| FTBL (This Year Should Be) The Best Kicking Year in Alabama History

OldPlayer

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For the last many years Alabama has had a dedicated long snapper for punts and FGs. They work with the kickers 100%. Alabama has also used the punter as the holder in FGs and XPs (sometimes it's a QB, but not always). While punters are not dedicated 100% to holding, they are still with the kickers in almost every practice period.
 

RollllTide!

HEY Get up your killing the grass!
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Have a friend that got his club's from goodwill. They were rusted crap. Like 1950 style blades. He shot scratch. Played golf in boat deck shoes. His name is Bob White. This was in the mid 1980s in Birmingham.
 

TerryP

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When the kickers are working in practice they are not working with their long snapper or holder until that specific group is practicing live. The group isn't working together every day. It's been this way for years with Saban. It's all on their own, no 'coaching' per se', and it's all done with equipment to hold the ball.
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There are a few Alum/A-club members, former kickers, who have discussed this for several years. I know I've been pointing to this for at least four or five years. The most outspoken one, Butch Worley, has made 100's of comments about how they practice on several different mediums. The others, using the anonymity of a screen name on forums, have echoed his comments if not literally repeating his observations word for word after they witnessed it as well.

We've witnessed at least a half of a dozen kicks over the last few years where the holder didn't have the ball upright: leaning to the left or right at contact. That's on the holder and snapper and it's due to a lack of practicing together. Think about this for a second. Who has been holding the kicks the last few years; specifically what position? And, where are these guys the majority of the time? Working with their offensive groups.
 

TerryP

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I played with T-zoids for several years. A friend/golfing partner started calling me T-zoid before I even looked at the set. Like you, I love the way the ball sets up with the face. However, the biggest reason I play Mizuno is the sole. The fairways around here, while lush, are still quite tight and dry.
 

mando

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Not doubting what you are saying but this just seems so out of character for Saban as much as he is a details and preparation for anything fanatic. With the QB's holding I understand there a logistics issue and Saban has to make a priority call, but when there is an obvious issue Saban historically has been out front solving it.
 

UAgrad93

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While I was there, Philip Doyle had Jeff Wahl as his holder. That is all they did for the entire practice. Jeff would simulate catching the snap and placing it in the tee and Philip would bang on it. No snappers. Punters would work by themselves as well.
 

c5vetman

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@TerryP

I've heard you say this many times. Why isn't anything ever done to change this? I'm sure Saban has heard it from someone, you'd think he'd at least try a few practices the better way, and see if it makes a difference. It's come down to losing several games for us!

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UAgrad93

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It's the schedule and routine that he is accustomed to for the time he has allotted each week. Recall that they only get 20 hours a week. Under current NCAA rules, during a playing season and while school is in session, athletes are supposed to spend no more than 20 hours a week on required athletic activities. This includes meetings if I'm not mistaken and workouts. Similar to an old dog and new tricks deal. I'll throw in a few kinks as well. Coaches like to use certain personnel as far as holders (either QBs or punter, even a WR) TEs and wings (either true TEs or RBs or even LBs) to go along with the long snapper and interior OL. Saban likely doesn't want to take any time away from those other position groups to spend too much time on PAT/FG.
 

c5vetman

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I get that, but as we've seen in the past, Saban isn't afraid of change and evolution. Who would have thought our offense would be what it is today after so many years of grind it out? He wants to win above all, so adjusting to something such as this wouldn't be just another "oh he's set in his ways" kind of deal, I wouldn't think.
 

UAgrad93

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I think it really falls to the limited time in practice a week to be honest. What do you take time from to add to PAT/FG time outside of the 10-15 minutes that they do spend on it? See what I'm saying? Does he cut short film study with coaches and their position groups, cut away team offense/team defense time, etc.? It really is annoying!!! As an old HS coach, our special team periods were broken down during the week and were often sacrificed should their be screw ups along the offensive or defensive periods. A 15 minute period to focus on punt/punt return/punt block would get cut at least 5 minutes on a Monday. Kickoff/onside/kick return/ hands team the same on Tuesday and then PAT/FG on Wednesday and then walk thrus on Thursday.
 

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I understand this and see the importance.

But I can't think of anything more important to kicking and kicking practice than doing it with the accurate personnel. We are literally talking about points on or off the board on that play.

But when it comes to the actual kicking part of practice, simply having the LS/Holder/Kicker together should be prioritized during regular practice time. I have a hard time believing there isn't a free 40 yards of field & goal post to use. The LS at Alabama doesn't do anything else. The kicker doesn't do anything else. So maybe it's past time to prioritize the starting or backup QB as the holder if they need to be taking or watching reps @ 'O' practice, and pick another dude who can "sneak off" to actually put points on the board....?! Otherwise, you're just taking away from the actual 'O' practice itself by not being able to cash in those points.
 

Brandon Van de Graaff

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You guys have struck one of my nerves with the holder talk. It is by far, Saban's biggest blind spot (he doesn't have many, but this one is big). The amazing thing to me is, Saban has shown the willingness to adjust his hardline philosophies on things before, but his insistence on using a QB to hold is the albatross around the neck of our kicking situation. Saban has stated previously that using a backup QB is his preference because the, "QB's have the best hands on the team." Well, that in itself is flawed. Even if it were true though (and it's obviously not), it isn't nearly enough to overcome the issue of countless practice reps that the kickers could get with a dedicated holder. A walk-on WR would be ideal as a dedicated holder, IMO. According to kickers on the team, the last few seasons, they preferred punter Mike Bernier to be the holder. He was their preference because he was their "practice" holder the entire time he was in school. They had a comfort level and chemistry with him that was simply unattainable compared to a quarterback who wasn't getting anywhere close to those same reps. A walk-on receiver being the full time holder and working exclusively with the kickers in practice and games makes the most sense for success though. It also frees up the QB's to work on pretty much anything else during FG team work at practice.
 

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I'm sure it is... Gives him flexibility just in case the snap is botched or wants to run a fake.

But the juice ain't worth the squeeze. A guy like Slade Bolden would be perfect given the QB experience and hands....

Regardless, the pressure kicks kill us every year. And I'm glad there will be less "live pressure". We need all the help we can get in this area
 

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IMHO, I believe Slade Bolden would be the ideal holder. Kid was a pretty good QB/baseball player, so you know he has pretty good hands.
 

TerryP

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Therein is the point being made here.

If you have your quarterback as your holder who is holding when your place kicker is practicing? It's not your quarterback, he's working with his line, receivers, backs, and the offensive staff.

While they do spend limited time together it's been my opinion if it was a dedicated position (like Bolden has been suggested) they'd be working with the same guy everyday.

Familiarity breeds contempt is a popular cliche ... familiarity also breeds consistency.
 

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