I saw the posts on how the draft depth should improve our special teams and read Coach McDaniels words about Prater, making it sound like conditioning lead to his decreased performance. But if Prater has another year like last year, starts out great then fizzles, it will put undue stress on both sides of the ball, regardless of how much better the talent is around him on kickoffs and field goals.
So what do people who have played the game or studied kickers more closely than I, think? Is conditioning really a logical explanation or just the most convienent? Or was it coaches changing his technique and McDaniels was being polite and did not want to point fingers publically at the previous staff? The most intriguing one that I have heard is that he just cannot kick in cold weather (an idea a patient of mine shared with me), cause his downslide does coincide with the colder part of the schedule. I was in the stands for the Buffalo game and it looked like he could barely kickoff to the 15-20 and it might have been the coldest game of the year, lending merrit to an arguement that a non-player is starting to buy into.