Eagles management should be careful about driving Rodio, who has had some of his negative signs taken down. He came to the Redskins game anticipating another Philly loss. The Eagles won 17-12, denying Rodio the chance to roll out another message: I'M POSITIVE. WE STINK.
Perfecting the Corner Kick
Giants punter Brad Maynard has found a way to eliminate human error on kicks that travel inside the opponent's 20-yard line: Keep the ball away from the humans. "Anytime someone can touch the ball, there's a chance for mistakes," Maynard says. "So I don't take any chances."
In his second year Maynard has already established himself as a premier coffin-corner punter. As a rookie last season Maynard led the league with 33 punts downed inside the 20. That total was two short of the NFL record of 35 set by the Oilers' Rich Camarillo and the Steelers' Mark Royals in 1994. "Most punters like to dink it or kick it real high to a spot on the field and let their guys down it, but I don't feel you have as much control that way," says Maynard, whose 19 punts inside the 20 through seven games this year have put him on pace for a record total of 43. "I pick a spot on the sideline and kick to it."
As a youngster in Tipton, Ind., Maynard never modeled himself after the NFL's great punters. "There were no posters of Ray Guy or Reggie Roby on my bedroom walls," he says. He did, however, spend his afternoons punting as many as 200 balls, and by his senior year at Sheridan High in Atlanta, Ind., Maynard was averaging almost 40 yards a kick.
While attending a kicking camp in Anderson, Ind., before his freshman year at Ball State in 1992, Maynard was approached by an 8 6-year-old kicking guru named Bill Reynolds. He taught the undisciplined Maynard the technique necessary for controlling his kicks. "He fine-tuned me," says Maynard, who after averaging 44.2 yards per punt during his college career was selected in the third round of the '97 draft.
Reynolds was also the one who suggested that Maynard work on kicking the ball out-of-bounds. Says Maynard, "I don't know why guys don't do it all the time."