I spoke with special teams coach Bruce DeHaven today, as well as Coutu and Mare. Bruce said they have so much time on the side during practice that having to work with two kickers is not that big a deal at all. DeHaven said twice before in his long career has he had two kickers on the roster, once in Buffalo with Scott Norwood and Brad Daluiso. Probably should have let Daluiso kick the FG in the Super Bowl.
DeHaven also said it is a bit of a luxury to have Coutu because if Olindo's leg gets at all weary, they can let Coutu handle the kickoff duties in practice, which is good for Coutu, good for Mare and good for the return guys because they don't have to catch their balls off the JUGS machine.
DeHaven basically said Coutu cannot improve his distance on kickoffs that much. He could be trying different techniques, but the bottom line is either you have the leg strength or you don't and you are not going to make up 10 yards by technique.
Coutu said he is happy to be here, and because Seattle showed him loyalty by drafting him this is where he wants to stay. He said he has had some conversations with the coaching staff but he pretty much knew they were going to keep him when he was hanging around his house on cutdown day and a call never came. He said it is hard to sit on the side and watch the games and not get in, but he understands this is for the long run.
Mare said, "Whatever." No, that's not what he said, but what he suggested. He said he is going to prepare the same way whether they have nobody on the roster with him, Coutu with him or 10 other kickers with him. He said he has been around long enough to know that you are only as good as your last kick and one phone call could bring in another kicker easily. He said he is happy to let Coutu take the kickoffs in the practices so that he can save it for the games.
Also, emitch3954334u393439394, Keith Gilbertson is totally overwhelmed right now. He has not met with us in about three weeks because he is trying to catch up so many new guys on the playbook. He does not have time for a lot of individual help during the practice itself, but takes care of that in the film room. This was Koren's quote about the new digs: "It is different. It's an upgrade, it's definitely an upgrade!"