In order to be a better punter going forward, Jeff Locke is making some adjustments to his technique to improve field position for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings believe in Jeff Locke. Despite some recent struggles with his punting and holding, the team hasn’t brought in any real competition for him this season. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing will change when it comes to how the punting is done.
According to an article on Vikings.com, Locke has been working on his technique on punts. This season, he will show off a new technique when punting the ball away. And this new style has Locke feeling confident about the results he will get during games, as he struggled mentally last year.
"“It was probably, mentally, my most challenging season just based on the conditions we played in,” Locke said. “I felt like I had a lot of really good games and maybe five games that I needed to be a little more consistent in."
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Playing outdoors in windy, wet, extremely cold or even sunny conditions can have a big impact on the kicking game. One strong gust of wind or freak raindrop in the eye can be disaster for a kicker. Thankfully, Jeff Locke won’t have to worry about those conditions in U.S. Bank Stadium.
But with the conditions inside the stadium being ideal, the excuses will be gone for Locke. The expectation each time he kicks the ball away will be for near-perfect punts. From how Locke is talking in camp, his punts should have the team happy with where the defense will be starting off during the 2016 season.
"“It’s just the way I’ve been hitting the ball,” Locke said. “In the spring and in this camp, it’s night and day from my film that I’ve had in some of the last offseasons.”"
Special teams are often one of the most overlooked part of a football game. Establishing field position and giving your team’s offense or defense a more favorable spot to start can make the difference between a touchdown, field goal, or punt. Hopefully, this new technique will have the Minnesota Vikings and fans of the team happy with the results.