Georgia is having problems with kickers. Blair Walsh missed 14 field goals as a senior at Georgia and Marshall Morgan's extra point attempts have been way too adventurous.
Morgan has now diagnosed his own problem and installed a correction *fingers crossed*:
And it wasn't something Morgan came up with during the bye week.
"Actually, I knew there was something that had to be going wrong. Before the South Carolina game I changed it up a little bit," Morgan said. "Normally it's three steps back and two steps to the left. But I just widened up the steps, which allows my leg to get more elongated. Because I was kind of jamming myself in getting over the ball."
Morgan said he came up with the tweak himself, after watching film.
Walsh was not able to self-diagnose, however, the Minnesota Vikings special teams coach (Mike Priefer) was able to spot Blair's problem. In fact, he did so, primarily from film study, with such confidence that the Vikings drafted Walsh and released kicker Ryan Longwell almost simultaneously.
Priefer, the Vikings' special teams coordinator, had several conversations with Walsh at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he went to Athens, Ga., to put Walsh through a workout, and he studied plenty of film.
And when he was all done, Priefer came to the conclusion that Walsh could serve as the replacement for veteran Ryan Longwell. The Vikings took Walsh in the sixth round, and jettisoned Longwell shortly thereafter, despite the fact Walsh missed 14 field goals last season as a senior.
Priefer, however, thinks he knows the exact reason why Walsh had problems with accuracy.
"He was rushing every kick," Priefer said. "Every kick he missed, he hit them well, but he was much too fast with his get off time. I don't know if that was what he was coached to do, maybe that's what he wanted to do.
I am fully aware that NCAA restricts the number of coaches a team may employ. It is also true that if UGA hired a dedicated special teams coach, one of the current staff would have to go.
Special teams, in general, and kicking, in particular, are important parts of the modern game. It appears that Georgia's kickers must either flounder or self-correct. At the same time that other special teams issues continue to cost the team.