Sunday, December 4, 2016
Special Teams in the NFL
Now that we have looked at the offensive and defensive side of the ball, we are now going to look at the special teams. Special teams can be broken down into key areas: kickoffs and kickoff return teams, punt and punt return teams, and finally the field goal and extra point units.
Kickoff and Kick Return Teams
The kick off and kick return teams come into play at the beginning of the game after the coin toss or after one team score points. The team that kicks off will kick off from their 35 yard line. The kicker is the player who kicks off. If the kicker kicks the ball through the back of the endzone it is considered a touchback and unreturnable. The ball will be placed at the return team's 25 yard line. If the kickoff team kicks the ball and it is returnable, the kick returner will return it until he gets tackled. After he gets tackled the kick return’s offensive team will take over.
Punt and Punt Return Teams
The punt and punt return team’s come on the field when the offense fails to pick up a first down and are too far back to kick a field goal. When this happens, the punt and punt return teams come out. The punt team consist of a punter and ten other guys. When the ball is snapped the punter will punt the ball to the punt return team. The punt return team has a defense and a man back waiting on the punt. This position is called the punt returner. Like before in the kick off teams, if the punter punts the ball through the back of the endzone the ball will be placed on the punt return teams 20. If the ball is returnable then the punt returner will return the ball until he gets tackled. The ball will be placed for the offense wherever the returner gets tackled.
Field Goal and Extra point teams
The field goal and extra point teams will come on to field when there is a scoring opportunity on the field. The extra point unit will come on the field directly after a touchdown. The team will bring out the kicker to kick essentially a field goal from the 15 yard line. The one difference is that if he makes the kick the team will receive 1 point for the kick. The field goal unit will take place when a team does not end up making a touchdown but are close enough to kick a field goal. Generally even the best kickers in the NFL will have a limit of about 50 to 55 yards to try to attempt a field goal, anything longer the team will more than likely punt the ball. If the kicker does make a field goal it is worth 3 points.