An NFL specialist's job focuses on the smallest of details. In Baltimore, where perfection is expected, that chase for perfection hits another level.
The Ravens are schooling up fourth-round rookie punter Jordan Stout, getting him ready for his preseason debut Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium. While the bar is set high, that's just how Stout likes it.
"I wouldn't want to be in any other situation because that's why we're going to be so great," Stout said this week at training camp.
"We're throwing a lot at him, because we want him to be the kind of punter that we're used to," Special Teams Coordinator Chris Horton said. "He can do it all but it's just the way he works, how he approaches every day."
The Ravens always have a camera on players when they go through individual drills. With Stout, the Ravens strapped a Go Pro camera on his helmet to get an inside look at exactly what he's seeing.
In meetings, Stout, Horton, Special Teams Coach Randy Brown, Special Teams Consultant Sam Koch, kicker Justin Tucker and long snapper Nick Moore pour over every facet of the operation.
"Personally, me punting-wise and holding, this is the best I've ever felt," Stout said. "Me, Sam, Justin, Randy, Nick, we're really honing in on watching my film and going down to the most minute details. I'm feeling great right now."
Taking over for Koch, who punted in Baltimore for 16 years, is no easy task – especially with Koch standing right behind him. While Stout thought he was coming to Baltimore to compete with Koch when he was still playing, being coached by him has been a smooth transition.
"Sam has been the best. He's helped me so much," Stout said. "It's kind of unreal because he was the starter last year but he hasn't punted one time, hasn't boasted one time. He hasn't done anything. If I'm not listening to him, he's like, 'Hey man, c'mon, let's do this instead of this.' He's been awesome."
Stout had a good debut in the team's stadium practice, dropping a pair of punts inside the 5-yard line. His leg strength immediately jumps out just from the sound of the ball booming off his foot. But Stout has also been impressive when doing directional punting.
He said the Ravens haven't changed up so much of his punting technique.
"The main thing is really, really small details with punting," Stout said. "Punting, fundamentally, I think I was really good coming in. Now we're fixing the small things. It's like taking three inches off my last step or getting my foot in the ground so I don't take those three more inches so the ball isn't an inch outside. It's little things like that. With holding, we changed everything."
Tucker said the Ravens "broke him down into a puddle of mud" and Stout concurred. Holding for the best kicker in the game is a huge part of Stout's job. Tucker said he wants the snap and hold to be exactly the same every single time.
"I could hold when I got here. But now I can really hold," Stout said. "I can hold for Justin Tucker now. I couldn't hold for Justin Tucker before. It's made me a lot better."