Kicking It With Scott Blair

Last season, Scott Blair handled all three kicking duties for the Yellow Jackets. Scott spoke with GoJackets.com about handling that workload, how that affects how he practices, and whether he wants to continue handling all three.

Scott Blair - Profile

During the summer conditioning, the offense and defense work in separate units. Who do the kickers work with?

"We're out there on the offensive side. We do all our conditioning with the offense. In the weight room, we're split up by how strong a person is."

Other than the organized workouts, do the kickers go out and do their own thing?

"We do. We usually go out three or four times a week. We don't always kick. We do a lot of dry runs which is kicking without the ball."

Are there any new special teams players that have come in this summer?

"We have a punter, Sean Poole. He's doing pretty well. We have Cory Pritchett who comes out there to snap some."

I guess the team will be breaking in a new snapper this year?

"Yeah, our snapper from last year graduated so we'll have a new one."

How important is the snapper to a kicker?

"I guess everybody has a pretty equal part. If the snap to the holder is off a little bit, it can mess up your timing and makes it pretty difficult. It's really important to get the snap in the right spot and with the right speed."

Are there any additional snappers that are going to compete besides Cory?

"We have Jeff Lentz, Brad Sellers and another freshman, Tyler Morgan."

Will you be working with the same holder? I noticed in the spring they tried a few different ones.

"Right now I feel the most comfortable with Chandler Anderson. He held for me last year. Sean Poole has held for me a few times. He's a pretty good holder too."

Has there been anyone working with the kickers this summer or have you been pretty much on your own?

"I've worked with Mark Fierbam. I go home and work with him sometimes. Carlos Martinez I've worked with some."

Can you give us some background on the two of them?

"Mark I've worked with since the eighth grade. Every time I'm home now we'll have a kicking session. He'll go through what I need to work on. I've gone to see Carlos a few times this summer. He gives me some pointers. He's been through it all so he gives me some good pointers for the games."

Last season you were counted on to punt, kick off and kick field goals. Do you feel that was too much or is it something you feel you can handle?

"I think I can handle it. I did it in high school. I just need to balance things. I enjoy doing all three. It keeps me very focused in the game."

Does that affect how you approach practice during the week?

"It does because I can't do too much of one thing. I can't get preoccupied in one phase of kicking. I have to keep everything balanced. I have to do field goals one day and punts another day."

How do you feel about the competition to take away one of the three duties?

"I love the competition. Whenever there's competition it always raises the bar for everyone to make improvements."

On kickoffs we've seen sky kicks, placements kicks, etc. Has that approach changed or will you continue to do that?

"In practice in the spring, we still tried a lot of sky kicks and tried to vary it up a lot."

I guess the approach will depend on who's returning kicks?

"That's true. You don't want to give it to an All-American returner."

Is there anything you're working on to improve this summer?

"A lot of form and working on my muscle memories. I'm doing a lot of stuff without the ball to improve my form."

Can you explain what muscle memory is?

"Since I have to concentrate on three things in kicking a field goal, I do a lot of dry runs. I do this so I don't have to think about anything when I kick."

Is there anything you're working on to improve leg strength?

"We're doing a lot of squats and leg exercises to strengthen our legs."

Is your approach any different depending on the distance of the field goal?

"I try to keep the mentality the same. When you're further back it's in the back of your head. That's what I'm trying to work on now. I'm trying to do the same thing on each kick. You don't want to go to light on the shorter ones in case it gets tipped. You always want to have the distance and the height there."


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