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How Jake Elliott tweaked offseason plan to yield even better results

Coming off a contract extension, Jake Elliott explains how he took his game to a new level in recent years.

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The 2020 season was not Jake Elliott’s best.

In his fourth NFL season, the Eagles’ kicker posted a career-low 73.7% field goal percentage and a career-low 92.3% extra point percentage.

But since then? 

Over the last three years, he’s been one of the best kickers in the NFL. 

And the Eagles paid him like it last week, agreeing to terms with the Pro Bowler on a four-year, $24 million contract extension through the 2028 season. That APY of $6 million ties him with Justin Tucker atop the list of highest-paid NFL kickers.

What has led to all this recent success?

“I’ve just kind of kept my process,” Elliott said last week after the extension. “I really focus in on my fundamentals in the offseason. I think ever since Tyler Brown’s come in here with Coach (Michael) Clay, he’s kind of honed in on some of that stuff with me and helped me develop a plan in the offseason. 

“I give myself a little break and let my body recover and then kind of work myself back up. Just striving to be more consistent every day. I feel good about my leg power, my strength, I feel good about all that. So how much more consistent can we get? And that’s my focus the last few years.”

It’s probably not a complete coincidence that Elliott’s improvement came after new coaches were in place. While Elliott deserves most of the credit for his improvement after the 2020 season, it’s worth noting that special teams coordinator Michael Clay and special teams assistant Tyler Brown (who is really the kicking specialist) both arrived with Nick Sirianni the offseason before Elliott’s 2021 Pro Bowl season.

In his three years working with Brown, Elliott has been one of the best kickers in the NFL.

He has made 80 of 88 of his total field goals (90.9%) and has made 15 of 17 (88.2%) of his field goals from 50+ over the last three seasons.

How did Elliott land on his current plan?

“Kind of just trial and error, really,” he said. “I felt like maybe early on in my career, I was going out in the offseasons and just trying to hit big balls and I don’t know, those are fun to do obviously. And I kind of honed that back in and said, what’s really important here? And that’s making kicks. So as much as I can do that, as good as I can get at that, the better.”

Among kickers with at least 60 attempts over the last three seasons, Elliott ranks tied for fourth in the NFL in field goal percentage:

1. Eddy Pineiro: 66/72 (91.7%)
2. Nick Folk: 97/106 (91.5%)
3. Ka’imi Fairbain: 71/78 (91.0%)
t-4. Daniel Carlson: 100/110 (90.9%)
t-4. Jake Elliott: 80/88 (90.9%)

But Pineiro played his last two seasons in Carolina, Folk played last season in Tennessee and Fairbain and Carlson play their home games in domes. Elliott is the only kicker in this top five doing it in the Northeast.

And no one has been better on long kicks. Elliott has the highest percentage on 50+ yard field goal attempts among all players with at least 15 attempts:

1. Jake Elliott: 15/17 (88.2%)
2. Chris Boswell: 21/25 (84.0%)
3. Chase McLaughlin: 20/24 (83.3%)
4. Ka’imi Fairbairn: 15/18 (83.3%)
5. Daniel Carlson: 18/23 (78.3%)

Elliott, 29, enjoys watching some of the other top kickers in the league and will take things from their approaches. Putting together his offseason plan has been years in the making but whatever he’s doing is working.

While the Eagles had a bunch of coaching turnover this season with a new OC and a new DC after the disastrous end to the 2023 season, the special teams coaching trio of Clay, Brown and Joe Pannunzio is back for 2024.

So are punter Braden Mann and long snapper Rick Lovato, who were both free agents. Mann got a two-year deal and Lovato a one-year.

“It’s crucial,” Elliott said. “You see all over the league, the turnover in the specialist community. It’s hard to get an operation down, it’s hard to get consistency and have the chemistry we’ve built. As long as you can keep three guys together, the better. In my opinion, that will only help us going forward.”

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