby AngryJohnny51 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:24 pm

Peterson is brutal beyond about 42 yards. But we usually stall around the 20 or so if we are going to stall so he should OK


That's what I kind of meant by "bonus points". If you are a kicker in today's NFL, you need to be able to boot those 43-48 yarders consistantly. Not only does missing a 45 yard field goal after a nice drive or turn over take points off the board, it take the wind out of the proverbial momentum sail.

Isn't Sebastion Janikowski a free agent next year?


I'm not sure on his FA status, but I think he will command a lot of money and I highly doubt he could pass the Falcons Filter. What about Longwell, Akers or someone along those lines. Are they due to be FA's anytime soon?

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Postby FalconsAreTheBest » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:34 pm

The only thing that bothered me with Feely was that his wall was 40+. He was money inside 40 yards, but then again.....most NFL kickers are.

Look - http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/234829

89% career inside 40
55% career 40+

But Peterson is probably only here a year as with whoever wins the punting job.

Punter bother me more, our punters suck. That one kid has a helluva strong leg but is very inconsistant.

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Postby dirtybirdnw » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:23 pm

Here is his NCAA profile:

http://wwuvikings.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/koenen_michael00.html

According to his profile it appears his kicking wall for field goals is about 50 yards he has some long kicks (50 to 54 yards) but it appears accuracy is an issue. He is 58% career kicker in college.

Punting wise he averages 40 to 45 yards with longs of 60 to 73 yards. Kinda seems like a Mohr type punter with more power.

He does have a lot of special team player awards even though he is a Ju. Co. player it is still noteable. He also has the school record 19 touchbacks on kickoffs for a single season. He was also named to Street & Smiths top collegiate punter list ranked #4.

He also has the school record for consecutive PAT's at 44 and Field Goals at 8.

He has promise.

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Punt

Postby MarylandFalcon1 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:46 pm

Thanks for the info Dirty.

MF1

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Postby Steve-O » Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:03 pm

I think Vanderjagt is a FA after this season....he may be an a-hole but he can kick. I don't like our situation either...Gowin is unimpressive, as is Peterson, the rookie makes me nervous for no other reason than he is a rookie and at some point will do somthing stupid in a very critical time. Anyway I don't think any of them will be here next year, (unless the rook plays great)

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Postby Capologist » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:13 pm

I think Koenen would do fine punting and kicking off but I think the days of getting the great onside kicks that Feely gave us are over and I also think anything outside of 40 yards is going to be an adventure...

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Postby Patf56 » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:01 am

I think we will be OK

our return game should be top notch as usual, the punting dont bother me inside too much outside that could be a different story, that just means we have to win HFA :D

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Postby Pudge » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:09 am

Janikowski agreed ot a contract extension a few months back, so he won't be a free agent next year. Vanderjagt is set to hit the open market, and he's the best indoors FG kicker in the league, along with Jeff Wilkisn and Jason Hanson.

I think Peterson is going to do alright. He doesn't have a great leg, but I think he'll be pretty accurate from within 45 yards. I mean, you really can't ask for a lot more. Not too many kickers out there are really good from beyond that range.

Gowin is a question mark. He has good leg strength, but he hasn't hit the ground running as quickly as Mohr and Stryzinski did when they first arrived in Atlanta, which definitely concerns me.

I don't really see Koenen beating him out at this point. I know the team is definitely giving it a lot of thought, but Koenen is going to relaly have to outkick Gowin in these next two games. I'd love to see Koenen make the roster, but Gowin is a more proven commodity in terms of experience.

I'm not too worried about our special teams. Will it be as strong as it has been in the past few years? No, but I think it's still going to be one of hte better units in the league. As long as DeCamillis is patrolling the sidelines, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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Postby Capologist » Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:04 am

Pudge: Koenen has outkicked Gowin all preseason and most prognosticators think he has the lead right now...

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Postby dirtybirdnw » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:49 am

Capologist wrote:Pudge: Koenen has outkicked Gowin all preseason and most prognosticators think he has the lead right now...


That is good to read :). I know everytime he kicks I always think: "Damn, is that thing ever going to come down?

I don't remember who it was against (maybe Baltimore) but we where backed up on about the 5 or so and Koenen booted that 53 yard bomb that hung in the air forever. It of course was called back on a penalty. But there was no return on that one it stayed up too long.

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Postby Pudge » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:21 pm

Capologist wrote:Pudge: Koenen has outkicked Gowin all preseason and most prognosticators think he has the lead right now...


And if that's the case then, it will need to continue for the remainder of the preseason. It just seems to me, that DeCamillis prefers the veteran punter than young up and comer, so if the battle is tight which it currently is, I think Gowin will ge the job.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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Postby Steve-O » Wed Aug 24, 2005 3:28 pm

I think Gowin will at least get the benefit of the doubt...Personally I want to see the rookie get it, he's got a huge leg, but if he does get it I know at some crucial point he'll do something stupid like kick it out of bounds on a kickoff and it will cost us a game...but he will only be a rookie for one year and if he's got half the potental I think he has he'll be worth having around....realistically though I don't think he'll make the team unless he straight up out classes Gowin in the next two games...

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Postby Capologist » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:23 pm

IMO, Koenen won it tonight. 10 yd more avg on punts including 1 inside the 5 and a TB on kickoffs...

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Postby Capologist » Sat Aug 27, 2005 9:03 am

The coaches agreed!


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