Football: Genyk quotables

Quotes from my notebook today on new special teams coach Jeff Genyk:


On why he thought Genyk would make a good special teams coach:

“He’s been successful with it before. He’s very organized. He’s very attentive to detail. He can relate to the kids very well. I think his head coaching background kind of lends itself to communicating with the whole team. The special teams coordinator does that more than any other coach besides the head coach. There are a lot of positives. He has a great background, great knowledge with offense.”


On the bonus of Genyk having head coaching experience:

“It’s great. When any new coach comes in, I’m open to any of their suggestions on the way things have been done at other places and things like that. I think to have the true appreciation to what goes on, you can only have if you’ve been through it.”


On his experience as a punter:

“He has expertise in punting and kicking. He’s coached kickers and punters. That’s a valuable piece right there. He’s giving those guys a workout, monitoring them and spending a lot of time with them. If you asked the kickers and punters right now, they’d probably give you a different impression of what the regime is right now compared with what it was before.”



On what he sees on tape that has been a problem in the past:

“I didn’t spend a lot of time analyzing what’s happened in the past. I’m looking forward. From a kicking perspective, we have to be able to execute our task, our fundamentals without getting caught up in the environment — what happened on the last kick, is it windy, is somebody yelling at me, is the crowd getting into it. You have to focus on your task. From a coverage standpoint, it’s about effort, attitude, execution. It’s not necessarily about a fancy scheme.”


On improving kickoff coverage:

“Kickoff coverage, you want to have great acceleration through the line, called ‘getoff.’ The next phase is being able to avoid the front line. The next phase is not over-running the tackle. Those things all come into play. But it’s also personnel, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each player. That’s why you take so much time at this time of year and then in fall camp in building a foundation, doing a lot of drills.”


On building coverage teams during the spring”

“We have to build a foundation. We’re doing a lot of boring drills, mundane things. But believe me, they are all coming together. Everybody wants to run down and tackle somebody. Great coverage is knowing where your help is. You have to have great effort and velocity to put yourself in position, but you also have to know where your help is because you’re not going to make the play all the time.”


On the punt team:

“From a punt team standpoint, we obviously have two big assets – Matt Rios is a very good long snapper and Bryan Anger is a very good punter. There is confidence gained from that.”


On how much tape he watched from past Cal teams:

“I watched it, but I didn’t analyze it over and over. We’re dealing with 18, 19 and 20 year olds. They get better each year. I don’t want to pigeon-hole a player just because he missed four tackles. That’s something about having a new coach. You get another opportunity.”


On the work he’s doing with the kickers and punters:

“I’ve been spending a significant amount of time with the kickers and punters and long snappers. Understanding what the fundamental steps are — what do they do pre-snap, what do they do during the snap and what do they do post-snap, and making it the same over and over and over again, so it becomes unconscious. So the kick in practice is the same as the big kick in October or November.”


On how his head coaching experience can be an asset

“I think it allows me to be a little bit more decisive. There are so many things going on in a meeting, in a practice, in a football game that it’s oftentimes better to be decisive than correct. You can’t be correct all the time. There are too many variables.”



On working with Genyk:

“He’s been great so far. He’s really pushed us really hard. He’s come up with a lot of kicking routine stuff to do. He’s really been pushing us to the brink, and that’s going to make me a better person and better player.”


On Genyk’s focus on repetitions:

“Consistency is the big word for a kicker. He has us write down everything that happens, from when we start taking our steps back to actually kicking the ball. Memorize it, put it in your heart and then do it on every kick, whether it’s an extra point in the first quarter against Maryland or Davis, or a game-winning field goal to go to the Rose Bowl. It has to be the same. He’s really been stressing that.”


On how he’s embraced Genyk’s approach:

“I’ve really bought into his program. He’s big on the mental game. It’s like when you drive. When you first learn, it takes a lot of focus and concentration to learn how to drive a stick shift. Ten years after you learn how to drive, you’re using a stick shift while eating a burger and talking on the phone. You’re used to it. That’s how he wants us to be with kicking, that it’s so ingrained in us that everything that happens should be like you don’t even know it’s going on. It just happens. That way, you can focus on just you and none of the external factors that may affect the kick.”


On the differences between Genyk and former special teams coach Pete Alamar:

“When he says something, he does it. He’s been strict, but I’ve found with my personality I really excel with structure. I’ve bought into his program 100 percent. I think he’ll make me the best kicker I’ll ever be. Coach Alamar kind of let us do what we wanted a little bit more. During practice, he’d work on our stuff, but it was more of a relaxed atmosphere.”


On Genyk’s focus on leg management:

“He’s going to try to maintain our legs. I think sometimes our legs just were dead. That comes from working hard in the weight room and keeping fit, but also having better leg management. In fall camp, his idea is to kick every other day. Last fall camp, we just kicked like madmen every day. It was great for fall camp, but I felt at the end of the season I was dead at times.”


On competing again with Vince D’Amato and David Seawright:

“I’ve grown closer to Vince, I’ve grown closer to Seawright. I feel like we’ve become really, really close. Even though we’re competing, we can all kind of work with each other and not against each other, in terms of pushing ourselves and getting better.”

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Juancho

    Thanks for the new post JO. I was going through blog withdrawal. Another few days and I would have turned to a life of crime.

  • robert

    I love this guy!!!! Sounds like a whole new spirit may overtake the team. Awesome!