“Filip is an awesome guy and a really great kicking coach. What I love most about Filip is that I know he really has my best interests in mind. He will do whatever he can to help you get to the level you want to be at.
I started working with Filip on a regular basis following my junior year of college and continuing through my NFL career. He helped me take my field goal accuracy from a level that was successful in college, to the near perfect level required of the NFL. That field goal work allowed me to go from a kickoff specialist for the Bills my rookie year, to taking both field goals and kickoffs for the Redskins the next year.
Not only was Filip’s coaching important, but also his connections in the NFL. Going into the draft, there were multiple teams that were interested in me because they had heard good things about me from Filip. To have Filip as a trusted reference was really important in helping me get my foot in the door. Getting in is the hardest part, so everything you can do to get an upper hand is essential.
There is no way I would be where I am without the help of Filip. His coaching, support, and friendship has been invaluable in the roller coaster ride that is the NFL.”Zoltan Mesko (New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals)“My pre-draft experience was somewhat of a roller coaster. I had a terrible Senior Bowl performance, which included the practices and the game. I was down for a good week after that terrible performance. Without any fluff added to the following story, Filip called me up. He was brutally honest with me and told me what I needed to correct to take my punting ability to the next level. The truth hurts, and it’s tough to take when that feedback is intended for correction, but I trusted Filip. At the time he had been my punting coach/mentor for three years, and he had already taken me from one level to the next, therefore I respected his evaluation on what needed to be changed in my technique. I knew he wasn’t going to put me into a position that would be damaging to my career, and that’s why I listened and decided to work my tail off.
With four weeks to go before the NFL combine, we worked on my stance (big change), my steps, my directional punting, my drop angle, and my hang time. Looking at it now, that list of things to change is outrageous to undertake before a career-altering event such as the combine. Surprisingly, it never felt like too much to handle, because I had Filip to simplify and accelerate my learning curve on each particular fundamental. Out of all the punters invited, I by far had the best performance at the combine. Things had paid off.
Next event was Michigan’s Pro Day in March, followed by a handful of individual workouts for NFL coaches later in March and April. However, all this came with an added wrinkle, where most of my workouts were scheduled to take place outside. Cold and wind: not an ideal punting situation. With what I had worked on prior to the combine, Filip was further able to develop different “clubs” in my kicking bag. I knew what technique adjustment to make when it got windy, and what to tweak when the wind calmed down. This allowed me to maximize the combination of hang time and distance that the weather for that day would allow. I obviously recall my workout with New England, since they ended up drafting me. It was 37 degrees, with 15 to 20 mph winds. There’s no way I could’ve had the same exact high performance without Filip’s help.
If you’re a numbers-driven guy, this will further validate Filip’s coaching. In my final two years in college we ran the shield punt. Therefore, I was able to get away with sacrificing a little hang time for more distance. My BEST hang time in the 2009 season was 4.5 seconds. Good for college, but very mediocre for the NFL pre-draft evaluation. My technique was stuck in low-hang-time mode. After my dismal Senior Bowl experience (when I almost had a punt taken back on me), I applied the changes I listed above, and not only did my hang time increase (I hit 5.3 seconds multiple times at my Pro Day: timed by the Colts and Jets coaches), but my distance and consistency ended up rising, as a result of all the changes implemented.
Throughout the whole pre-draft process, Filip knew when to tear me down, and when to build me up. He was always punctual and professional. He knows the industry, and therefore relates to NFL coaches very well. It most certainly helped that Filip was present at most of my individual workouts and spoke to those coaches/scouts. As a former NFL punter, Filip had been in my shoes before, and that’s the main reason I trusted his advice and coaching.”