As a new coach to Cal, special teams coordinator Jeff Genyk spent his allotted 15 spring practices getting to know who and what he has. Genyk, most recently head coach at Eastern Michigan, devised end-of-practice drills that put pressure on his specialists and let the rest of the team realize how important this aspect of the game really is. In the final spring practice Thursday, Genyk had punter Bryan Anger aim a half-dozen boots at a box of players lined up 10 yards square, 50 yards down field.
With one fewer wind sprint for the entire team hanging on each punt, Anger dropped five balls in the box on either hash mark. One shank ruined a perfect effort. "From a special teams aspect, we really emphasized the aspect of pressure to the importance of a winning football program," Genyk said. "We emphasized the idea of performing under pressure for the specialists. It really helped convey to the team the importance of specialists to their lives, as far as winning games or not running sprints."
Indeed, each ball Anger dropped into the box was met with cheers from teammates, happy to escape gassers on the final day of spring drills.