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Scobee ready to take next step


Josh Scobee used the offseason to get married. He married a girl he met during his senior year at Louisiana Tech. She had just graduated with a degree in biology, a minor in chemistry, a perfect 4.0 grade point average and number one in her class.

"I out-kicked my coverage," Scobee said.

As Scobee and his bride, Melissa, walked up the aisle after having tied the knot, those in attendance raised their arms in a playful "it's-good" salute. Isn't love grand?

New Jaguars special teams coach Joe DeCamillis would love to see Scobee out-kick his coverage. That's a good thing for kickers, since it results in a touchback. Last season, Scobee was second in the NFL in touchbacks with 21.

DeCamillis would also like to see a lot of "it's-good" signals this season from the officials.

It would seem to be the next step in Scobee's development. The next level of achievement for Scobee is to kick the ball as accurately as he does far. It's time for the guy with the great leg to become a craftsman.

"I think he has a chance to be one of the top guys in the league, but he has a long way to go in terms of consistency year in and year out," DeCamillis said of Scobee, whose .813 field goal percentage last season ranked in the bottom half of the league.

"He's not just talking about field goal percentage. He's talking about field goals, kickoffs, off the field, weight room, everything," said Scobee, whose goal this season is "to get past that fresh feeling of being in the NFL. I want to have confidence in everything I do; that I'm going to kick every ball the way I want to kick."

Coach Jack Del Rio hired DeCamillis this past winter to fix a phase of the Jaguars' game that has seen three punts returned for touchdowns and two punts blocked for touchdowns in the past two seasons. On draft day, the Jaguars took the next step in their special teams fix-it plan by drafting punter Adam Podlesh in the fourth round.

DeCamillis spoke to reporters following Tuesday morning's practice.

"We need to be a little more consistent than the last two years. Coach Rodriquez did a good job of getting the personnel in here. I'm just trying to get the consistency back," said DeCamillis, long considered one of the league's top special teams coordinators.

DeCamillis was asked to provide a critique of the personnel available to him, and the first player he mentioned is Montell Owens, who came out of nowhere as a rookie last season to become a valued coverage gunner.

"I think the personnel is excellent. You've got a good nucleus. Montell Owens is a guy I'm excited about. I think he has a chance to be a Pro-Bowl type," DeCamillis said.

Podlesh's leg strength has been impressive in OTA practices and his reputation is for being an accomplished directional punter.

"He never had a punt blocked in college. That's number one," DeCamillis said of Podlesh. "He kicked in tough conditions; cold weather. We felt he had the best chance of coming in now and developing into a long-term guy."

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