Let’s talk about work for a minute. Let’s say you were on a special team at your company. You and your team collaborated on all kinds of projects on a weekly basis and brought all kinds of value to your company. In fact, your company would not even be able to function with you and your team. BUT….you and your team very rarely get recognized for your hard work and accomplishments. In fact, the only time you really do get any attention is when your team has made an error or mistake. How would you feel? Would you quit? Would you tough it out knowing it could lead to something in the future?
Well that’s exactly what happens to the group of 11 players that make up special teams. They often don’t get the recognition and attention they deserve and yet, they are quite remarkable in skill and the value that they bring to the team as a whole. The team couldn’t function without them even though their efforts are limited to the kicking game: punting, punt return, kickoff and kick return.
There are some special players on special teams that primarily have their foot on the ball. They are the place kickers, punters and field goal kickers. The 10 other players on the field with them will try and protect the punter’s kick from being blocked, and then they run down the field to prevent the punt returner from making it too far in his run with the ball.
The punting team wants to stop the punt returner and the punt returner is often extremely fast and wants to get as far down the field as possible to give his team good field position for the offense to take over.
There are four groups of special teams:
- The players that specialize in punts, kickoffs, and punt returns
- The players that specialize in field goal and extra point attempts.
- The players that return the kickoff (kickoff return)
- The players that specialize in blocking field goal and extra point attempts.
The players that make up the various special team will usually get only about 20% playing time in a game.
Placekicking - This is when a kicker kicks the ball from a designated spot on the field for the kickoff, a field goal attempt and an extra point attempt.
Kick Off Return - The kickoff return is all about yards…..most of the time. How far they can advance the ball is the ultimate goal for the 11 players on kickoff return.
Punting - When a team is on its fourth down and is not able to score, they may decide to punt the ball depending on where they are on the field. This turns possession of the ball over to the other team. The punter will line up about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The ball will be snapped (hiked) to him and he will take about two steps and drop the ball toward his kicking foot and make contact.
The kickoff is my favorite part of the game. The excitement of wanting my team to win as they line up for the kickoff. All eyes are on the guys that are going to run as fast as they can down the field to defend their goal. It’s a rush.
What’s your favorite part of a football game? Leave a comment and let me know what you like best and if you have any questions thus far in the series. I have received so many great questions and special requests during this series to that tomorrow I am going to have a question and answer post. If you have anything specific that you want to know send me an email or leave a comment.
And……if you love this series please share it with your friends. You can use the share buttons at the bottom of this post to let your fellow-football-friends know all about this series…. Better yet, encourage them to subscribe to the whole series because there is a free give-a-way to everyone who subscribes during this series that otherwise will only be available for purchase after the month of October.
One last thing…..I am giving away a free Amazon gift card to one person that leaves a comment on this post regarding your favorite football movie. Everyone who leaves a comment is entered to win and you have until the end of this series, which is October 31st, to enter.
Until tomorrow’s question and answer……Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.