Nick Sundberg and Sav Rocca are determined to be the best punt pair in the league, and they’re using technology in an innovative way to get there.
The Redskins long snapper and punter have been analyzing footage from a GoPro camera attached to Rocca’s helmet. The camera is positioned to give them the exact view that Rocca sees during the punt, from the snap through the execution. It’s a view that they haven’t been able to get through wide angles, or even a handheld camera filming off to the side.
“It helps me see exactly where Sav’s catching the ball,” Sundberg explained. “It’s also nice to see on field goals exactly where my laces are hitting him. I can see where he’s catching the ball. I can see if it’s a full 8 yards, or 7 and a half, or whatever it is.
“For Sav, it’s great for him so he can see for himself exactly where he catches the ball, how he catches it – if his hands are out, in, things like that – he can see exactly where the ball drops, if it’s turning on the way down.”
Rocca said the angle he gets is incredibly valuable in evaluating his technique, which isn’t always easy to do in the midst of executing a punt.
“I can get it from the angle that I see,” he said. “Sometimes you think you know what you did wrong, but when you look at the footage you see something you didn’t pick up on during the punt.”
The contact at GoPro who hooked them up with the gear is Lonnie Paxton, a former NFL long snapper, so this particular application for the equipment made sense.
“We always want to see what we’re doing right, and what we can do better,” said Sundberg, who has been tweeting still shots from the cameras footage. “This has been really helpful.”