INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s a Q&A with former Georgia punter Drew Butler.
Q: What’s your approach to the NFL scouting combine?
A: I’m not necessarily looking at this week as a make or break opportunity. Fortunately, for myself, I’ve built a pretty good foundation and that’s what has gotten me to this point. I just want to show that consistency and that coach-ability. I want to perform and get that ball to do what I want on every single punt. That’s something that I’ve been able to do my past three years in college. . . I want to show the coaches that I have what it takes and that I’m the top punter in the nation this year.
Q: How tough is it to get drafted?
A: It’s a very specific job. There are only 32 punters in the National Football League and they are in high demand every year. . . I have to be able to show that I can help a team or maybe upgrade them in that sense for punting and special teams. Maybe take a team from good and make them great. If you can be that upgrade for them, they’ll definitely take that shot on you.
Q: How’s it being here with your teammate Blair Walsh?
A: He’s going to do great. Blair Walsh is the best kicker that I’ve ever been around. He’s got worlds of talent. This is his kind of stage. He lives for this. He actually loves the game of football and that’s going to take him a long way in the NFL.
Q: What will you schedule be like for the next four days?
A: We did all of our medical stuff with the team doctors last night. That went pretty well. Tomorrow we are going to kick some footballs. That’s going to be a good experience. I think having worked with coach Danny Smith and the [Washington] Redskins coaching staff at the Senior Bowl was a big opportunity for me and it was good for me to get a feel for how they work and operate on a daily basis. Being able to come out here this week and get in that groove again, see how these NFL coaches think and work, it’s going to be a big positive and a lot of help.
Q: What drills are you most looking forward to?
A: Just the whole regiment that we are going to have tomorrow. They are going to have us kick out on the open field. They are going to have us kick directionally. They are going to have us pooch punt and try to down it inside the 20. Those are situations that come up in each game.
Q: Any nerves?
A: Not at all. I’m comfortable. I’m extremely blessed to be here. I understand what kind of great opportunity this is. I’m just here relaxed, having fun, taking it all in. This is the only opportunity that I’m going to have to be here. I’m just going through it with a smile on my face. I’m definitely excited to be here and meet a lot of great people.
Q: Any interviews yet?
A: I have not had any yet. I think a lot of the punters and kickers went through the gauntlet with the special teams coaches last night. That went extremely well. The more formal interviews will come later this week.
Q: What kind of impact did your father [former NFL and UGA kicker Kevin Butler] have on your development?
A: My dad has been my best friend and my coach throughout my high school years. He’s definitely helped me out in college from a mental standpoint and a technical standpoint. He’s been a huge help. He’s already walked in these shoes and to be able kind of pick his brain and see how these things work and these coaches think, and how the business of the NFL goes, is very helpful. Obviously, I don’t know it all. Having that ability to know to relate to some of these people and to have that professional mindset will help.
Q: Can you kick in the cold weather?
A: Without a doubt. We’ve talked about that. The thing about cold-weather games is that everybody is cold. Nobody is warm. When the weather is adverse you just go back to your fundamentals. I can do it all, for sure.
Q: Do you have a nickname like your Father?
A: Dad was called Butthead. Everybody, just calls me Butt. I don’t know what the deal is with that. But it’s just Butt for me.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog