Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Auburn's Parkey talks kicking

AUBURN - Auburn's weekly media day is on Tuesday. Kicker Cody Parkey was one of the players on hand to talk with the media. Here's what he had to say about playing Florida this week, and kicking in general.

Is this a big game for you, being from Florida?

"Yeah, I’m excited to play. All my buddies go to Florida. I know a couple guys from back home who play for Florida. It’ll be a fun game."

Did you consider Florida coming out of high school?

"I did. They show me some (interest) every now and then, they’d show they were interested. But they had a kicker who was a sophomore and now he’s a junior. You don’t really need a kicker every year, so that wasn’t really an option for me to go there."

Did you grow up a Florida fan"

"It was weird. I never really had, like, a favorite Florida team. I didn’t hate Florida, Florida State, Miami. I just kind of liked them all. So I never really had a favorite Florida team. I just kind of like them all."

Talk about your success with touchbacks.

"I’ve worked hard at it. I feel like I can do that every game. I continue to kick touchbacks every game. It’s something I’ve worked really hard at and I’m glad it’s showing off on the field and I want to continue to do so."

Do you try to kick your hardest or do you try for a smooth stroke?

"A lot of it is technique, but sometimes you know when you try to kick it as hard as you can you’ll get some kicks, which I’ve had one or two this year, that just kind of die out. And that’s what you don’t want. You just want to have a smooth stroke, but at the same time be powerful, but you don’t want to try to crush the ball, that’s when it goes awry. You just want everything to be smooth. That’s when you get your best kicks."

Are the techniques different for kicking off and for field goals?

"Ah, no. A lot of it is actually the same. The biggest difference is on a field goal you want to try to stay under control – more accuracy. On a kickoff, you know, you’re just really trying to explode through the ball. And you’re landing on your kicking foot, where on a field goal, you’re landing on your plant foot. So it’s a lot of transferring of energy. The biggest thing is just exploding through the ball on kickoffs. It really doesn’t get too confusing."

When did you get good?

"Probably after (last) season. During the season your legs get really tired and I probably didn’t do a good job with keeping them up to date and with the (hip flexor) injury I had last year. I just never felt 100 percent. My biggest goal this year was just getting back healthy – 100 percent – better than I’ve every been. Just working out a lot, extra training, rehab, just everything added in to me being able to kick as far as I can now. Over the summer, I noticed I was kicking back to what I usually was. Now I’m just above that. Just a lot of hard work. I pretty much noticed that in the summer how good I was doing."

What was it like when you were the man in high school?

"Yeah, I pretty much put everyone in the end zone, even if there was a wind in my face. It wasn’t too hard to kick it 60 yards. We put guys on the kickoff team that really didn’t play too much. We just had them run down. But occasionally I’d screw up and they’d think I’d kick it out of the end zone and they’d actually return it and none of the guys were ready for it."

Do any of your teammates want you to kick it shorter so they can get some action?

"Every now and then, they’re like, ‘Hey, I want a tackle. Let me get a tackle.’ But, obviously, I’m trying to kick as many touchbacks as we can because it’ll better our chances – it’ll better our team. But occasionally they’ll tell me, ‘Hey, let us play some.’ But I try not to let them."

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