There’s More to Holding the Ball for a Kicker Than Meets the Eye

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune runs through the subtleties of holding the ball for a kicker with punter Adam Podlesh:

“In perfect conditions, like the Bears had Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome, Podlesh tilts the ball slightly toward himself and a little toward the goalpost. With the wind blowing hard last week, he tilted the ball more toward himself. In a situation where the wind would have been blowing the opposite direction, Podlesh would have held the ball straight up. He never tilts the ball away from himself because a soccer-stryle kicker like [Robbie] Gould could strike the top of the ball with his ankle if he did that.

“'You never want to tilt the ball that way with a right-footed soccer-style kicker,” Podlesh said. “But what we’ll do is I’ll put it just straight up and that will help hold it up the opposite way. When you do this (tilting it toward himself or leaving it straight up), it will usually give you about 10 to 15 more yards without the ball breaking. So, it will stay on line 10 to 15 more yards depending on how hard the wind is until it breaks and starts moving.'”


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