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#1 am 12.02.2020 um 07:39 Uhr Diesen Beitrag zitieren
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Blake ONeill would do the same thing if he had another chance.ONeill, the field-flipping punter whose successful one-year stint at Michigan will forever be remembered for a single play, ended up on the wrong side of college football history in October. In the final seconds of what looked to be a redemptive victory over rival Michigan State, ONeill mishandled a knee-high snap and was then swarmed by Spartan defenders when he picked up the loose ball and tried to sneak off a bicycle kick to save a sour situation. The ball popped loose into the waiting arms of Michigan States Jalen Watts-Jackson, resulting in one of the most memorable and pivotal touchdowns of the 2015 season.OK, so maybe he wouldnt do things exactly the same. ONeill wishes he had found a different outlet that evening, but his approach under pressure wasnt shattered or even shaken. He would still try to make a play.Definitely. I dont think you want to suppress that, he said. Could I have spent a bit more time understanding what happens in a situation where you drop the ball? For sure. You can look at this every which way from Sunday. Trust me. I have.I say, Why didnt I throw it of bounds or kick it along the ground and get a penalty or just drop on it? But at the end of the day you do what you do. I dont think you want to suppress that. That ability to go out there and just turn yourself off from overthinking is one of the best skills a punter can have.Australia has established a foothold in college football, and its influence is only growing stronger. Look no further than Friday nights season opener between Cal and Hawaii being played in Sydneys ANZ Stadium for evidence of the sports growing popularity Down Under.American coaches have turned to the other side of the world to find punters with more powerful legs and more athletic ability. But if youre going to have an athlete handling your punts, you better be prepared to have him thinking and reacting -- for better or worse -- like an athlete.USC coach John Baxter, who coached special teams at Michigan a year ago, says the U.S. produces about 10 elite level punter prospects per year. Unless a kid has grown up dreaming of being a punter, theres no sport in America that teaches the skill of dropping a ball onto your foot and kicking it.Australian rules football is a game in which the ball is moved predominantly by dropkicks. But Aussie rules players arent taught to just kick and get out of the way like American punters. They also are equally involved in catching, running and tackling. They bring that mentality with them when converting to the state-side version of football.They come from a completely different background and a completely different mindset than the kids in our country, Baxter said. American punters are paint-by-numbers. These guys are painters. Theyre reactive. Theyre not robots.Some American coaches have embraced that idea more than others. ONeill was hoping to run a fake field goal in his final college game to show off some off his speed, but he blew out his knee while practicing the play during a practice leading into Michigans trip to the Citrus Bowl.ONeill held for a few placekicks while his teammates handily beat Florida, but the torn ACL ended his college punting career a game early. His 23 punts inside an opponents 20-yard line during the 2015 were one shy of a school record set by former NFL punter Zoltan Mesko in 2008.The knee injury will also likely keep ONeill from taking a shot at a professional career in football. He said he wasnt able to train for a tryout in the spring and instead starting working for a real estate developer in Tampa, Florida.Things might change, he said. I might wake up one morning and horribly miss football, but I dont really foresee Ill be trying out next year.ONeill stays involved with football by helping a couple local high school teams in Florida and working at a few kicking camps. He made an appearance at Michigans satellite camp in Australia this summer while home waiting for a work visa.Staying involved in the football and kick communities is important to ONeill after he saw the positive power they could have during his season at Michigan, especially in the wake of the Michigan State finish. ONeill caught the ugly side of college football fans and Twitter vitriol from a small contingent of people on social media after the game, but said the response he got in the following week from teammate, fans and fellow kickers was overwhelmingly supportive.People you would never think would take the time to reach out would call and leave a message, taking the time to reach out and be very supportive, ONeill said. I think you take life lessons from that as far as being involved in a community and giving back to it.ONeill has never shied away from his mistake against the Spartans, but he moved on from it quicker than most Michigan fans. Nathan Chapman, who helped ONeill and many others make the jump to the U.S. through his ProKick Australia in Melbourne, said being older and more mature helped ONeill quickly put the incident behind him. The anti-Ray Finkle attitude also illustrates a fundamental difference in the way Australians view sports.Our history, only being a 200-year history, were still a nation in the act of becoming something, ONeill said. But its a country pretty much built on the idea of mateship and helping each other -- this idea of giving it a fair go. Our politicians love using that one.I would say in Australia thats sort of the way we approach it. More or less, the terminology is based on perspective. The idea of a fair go is, Lets go out there and have a bit of fun and play this sport. We all care. We can get emotional about it. We all love the game. But at the end of the day I can still walk across and shake the guys hand and say Well done, mate. Good contest. You got me today.Michigan was the intersection of fulfilling my own goals of playing on a high level and then also feeling like a part of something bigger, said ONeill. He may be moving on from football, but he doesnt regret making the long trek across the Pacific to be a part of it. Even if the impression he leaves is dominated by one ill-fated kick attempt on a cold October night, hed do it all the same way again. Chuck ONeil .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach. Cheap NFL Jerseys China Store . Down by seven with 90 seconds left in regulation, thats where they looked comfortable. . It is a cliché dragged out by fans and pundits regularly when discussions take place around which teams are better than others. Cheap NFL Jerseys China Discount . Perez, 35, posted a 1-2 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 19 relief appearances last season. His season ended Aug. 9 due to a torn ligament in his left elbow. Perez joins infielder Andy LaRoche and catcher Mike Nickeas with minor-league agreements for 2014 that include invitations to attend spring training. Mike Fink . SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens?released kick returner Devin Hester?on Thursday, perhaps ending the career of one of the best returners in NFL history.A potential Hall of Fame player, the 34-year-old Hester has struggled all season with injuries and a hesitancy to field punts, ranking 18th with a 7.2 yard average.The Ravens could no longer stick with Hester after his indecision to field a punt deep in Baltimore territory led to a safety in Monday nights?30-23 loss to the New England Patriots.Michael Campanaro is expected to be promoted from the practice squad and take over as Baltimoores primary returner.ddddddddddddThe Ravens signed Hester to a one-year deal on Sept. 4 with the hopes he would stabilize the returner position, but he never came close to looking like the same dominant returner from the past decade.Hester holds the NFL record with 20 return touchdowns: a record 14 on punts, five on kickoffs and one return of a missed field goal.He spent eight years with the Chicago Bears and two with the Atlanta Falcons before joining the Ravens. 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