Special Teams - Kotwica

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Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby DarthMonk » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:18 am

Kotwica’s message – After the Keith Burns experiment failed miserably, Washington’s special teams units have nowhere to go but up. After studying game video and observing a unit severely lacking in discipline and execution, Jay Gruden hired former Army captain and company commander Ben Kotwica to turn the units around. Preaching dedication, pride and precise technique, Kotwica aims to do just that. The coach put an “Apply Within” sign on his office door, and after hearing his message and challenge to join his “special forces,” everyone from veterans to rookies have signed up in hopes of locking up roles on special teams and final roster spots. Returning players say that already, a change has been felt. They have bought into the coach’s philosophies, and fueled by his approach and strong communication skills, they aim to become aggressive and physical as they try to climb the league’s ranks.


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Kotwica is entering his eighth NFL season after spending the first seven years of his NFL career in various coaching capacities with the New York Jets.

Before assuming the role of coordinator in 2013, Kotwica assisted with the Jets’ special teams in multiple roles across the 2007-12 seasons.

The Jets accounted for 10 combined kick and punt return touchdowns during his time as an assistant, tied for most in the AFC and tied for second-most in the NFL.

The Jets averaged a league-best 24.6 yards per kick return in those six seasons and had a kick returner finish in the Top 5 in the NFL in kick return four times (Joe McKnight, 2012; Joe McKnight, 2011; Brad Smith, 2010; and Leon Washington, 2007).

Kotwica helped Leon Washington earn his first career Pro Bowl berth as a kick returner following the 2008 season.

In addition to his football career, Kotwica’s background includes his time as a decorated officer who spent eight years in the United States Army after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

His military career included operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea and Iraq. In 2004, he was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, serving as a Combat Attack Helicopter Commander and flying more than 1,000 combat hours in support of five maneuver Brigades within the 1st Calvary Division.

During his service, Kotwica was awarded with the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

Kotwica played at Army from 1993-96 and was a three-year starter at linebacker.

He was the captain of the only 10-win team in Army history, leading the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and the program’s most recent Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in 1996.
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby Countertrey » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:36 pm

DarthMonk wrote:
Kotwica played at Army from 1993-96 and was a three-year starter at linebacker.

He was the captain of the only 10-win team in Army history, leading the Black Knights to a 10-2 record and the program’s most recent Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in 1996.


I had the privilege of attending the 1996 game against Navy... It was won on pure guts, with the Black Knights D stoning Navy 8 times within the 10 yard line, twice within the last 4 minutes!!! Kowtwica understands how to play tough.
I was freezing until the last 5 minutes... then suddenly, I didn't notice.

I have every reason to be confident that our special teams will actually be special.
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby langleyparkjoe » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:24 pm

Sounds kind of "gimmicky" if you ask me.
So our NFL special teams players have no discipline on their own? They need Sgt. Slaughter to come in and shape them up?
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby Countertrey » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:30 pm

langleyparkjoe wrote:Sounds kind of "gimmicky" if you ask me.
So our NFL special teams players have no discipline on their own? They need Sgt. Slaughter to come in and shape them up?
... so, you didn't watch any Redskins football last year? :|


And... you didn't read THIS???
The Jets accounted for 10 combined kick and punt return touchdowns during his time as an assistant, tied for most in the AFC and tied for second-most in the NFL.

The Jets averaged a league-best 24.6 yards per kick return in those six seasons and had a kick returner finish in the Top 5 in the NFL in kick return four times (Joe McKnight, 2012; Joe McKnight, 2011; Brad Smith, 2010; and Leon Washington, 2007).

Kotwica helped Leon Washington earn his first career Pro Bowl berth as a kick returner following the 2008 season.


The guy is about attention to detail and motivation... and he's got folks fired up... why would that be a problem?
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:55 pm

Imo this unit failed us the most last year... so any fire we can light under them the better. I'm hopeful some of the depth we have can contribute on teams. I like that this coach is gung-ho and has his players pumped up! Griff said he volunteered to play teams after Kotwica gave his speech and asked for volunteers to sign up for teams.. ya I see the controversy now... "Robert thinks he is best player on field.. special teams included" smmfh
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby riggofan » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:08 am

cowboykillerzRGiii wrote:Imo this unit failed us the most last year... so any fire we can light under them the better.


With you on that. There were a lot of legit reasons our offense and defense struggled last year, but the ST play was inexcusable.

Sounds like Gruden is agreement about this too:

After warming up the first thing that the team does is special teams drills. They do one session for about 15 minutes then and another 15-minutes of teams about midway through practice. The message is that special teams are important. The organization also let everyone know that if you don’t give your best effort at practice, it doesn’t matter that you were a 2013 draft pick. The quick hook given to Brandon Jenkins made it clear that you had better be giving your all.


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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby langleyparkjoe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:39 am

The problem is we have dumbnuts who need to be "fired up" to do their jobs. That's the problem.
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby emoses14 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:02 am

I dunno. Football is a game imbued with emotion. I don't see knocking a team getting fired up to do their jobs well. The detail the man seemingly provides is really the key, but when your job is to either block or hit men running at you as you run at them, I gotta think being emotionally charged is a good thing. Most special teams coaches are "fire you up" kind of guys, so there must be something there. Hell, Pete Carrol, whom I can't stand" is a fire you up kind of guy. Didn't seem to be a problem when they were stomping the bronco's in the superbowl.
I know he got a pretty good zip on the ball. He has a quick release. . . once I seen a coupla' throws, I was just like 'Yeah, he's that dude.'"

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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby langleyparkjoe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:28 am

Right.. let's not blame the players, let's blame the coaches for not "firing them up"
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:44 am

langleyparkjoe wrote:The problem is we have dumbnuts who need to be "fired up" to do their jobs. That's the problem.


Nah I hear ya.... but think of it like this- when your boss is in your face about something you get it done right?
Point being, my top agents will have good days and produce if I left them to their own devices, as their leader though I push them and challenge them- ask MORE of them so that I can get those GREAT days out of them. Course my top dawgs don't require as much motivation but it still helps. My middle 40 gives me more bang for my buck as having 80% of my squad going hard is a good day.. then I coach up my bottom 20%. Correct skill gaps and check for understanding- then its correct or accountability.
Bottom line 100% of MY team needs to be pushed to achieve their highest potential, and as their coach I bring a positive attitude and "fire them up" to achieve MY goals..
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby emoses14 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:08 pm

langleyparkjoe wrote:Right.. let's not blame the players, let's blame the coaches for not "firing them up"


Listen, the kids will get off your lawn if you ask them nicely, I'm sure.

I get that you've got a point about "you shouldn't have to get fired up to do your job," but in no way, shape or form did I blame anyone for anything. Boiled down: I said "getting fired up isn't the worst thing in the world given the task at hand. No need to knock the team because they now have a "fire you up coach" on ST" Not sure where you're getting my blaming the coaches for the team not being fired up.
I know he got a pretty good zip on the ball. He has a quick release. . . once I seen a coupla' throws, I was just like 'Yeah, he's that dude.'"

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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby Countertrey » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:59 pm

There's a difference (in my mind, anyway) between "motivated"and "fired up". We need some "fired up". While that's not all on the coaches, they are responsible for creating the environment which fosters...fired-upness...
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby langleyparkjoe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:23 pm

Naw E, that was just in general bro, no disrespect. lol

Yea yea yea I know, and ya'll are all right but I just want to be sour ok?
I like my new sour approach to our Skins.. I think I'm gonna ride this until we win another superbowl so don't mind me. lol
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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby riggofan » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:12 am

I get your point, LPJ. It does seem crazy that guys need to be "fired up" to go out there and not completely suck on special teams. I mean, you would think that professional football players just going out there and doing their jobs with mild enthusiasm could perform better than that group did last year.

I'm not so interested in Kotwica in terms of him being some sort of hoo-rah, give a great speech, Army guy. I'll be happy if he knows what he's doing, has that unit prepared to understand and do their jobs and just shows that he's a capable football coach.

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Re: Special Teams - Kotwica

Postby langleyparkjoe » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:32 am

riggofan wrote:I get your point, LPJ. It does seem crazy that guys need to be "fired up" to go out there and not completely suck on special teams. I mean, you would think that professional football players just going out there and doing their jobs with mild enthusiasm could perform better than that group did last year.

I'm not so interested in Kotwica in terms of him being some sort of hoo-rah, give a great speech, Army guy. I'll be happy if he knows what he's doing, has that unit prepared to understand and do their jobs and just shows that he's a capable football coach.


Pretty much bro
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