TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football coach Nick Saban isn’t opposed to using two kickers in 2017.
The last time the Crimson Tide used multiple kickers was during the Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley era in 2011 and 2012.
“I think I got asked that question on Saturday and yes, we could conceivably do that,” Saban said Thursday. “All players at that position are improving. We haven’t really decided which direction that we’ll go at this point. JK (Scott) is in the mix to do all field goals and kickoffs. There’s competition with the other guys to see who the most consistent guy is to do the regular field-goal kicking.”
Scott is Alabama’s punter, but he’s shown the ability to kick off and do field goals when necessary.
Freshman Joseph Bulovas is competing with Andy Pappanastos. The senior missed attempts from 31 and 38 yards during Alabama’s A-Day spring game which had to give fans flashbacks of missed kicks over the last few years.
However, Pappanastos is a veteran who could help at the position if given the opportunity.
Reporters aren’t allowed to see Alabama’s kicking drills. The specialists often leave the field during the media viewing periods of practice so it’s tough to get an accurate read on the situation.
Saban relates kicking to golfing.
“How can you shoot 13 shots higher than the day before. It happens quite often with me,” Saban joked. “Obviously, that’s something very technical about how I swing the club and how I hit the ball. I think the kickers are very similar. They have benchmarks for how they need to do things, and it’s challenging to be able to do that over and over and over again, and not even get bored with it at times.
Saban would prefer for his kickers to remain consistent instead of tinkering with their mechanics. Like golfers, Saban believes the drive for wanting to improve can sometimes hurt kickers.
“I think you see it at times with golfers. You see guys winning all these major championships and all of a sudden they get a new swing coach and change their swing,” Saban said. “Why would they do that? Because they’re driven to get better. I think that’s what happens with guys who are kickers and punters, they’re always driven to get better.
“If I say, sometimes, to JK ‘55 yards is good enough, you don’t have to kick it further than that. How about, I’d be just real happy with that.’ But he’s driven to try and do better. Sometimes when you do that, like when you drive it 250 and you want to drive it 270, then when you start driving it 270 you can’t hit it 230. It’s a metaphor of life. That’s hit it is in life, you always try and get better and sometimes you don’t make the right choices and decisions to do it, you can’t stay focused on the right stuff and sometimes it doesn’t work out too well. That’s always a challenge.”
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