Hentrich confident he's figured out source of slump

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Jan 5, 2009.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    <em>Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky</em> <p>NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans punter <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=538" shape="rect" target="_new">Craig Hentrich</a> has expressed great admiration for <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=4607" shape="rect" target="_new">Mike Scifres</a>. Hentrich saw his San Diego counterpart eclipse his record Saturday night.</p> <p>Scifres dropped six punts inside the 20 against Indianapolis, topping a playoff record Hentrich set with five for the Packers in the 1998 NFC Championship Game.</p> <p>The two are in different places heading into divisional round playoff games this weekend. While Scifres is coming of what will long rank as a legendary game for a punter, Hentrich's spent the last month struggling.</p> <p>Known for his big leg and his ability to hit a knuckler that's difficult to field, Hentrich slumped down the stretch for Tennessee.</p> <p>He had averages of 34.8, 42.0, 39.7 and 47.7 and net averages of 29.8, 39.0, 33.7 and 36.0.</p> <p>So he spent the bye week fixing what he determined was the problem: he drops were bad, with the nose of the football falling down and to the inside.</p> <p>He was pretty insightful when I spoke to him about it, so here's what he said without me getting in the way:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I wasn't real happy with probably the last quarter of the season, I kind of got in a slump. I think I finally figured out what was going on and I've been working real hard trying to fix it. I've been really inconsistent and it showed..."</p> <p>"I usually go through this once a year, but it's never lasted this long, I can usually fix it in a week or so. I just got into a funk and I was really, really struggling. Mis-hits were twice as bad, they were line drive punts 35 yards where the guys basically caught them on the run and it really hurt our coverage team because we weren't down there. The ones that I did hit well seemed to be in plus territory and hit touchbacks..."</p> <p>"I'm hopeful we've turned things around. I was having trouble with my drop. Even after 30-some years of kicking the football, you still work on a basic thing like getting the drop right, and that's 90 percent of a good punt. I was just dumping it inside, losing the nose, the nose was dropping down and when that happens, things go haywire, you start cutting across the ball and doing all kinds of weird things. If I can just get this drop straightened out I'll be OK..."</p> <p>"My confidence level the last couple games has just been horrible. To go out there not knowing where the punt's going to go is pretty scary because I've really never had that problem for this long."</p> </blockquote> <p>Hentrich has 21 games of playoff experience in a 15-year career with Green Bay and Tennessee. Only <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1097" shape="rect" target="_new">Adam Vinatieri</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=987" shape="rect" target="_new">Tedy Bruschi</a> and <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=112" shape="rect" target="_new">Brett Favre</a> have more than his 21-games of playoff experience.</p> <p>"It means I am old," he said. "And I've been fortunate to have been on good teams."</p> <p>Special teams will be crucial Saturday against Baltimore.</p> <p>There will be a nervous week of build up for Titans fans, who remember how a special teams play gone bad helped kill the Titans' Super Bowl hopes in the 2000 season, when they were the No. 1 seed coming off a bye and got beaten by the Ravens in Nashville.</p> <p><a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2112" shape="rect" target="_new">Anthony Mitchell</a>'s touchdown return of a blocked field goal was a major piece of Tennessee's undoing.</p>

  2. Hoffa

    Hoffa Freak you you freakin' freak

    Dang, I didn't even realize he was in a slump. You gotta love how much playoff experience he has...he could be the MVP saturday...
  3. psychotictitan

    psychotictitan Its About That Time...

    The punter of SD was the mvp against the Colts, the guy pinned Peyton countless times inside the 10
  4. Riverman

    Riverman That may be.... Tip Jar Donor

    Hentrich figured source of slump? Yeah- it's called birthdays.
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