Saban looking for more consistency on special teams
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama coach Nick Saban sent a message to his punter this week, but did so by talking about his kicker, sophomore Adam Griffith.
Although JK Scott hasn’t had the most opportunities, with just five attempts compared to 24 for the opposition, he’s also been a little inconsistent, which can be pretty normal for a freshman.
Scott’s first career punt went 62 yards and he also had a 57-yard boot against Florida, but his other attempt against the Gators was for just 30 yards and went out of bounds at midfield.
For the season, Scott’s average is 44.4 yards.
“You know, Griff’s really good in terms of he’s a pretty even keel – not real emotional,” Saban said. “To me, a kicker is a lot like, I know a lot of people play golf, a golf swing. You sorta gotta stay in a rhythm and if you get out of that rhythm, you start hooking it or slicing it or whatever. I think it’s very similar for a kicker. I think he has a pretty good disposition about these are my benchmarks, these are the important things. This is what I have to do to execute. When he gets out of that a little bit, he gets right back to trying to correct it and doesn’t go haywire. The other thing he seems to be able to do is stay in the right place.”
Griffith has made 7 of 8 field goals, missing from 45 yard to the left against Florida. On kickoffs he’s averaging 63.6 yards and has seven touchbacks while Scott has kicked off twice for a 65.0 average and one touchback.
“One of the things I see happening a lot with kickers and punters is it’s never good enough, kinda like golfers,” Saban explained. “If you’re hitting it 280, you want to hit it 300. You see these guys who are No. 1 in the world and they go and change their golf swing. I don’t get that. But that’s what they do.
“Well that’s the mindset of being a perfectionist and always wanting to strive to be better and I think when it comes to specialists, punters and kickers, sometimes good enough is good enough. If you’re punting it 45 yards with good hang time, that’s what we need. We don’t need to tinker around to try to make it 50. The same thing with kicking. You’re hitting the ball consistency, you’re not going to make every one, but this is what we need.”