Special Teams Play

Installing Punt Return and Block Teams
James Vint Iowa Wesleyan College

Special Teams Change Games!
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“To Be Successful You Must Give Your Special Teams Time
• Three A Days- One Practice Dedicated to Special Teams • Individual Period, Group Period, Team Period • Keep Things Simple-Don’t try to install too much, do what you install well. • Coach Up The Pride Aspect

Unit Goals
• • • • • 23 Yard Net Change of Possession 8.5 Yards Per Return No Penalties! One Game Changing Play One Block Per Two Block Calls

 Jammers- Must be your best, most physical stalk blockers with great feet  Dogs- Must be able to contain on fake and get pressure on punter  Tackles and Ends- Must be able to play off blocks and get pressure on punter-Must be able to stand up offensive lineman  Mac- Must be able to play fake and get back set the wedge  Safety-Must be able to read fake and cover hash to hash and be a great blocker  Return- Must be able to catch the football and find the crease


While This Is A Great Time To Get Kids Experience, You Must Use athletes On Special Teams
• How many times have you had a backup miss a tackle or a block on special teams? • Use backups when they are legitimately good enough to make plays • Even if you have good backups keep one or two starters in the game.

Jamming Techniques
• • • • • • • • Rule 1-Don’t give up the inside Rule 2- Must Keep From Getting a free release Align 1 x 1 with inside leverage Power step inside and then punch Keep your shoulders back on your punch Sit low and block with your feet Keep a wide base Drills: Punch and Move, Fit and Drive, Fit and Recover, Back Turn Drill, First Step Drill

Dog Techniques
• Align on the LOS 3 Yards Outside Slot • Attack The outside shoulder of the slot and make sure the ball is kicked • On the return side, attack and drive • DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR BlOCK • Once the ball is kicked peel down the call side and seal inside

Return Techniques
• See the ball off the foot • CATCH EVERYTHING! Don’t let the ball hit the ground • On a bad punt, circle behind the ball and play shortstop • Catch and field the ball moving forward • Only signal a fair catch when absolutely necessary • Elbows in, pinkie’s together • Catch the Punt out from the body

Installation Procedures
• Install Base Return First • Work each player in an individual period • Work a group period with the Safety and the Mac • Keep things simple- Return Right, Return Left, and Middle Return • Go Over Special Situations and Rules

Return Right
• The right side will block down and keep the protector from releasing • The backside will rush the punt and peel down the call side • NO ROUGHING PENALTIES • Make sure the ball is kicked • Keep hands inside

Return Left
• The Left side will block down and keep the protector from releasing • The backside will rush the punt and peel down the call side • NO ROUGHING PENALTIES • Make sure the ball is kicked • Keep hands inside

Return Right
R S C H E T M T E $ C

Return Middle
• • • • • • • We will MAN UP on our middle return Defensive Line Will Fan Out Mac Will Drop 5 Yards and Attack LS Stud Will Lead Return Man Into Middle Dogs Will Make Sure The Ball Is Kicked Return Man Goes Up The Chute Great vs. Wide Lane Pursuit

Safe Punt
• Used from your own 30 to midfield • Line up in your base defense • Make sure everyone understands their base assignments • Make Sure All Fakes Our Covered • Go Over Alignment Rules vs. Spread Punts • Don’t Let The Fake Happen • Man up when the ball is kicked.

Special Situations
• • • • • • Opponent Pinning You Opponent Pinned 3rd Down Kick Quick Kick All Out Block Set Up Big Return

Punt Block
 Looking to get 7, 8, and 9 men into the block phases  Must assign players to cover the fake if used outside your opponents 40 yard line  Change Your Block Each Week  Teach Your Players How To Block Kick  NO FUMBLES  If no return, tell return man to fair catch.  If the ball is kicked away, run away

Punt Block Illustrated









This is our 83 Block- We are bringing 8 and playing 3 soft zones to protect against a fake.

Punt Block Described
• • • • • Left DT-2 Tech, Slam A Gap and Draw LS Right DT-2 Tech, Slam B Gap Ends- 5 Tech, Attack IS Shoulder of Slot Dogs-Wide Rush, Attack OS Shoulder of Slot Return -Pre Snap adjust to IS shoulder of left slot at 4 yards, Rush Left B Gap • Safety- Pre Snap adjust to 30 Tech on right sideRush Right A Gap • Mac- Show Blitz, then drop 12 yards to check fake • Jammers- Bail and Play Cover 2 with man concepts

Punt Block Illustrated









This is our 61 Block- We are bringing 6 and playing 3 soft zones to protect against a fake. The Stud, the Sam, and the two jammers play man. The returner is free. We are bringing 4 from one side. We can exchange who is man and who is coming.

Game Planning For Your Punt Return Team
• • • • • Opponent Punter- How Far? Punt Formation, Protection, Weakness Punt Team Coverage Scheme, Lanes Fakes Run Special Formations (Spread, Rugby, Tight) • Personnel- Do they change personnel for fake or coverage?

• • • • Use talent on special teams Give special teams time to prepare Prepare your kids for special situations Keep your punt return and block schemes simple • Give your kids a chance to be successful • Put them into the best positions possible

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