Blair hopes simpler is better

Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair has made two changes for 2010 season:

1. He has a Mohawk hairstyle. No, it doesn’t make him more aerodynamic. It’s something he and punter Chandler Anderson did in this, Blair’s last season, to make things more fun. “We’re still waiting on the rest of the team to follow,” Blair joked.

2. More importantly, he’s trying to simplify his approach to kicking.

Before last season, Blair tried to fine-tune many of the elements of his specialty, breaking down each segment and trying to perfect them. The results weren’t what he had hoped.

Other than a steller outing against Clemson in week 2 when he hit three field goals and threw a touchdown pass, he missed four out of 10 kicks in season’s first four games, prompting coach Paul Johnson to say that he thought Blair may have reached a point of paralysis by analysis, a phrase commonly used when someone thinks an athlete is thinking too much.

“I do analyze quite a bit of stuff,” Blair said. “I am trying to shorten some of that. I’m just thinking about the target.”

Blair hit three out of his next three attempts during the middle of the season, but missed an important kick against Georgia in home finale.

But again came Clemson, the antidote for whatever ails Blair’s right leg.

In the ACC championship game, he was a perfect four-for-four, with three strikes from more than 40 yards. For the season, he hit 14 of 20 field goals after hitting 12 of 19 during the 2008 season.

He hasn’t resorted to painting orange and purple paws on the footballs this August, but he said he feels he is kicking like the ball like he did against Clemson.

“I’m trying to treat every game like Clemson,” Blair said. “Every game needs to be 100 percent. I’m hitting the ball pretty well, getting great height.”

Assistant coach Mike Sewak said he is using video and stressing the fundamentals to help Blair become more consistent. Sewak said Blair is showing positive signs in practice, despite a rough outing for him and freshman Justin Moore on Sunday in a special teams-focused practice.

“Neither one of those kids have kicked the way their capable of yet,” Johnson said. He did say Blair is still the first-team kicker. “I haven’t seen anything to see anyone beat him out.”

Blair said he will be ready come the Sept. 4 season-opener against S.C State. By focusing mostly on the result, and not on how to get that result, he’s growing more comfortable during practice.

As for kickoffs, Blair handled most of those last year, with Chandler Anderson and Chris Tanner kicking one each during a rough stretch for Blair. Johnson said at media day that he thought the kickoffs were fine, adding he hopes that Tech gets as many chances this year as they did last year.

Now, if Blair could just do something about that Mohawk.

“I don’t know if it will be there for the whole season,” Blair said.

36 comments Add your comment

Ric Flair

August 16th, 2010
3:03 pm

wesleywhatwhat

August 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

is the freshman kicker moore on scholarship? if so, that’s an interesting use of a scholarship when balir is already on teh team and doing a reasonably good job.

wesleywhatwhat

August 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

rick flair – stop.

Doug Roberson

August 16th, 2010
3:07 pm

moore is on a scholarship. Keep in mind that blair is a senior. better to get someone ready now, than to wait another year. that’s my 2 cents.

Congrats, Ric Flair. How’s Space Mountain?

Ric Flair

August 16th, 2010
3:10 pm

You guys know what I always say, “to be the Man, you have to beat the Man”. I think Blair has the job for now, but will have a lot of competition.

Mr. Magoo

August 16th, 2010
3:14 pm

How about some coaching? It sounds like Blair is coaching himself!!! I have never liked the “special teams coaching by committee” approach!!

Dan

August 16th, 2010
3:28 pm

He has one job: make kicks. I don’t care how he does it. Just get it done.

Alabama Jack

August 16th, 2010
3:29 pm

Don’t mean to complain but your story doesn’t make total sense:

Blair hit three out of his next three attempts, but missed an important kick against Georgia.

But then came Clemson, the antidote for whatever ails Blair’s right leg.

In the season’s second game Blair had his best day in the gold-and-white, hitting three field goals and throwing a touchdown pass to help defeat the Tigers.

We played Georgia in the last game of the regular season – well after the game cited above.

StraightJacket

August 16th, 2010
3:35 pm

Will be interesting to see if Blair keeps the kick-off job. I know some have concern over the depth of his kicks, but the guy has made numerous TD saving tackles. Some have cited a lot of touchback statistics of Moore, but unless I’m mistaken, High Schools are still kicking off from the 40 yard line; NOT the 30 yard line like Blair.

Alabama Jack, Blair was 4 for 4 against Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.

SILLY TECH NERDS

August 16th, 2010
3:38 pm

This guy can’t hold a candle to Blair Walsh over in Athens.

GT Backer

August 16th, 2010
3:47 pm

Doug, Well written piece. It gives us a little insight as to why the difference from the first part of the year vs the second half in Blair’s kicking. From everything I have heard of the kid, there is no one that works harder and wants more to help Tech and his teammates win. I hope he has a great senior season…I think with the slate of away games we have, we may need him and Anderson to come up big.
I also like your 2 cents…actually makes a lot of sense. It is hard for a true frosh to come in and make an impact. I would rather trust the senior that has shown he can hit the big ones in a close game, and let him help the understudy with the adjustment period to what a HS kicker cannot get away with at D-1, that he could in HS (like speed of “get off” and height of kick). It is a much bigger adjustment than people think. Of course the frosh can provide the senior some solid comp, which will only help Blair and the team.
I am looking for 12-0 and a trip to AZ for the BIG BOWL.

Burdell

August 16th, 2010
3:54 pm

Wow…Bulldog fans have now resorted to hanging their hats on their placekicker?? Are things really that bad in Athens?

Still@theBAR

August 16th, 2010
3:57 pm

Why would anybody want to hold a candle to Blair Walsh? Is Blair that kinky type that likes to have hot wax driped on him?
GT Backer you sound as good at Math as a Bulldog.
12-0 just gets to play in we ACCCG.
13-0 Get a team to the big game.

Doug Roberson

August 16th, 2010
4:02 pm

Alabama, that was a good point. I’ve tried to clarify it for the blog.

Tokyo jacket

August 16th, 2010
6:51 pm

IF (big IF) our kicking game and our defense had been just a tad better last year, we were probably 13-1 (UGA and Iowa) with a Top 5 finish. I really think we’re there this year. D goes from horrible to bad (or better) and Blair gets up to 80%. Those two things will yield great results for us. I think both will happen.

[...] For news on Scott Blair simplifying his approach to kicking, click here. [...]

GT66

August 16th, 2010
8:33 pm

Using scholarships on kickers makes plenty of sense to me. A great punter can have a huge impact on field position and a great place kicker changes the entire offensive philosophy. You have a chance to score every time you get inside the opponent’s 35 yd line which puts a lot more pressure on the other team’s defense. Where would the 1990 team have been without Scott Sisson?

4 Natl Chmpshps

August 16th, 2010
9:02 pm

It feels like I just sat through a World Cup where every goal keeper seems to be able to kick it 80 yards at will….am I right to assume you couldn’t find someone of all the int’l soccer playing students at Tech who could line-drive the kickoff off the back wall of the end zone every kickoff?

GT Rich

August 16th, 2010
9:06 pm

I prefer it when a few kickers are invited as preferred walk ons and then they earn their scholarship after a year. I guess since CPJ was finally free to use his full 85 scholarships, he got a little generous… I suppose Moore must’ve been worth tossing one to. Hopefully he can redshirt this year.

Old Gold

August 16th, 2010
9:27 pm

killerj

August 16th, 2010
9:32 pm

Hold a candle?No but he sure can hold a ring! 4 to 1 baby! THWG!

GTFan

August 16th, 2010
9:49 pm

Hey Doug, did you go to Georgia. Although their, there, and they’re sound the same, I’m sure CPJ said they’re, and not their, the way you spelled it; or did he spell out his quote?

Vegas Jackette

August 16th, 2010
10:00 pm

if it were not for Scott Blair, we would be 0-2 vs Clemson in 09 and would not have been ACC champs. Scott, go get’em your senior year and throw anouther td pass while your at it!

Vegas Jackette

August 16th, 2010
10:00 pm

vahighlandsdawg

August 16th, 2010
10:45 pm

GTFan, I’d think that such a post would at least include a question mark after the first sentence. Sort of takes the “sting” out of your dig at Georgia, huh? I won’t even mention that brutal second sentence, but will only offer that you might want to look into some remedial English.

TB

August 16th, 2010
10:47 pm

“Neither one of those kids have kicked the way their capable of yet,” Johnson said.

Hopefully, when he said it, he spoke the correct form, “they’re.”

gadawgfan0711

August 16th, 2010
11:21 pm

Tech lost one of there big recruiting targets, RB Romar. If they could recruit anyone you would think it would be running backs. I guess these high schools kids really don’t like that offense that CPJ runs. Can’t say that i blame them.

davidinloganville

August 16th, 2010
11:24 pm

the running back from North Carolina has committed to the tar heels, hope PJ honors his commitment and stops recruiting him, if you can’t take trips after committing to tech he should respect the commitment of kids that don’t want to come to tech.

ACC Watcher

August 17th, 2010
6:06 am

What about Tanner? He’s been more consistent in practices than Blair for 2 years. Sewak has touted Blair solely due to the scholarship, not because of results. Anderson may be fine in 2 years, but for my money, GT’s not using their best kicker. Other ACC teams, and UGA, say thank you.

Laces Out

August 17th, 2010
9:30 am

Red Panties on lap

August 17th, 2010
11:04 am

GT’s last trip to athens = GT victory

Laces Out

August 17th, 2010
11:56 am

Laces Out

August 17th, 2010
11:56 am

Burdell

August 17th, 2010
3:16 pm

4-1, all that matters in the history books

NerdLoser

August 18th, 2010
7:49 am

Hope all you want, you bunch of Geek losers, the Butt whupp’n of a life time is comming NOV 27th.

St. Simon

August 18th, 2010
8:20 am

I’m still Gay!