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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Punters getting pointed in right direction

    [size=18px]Punters getting pointed in right direction[/size]
    Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune

    MANKATO - There wasn't much strategy last season when it came to Chris Kluwe's punting. Basically, the orders from Vikings coaches went like this: Boom the ball as far as you can.

    Kluwe succeeded, finishing his rookie season ranked second in the NFC and sixth in the NFL with a gross average of 44.1 yards.

    Paul Ferraro, the Vikings' new special teams coordinator, would like to see a repeat performance of those numbers, but he has a different philosophy than the former coaching staff.

    "I am a believer in directional punting," Ferraro said. "I think there is a place to just let them kick it away and let them bang it, but I think it gives your gunners [the two players allowed to run down the field as soon as the ball is snapped] an opportunity to shorten the field and gives them a chance to understand where they need to release and where the ball might go. ... It's like anything else; it doesn't have to be 100 percent of the time, but I do think it's something that can benefit you as you close the field down for the coverage team."

    Both Kluwe and rookie free agent John Torp, who is competing for the punting job, said they were asked to use the directional style in college. Kluwe also was forced to switch to directional late last season after he continued punting despite having a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

    Essentially, the philosophy for directional punting is to angle the ball toward the sideline so the return man is pinned and has less room to work with as the coverage team approaches.

    Kluwe believes the biggest difference between straight-line and directional punts is where you point your hips. "A directional punt is basically a straight-line punt, you're just straight-lining it toward the sideline," he said. "If done properly it shouldn't look any different than a normal kick except where you end up."

    An official visit

    Referee Larry Nemmers and three other officials visited Mankato on Thursday to go over rule changes and points of emphasis with Vikings players and coaches. They also watched both practices and called penalties during drills.

    Among the changes Nemmers addressed in a session with the media is a key one to the down-by-contact rule. Those plays can now be reviewed even if the whistle has been blown before a loose ball is recovered.

    The four officials will work the Vikings-Kansas City practice tonight and stay in Mankato through Saturday.


    • Receiver Dez White (knee), who sat out his fourth consecutive practice Thursday morning, was back on the field for the afternoon session. The first practice was held in full pads and featured plenty of hitting; the second was conducted in shorts, despite the fact it had been scheduled to be in pads. Evidently happy with what he saw, coach Brad Childress ended that session 12 minutes early.

    • Defensive end DeQuincy Scott limped off the field Thursday morning but was back in the afternoon and said his ankle was fine.

    • Tickets remain available for the Vikings-Chiefs practice at 6:30 p.m. today. Admission is $10, and fans can buy tickets at the event.

    • Newly acquired Kansas City running back Michael Bennett on getting to see his former Vikings teammates tonight: "I've been getting calls all [Wednesday] night. It will be good to see the guys again. But this is a business trip. You can laugh and joke afterwards."
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

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  2. #2
    cajunvike's Avatar
    cajunvike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Punters getting pointed in right direction

    Go get 'em Kluwe!!!

  3. #3
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Punters getting pointed in right direction

    they were both looking really good in practice, lets have a repeat of last year kluwe! =D

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  4. #4
    AngloVike's Avatar
    AngloVike is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Punters getting pointed in right direction

    Hope he is back to full form this season - last year was the first for awhile when we weren't cringing when our Punter took to the field. If he plays as weel this year then it will be true to class him as one of the few real successes to come out in recent years.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...

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