As we wind down training camp coverage, I'd like to recognize Clare Farnsworth for matching good writing with good reporting. As similar as the subject matter was for the three major blogs, I always looked forward to Talkin' Hawks for its good quotes, interesting angles and lively style.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Mare. I've been dying to ask the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Mare a question: How does he generate the leg strength to consistently drive the ball so deep on his kickoffs?
"One hundred and eight pounds of steel," Mare said, breaking into a smile.
He then continued, "I always look at it as leg speed. Kind of like why a small golfer can generate so much power and torque. Those are the things I work on, because it's obvious I'm not that big a guy. It's just something I've always been gifted with."
Mare has been among the leaders – if not the leader – in touchbacks in each of his 11 full seasons in the league.
"You've either got it, or you don't," he said. "It's one of those things. You can teach a guy runs a 4.1 (second 40-yard dash) how to catch, but you can't teach a guy who runs a 5.0 to run 4.1.
"I've been blessed with this ability, and I've tried to keep it through the years."
Per form, afternoon practice centered on special teams. This quote is a pretty good indication that Mare is still a top kickoff man. Kickoffs matter, and while I can understand drafting Coutu as insurance and to see if his leg strength returns, if it comes down to Coutu seeming more accurate and Mare having a stronger leg, Mare should stick. Kickoff distance is consistent, "accuracy" is not.