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Dusty Ol Fart
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Dave:

I understand what your saying and don't necessarily disagree with you.  My luck with punters has not been that great.  For some as yet unknown reason,  I tend to get the shank in the most inopportune situations.

Last year I had a kid who could put it in the air not for great distance 25 to 35 yards but the hang time was great. At least twice he punted and with the roll got negative yards.  A few years before that I had a boy who hit rifle shots not a lot of height but man they spiraled for 40 yards and rolled for another 15.  He dropped back on more than one occasion and gave the Center a Wilson Enima! 

I guess what I am trying to say is Murphy has the spare bedroom in my house when it comes to special teams.    😉

More to the point punting can be very unpredictable. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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mahonz
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Dave:

I understand what your saying and don't necessarily disagree with you.  My luck with punters has not been that great.  For some as yet unknown reason,  I tend to get the shank in the most inopportune situations.

Last year I had a kid who could put it in the air not for great distance 25 to 35 yards but the hang time was great. At least twice he punted and with the roll got negative yards.  A few years before that I had a boy who hit rifle shots not a lot of height but man they spiraled for 40 yards and rolled for another 15.  He dropped back on more than one occasion and gave the Center a Wilson Enima! 

I guess what I am trying to say is Murphy has the spare bedroom in my house when it comes to special teams.    😉

More to the point punting can be very unpredictable.

A few years back I had the next coming of Ray Guy...did I just referrrr to a Raider? Somebody slap me.

Anyway...50 yard punts out of an 8th grader with crazy hang time. He is now a HS Varsity punter and will certainly get the D1 people taking a good hard look.

He could nail a 30 yard field goal for us too. The trick.... he had the natural tools so mom and dad started sending him to kicking camps after his 6th grade season and that will pay off for their son big time. All I did was help him stay cool and kick like he was golfing...same swing every time, eye on the ball, head down and a ton of reps.

That 8th grade season he played with a cast on one arm too.

Coach Mike

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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davecisar
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Being able to kick effectively= good
Teaching punter to be competent= good

If you dont know how to teach kicking, get the Kohls kicking videos- GREAT investment
Saturday the BEST clinic session was taught my Jake Wesch at Nebraska- on punting and kicking. At the youth level- like DP said- championship games vs good teams- could win you a ball game. I PROMISE you the top PW and AYF teams in Florida- they are converting 80-100 % of their PATs AND they punt well. Pt St Lucie Floridas- Jeff Miret's team- unreal kicking game- one of the very best youth coaches out there.

Punting on 4th down- not always makes sense based on the realities of youth football when you do the math

Last year my 7-8th grade team if I remember correctly lined up to punt 10 times, we faked 8 and got 7 first downs. We kicked 2 times, both out of bounds on purpose. We even faked in huge game on 4th and 7 from our own 12 yard line (got it). We did it based on the math and scouting.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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KFMagee
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A few years back I had the next coming of Ray Guy...did I just referrrr to a Raider? Somebody slap me.

Coach Mike

Mike,  just prefer to think of Ray as my fellow former Southern Miss Golden Eagle... that way you don't have to say the "R" word.

Coach Magee

Football Director at PSAPlano.org), the largest Youth Organization in Texas
Head Coach - Plano Colts


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kcdeer
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DC:  "I have mathematically calculated the Punt:  I keep a sideline record of down and distance and play call.  So when I get in 4th down, I just look at the chart for the yards we need, add one more yard to it for "insurance" and call the play on the chart that produces it.  So there's no punt.  In 17 years, the number of times I have been stopped short of the first down is exactly two times (And film shows I got one of those two.).  "        Could you clarify this?  In 17 years going for it on 4th down you have failed to convert a first down 2 times?  But for turnovers, you therefore score virtually every possession?   


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KFMagee
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Y'know, it's interesting when youth coaches talk about how few times they've punted.  "I've never punted!"  "I've only punted x number of times!" etc.  The fact of the matter is that in youth ball most guys don't punt (well) and prefer to play the game between the 40s.  Then they brag about about few times they've punted.  NOT punting in youth football is not a great accomplishment; it's standard operating procedure for most coaches.  I didn't punt once in my first six years as a HC (and I hope no one's impressed by that).  But I have since found the value of the punt and we've become good at it.

NOT punting against an inferior opponent is no big deal.  Punting against a team of equal or superior talent can win you the game.  I've seen too many equally matched youth teams with equally matched youth talent and equally matched coaches play out the duration of a game between each other's 40-yard lines, where one punt would have had those teams playing between the 10 and the 30.  In an equally matched game with your opponent inside their own 20 gives you a tremendous advantage.

--Dave

Well Dave - that's one philosophy.  My teams are better than most we play, but my punters aren't.  If I were blessed with good punters, or actually knew how to develop them, I might punt more to play the field position game...  but that hasn't been the cards I've been dealt. Maybe all the good punters know I don't like to punt, so the go to other teams.  I dunno... at any rate, I go for it on 4th down... and the only reason for that one punt (and yeah, I am proud of it) was purely strategic... eating up the clock by adding another 10-15 yards of ground my opponet would have to cover.

I don't mind playing between the 40's myself... frankly, I figure sooner or later I'm gonna get my first down and drive on down, or I'll take it on the next series and get it to the 30... and then the next series I get it to the 20... etc...  sooner or later, I'm gonna score.  I don't really care if I win 6-0  as long as I get my win, so playing a plodding 3 yards and cloud of dust works... and having 4 downs to do it makes it pretty consistant.

Coach Magee

Football Director at PSAPlano.org), the largest Youth Organization in Texas
Head Coach - Plano Colts


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Coach Kyle
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An article in this months American Football Monthly started me thinking on the (and some of this post is quoted directly from there)

I don't have good statistics on our punts, but have been looking at a couple of studies from both the high school level and the NFL level on punts.  Here are some interesting statistics:
In both the NFL and HS, the average for successful 4th down conversions is about 50%.  Now, those results are skewed, because most teams would go for it on 4 and 1, few would go for it on 4th and 15.  BUT, there is a HS in Little Rock that has crunched the numbers, and completely did away with their punt team (they go for it EVERY time) and they convert more than 50%.

Here's the rationale:
The average HS punt play will push the opponent back 30 yards (cut that at least in half for our kids).  From the offense's 10 yard line, the opposing offense has a 77% likelihood of scoring after a punt.  If the offense goes for it on 4th down, and misses, the opposing offense has a 92% chance of scoring.  So, it's only a 15% differential.  Also, if you've got a 50% chance of converting, that drops it to a 7 1/2% difference.  That's a chance I'm willing to take to keep my offense on the field.  Here's another interesting statistic - when this Little Rock team converted on 4th down, they scored 84% of the time.  Some of this is psychological, if you convert on 4th, the defense gets frustrated, lets down, etc...  while at the same time, the offense is energized, because they just won another major battle in the war.

From an offensive standpoint, if I know I've got 4 plays to get 10 yards rather than 3, it changes how I call plays.  3rd and 7 is no longer an automatic passing down.  Here is a direct quote from a Defensive coordinator that played against this team: 

"As a DC, I always get a great feeling when our team stops our opponent on 3rd down and we know we'll get the ball back.  But it scares you to death when you know they're going to go for it on 4th down and it's really deflating when they make it...when they convert a fourth down, it's almost as if they've scored on us."

I think early on, our no huddle will be HUGE for this, they will be looking for a punt, trying to figure out how to line up, and we just come at them.

It's also one less special team we have to practice.

I absolutely hate to punt.  But I don't know if I have the huevos to go for it on 4th down deep in my own territory.

What do you guys think?

BTW, I am the HC, my DC thinks it's a bad idea.  We are a 6th grade team.

I think at this level this is a great idea, but I've had punts go for 30 yards. Most teams don't catch punts very well too. So it's a possible fumble recovery.

I love fake 4th down attempts. Motion your QB out and snap it to the HB to have him punt. Or go for it. You get great punts, off sides, or you can just run a play. It works.

-Compliments of DC

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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coachgregory
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Y'know, it's interesting when youth coaches talk about how few times they've punted.  "I've never punted!"  "I've only punted x number of times!" etc.  The fact of the matter is that in youth ball most guys don't punt (well) and prefer to play the game between the 40s.  Then they brag about about few times they've punted.  NOT punting in youth football is not a great accomplishment; it's standard operating procedure for most coaches.  I didn't punt once in my first six years as a HC (and I hope no one's impressed by that).  But I have since found the value of the punt and we've become good at it.

NOT punting against an inferior opponent is no big deal.  Punting against a team of equal or superior talent can win you the game.  I've seen too many equally matched youth teams with equally matched youth talent and equally matched coaches play out the duration of a game between each other's 40-yard lines, where one punt would have had those teams playing between the 10 and the 30.  In an equally matched game with your opponent inside their own 20 gives you a tremendous advantage.

--Dave

Dave,

I agree with you 100% I think you have to be able to play field position with teams that are equal or better than you.  I don't punt but I do quick kick and I will do it on 3rd down as well.  We alway  quick kick from our base formation so that the defense doesn't know if we are going to do it.  Since we are four down team and about 95% of the time we go for it defenses don't play the punt against us.  Due to that we average over 22 yards net a punt with 10 year olds.  WE also always aim for the side line and we try to pin the ball to the boundary and our "punt coverage" is designed to wall the ball into the boundary and we use our best players (backfield) to hunt the ball.  We have only had one significant return on us and that was for a little over 50 yards. 

Jack

Exsisto Fortis, Exsisto Validus


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davecisar
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Jack,

Sheesh I forgot about quick kicks, been a long time since we had to do one/ or made sense to do one. Way back when when I was running DW had a 13-14 "B" team playing in the "A" division. Fired the entire coaching staff 1 week before the first game, I was HCing 2 teams.

We arent very good, in game 2. We have  5 1/2 plays in trap, wedge, toss, xx, red/red and a lead sweep.  etc First down we get 2 yards. Second down we get 6 on toss, gets called back with holding call- 2nd and 18 we're on our own 20, we run trap and get another flag, 2nd and 28 we run XX and lose 3 more, 3rd and 31 we quick kick. Other team had no clue what was going on, nice kick rolling along, the other teams safety "downs" the ball- just touches it to the ground without covering it or stopping it. He has no idea what was going on. Our best wing snatches it up and takes it to the house, turns around the game for us, IMO helped turn our season around- 2nd place finish.

If you have someone that can kick and youre in a situation you have less than 20% chance of making a first down (we didnt) maybe a quick kick makes sense. Maybe real muddy or real windy game makes sense as well.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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DumCoach
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DC:  "I have mathematically calculated the Punt:  I keep a sideline record of down and distance and play call.  So when I get in 4th down, I just look at the chart for the yards we need, add one more yard to it for "insurance" and call the play on the chart that produces it.  So there's no punt.  In 17 years, the number of times I have been stopped short of the first down is exactly two times (And film shows I got one of those two.).  "        Could you clarify this?  In 17 years going for it on 4th down you have failed to convert a first down 2 times?  But for turnovers, you therefore score virtually every possession? 

I can understand you reading it that way.  However, I was stating I had mathematically calculated when not to punt (i.e when I had a play on my play chart that would pick up the first. ).  That same chart tells you when to punt (There is no play that will pick up the required yardage.).  The chart can produce "punt" two different ways.  If its your first possession and you have gone three downs and it's fourth and 5 then the game chart will not show a play good for 6 yards.  That's a punt situation.  Thus, in the first quarter I may have punted but it won't be included in my stat I posted. And, if I happen to be outclassed by my opponent's talent (Coach long enough and it will happen) and I'm getting stuffed every possession then the chart is never going to produce a "4th and 5" play and I'll always be punting and it will again not be showing in my stat.  I certainly wish I was "scoring every possession" as you interpreted what I wrote.  And I'm sure somewhere in the past the situation arose where time was running out, I was behind, last chance to score, and there's no play on the chart to pick up the first down.  Yet I went for it anyway with a "Hail Mary" as it was my last chance to win the game.  Again, this would not show in the stat I was referring to.  Another point to keep in mind is that, in my 17 years, I often coached bobbleheads with "automatic" walked off punts of 15 yards.  If I could put a guy on his one yard line from the 16 with an automatic punt, I did so as my game plan if I knew the other guy refused to punt.  So I did not use the chart in those games.  I believe I have coached five years of bobbleheads and half the coaches I faced wouldn't punt.

The stat I was referring to was when I used the chart on fourth down I picked up the first down all but twice.  That's not a stat I actually kept track of and I just recited it from memory off the top of my head. That may not have been a good idea on my part as today I remembered a third time I didn't get the first (And maybe tomorrow I'll remember a fourth.).  But it was so effective that I was shocked when I didn't pick up the first down in BamBam's 2008 championship game (Actually I would have gotten it because someone told me I had 6 yards to go for the first, so I picked a play good for 8 yards.  After the play was sent out I learned it was not 6 yards for the first but 8 and we gained 7.9.  Their ball.  Hard to to forget that one.).  But the chart was very effective in "4th and 5" situations if the chart showed I had consistent 6 yard play.  In those games - Yes - I probably did score every possession but for turnovers (and I had very few of those) or until I scored 28 points (At which point I sat on my lead as we are not to run scores.).  I had a lot of 28 point games but not as many my post led you to believe.  My apologies to you or anyone else I misled. 

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."


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ZACH
 ZACH
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are the rules for quick kick different then punt? Or is it still only 5 players can go down field on a scrimmage kick

Dave and Jack its great to see you back around the joint!

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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CoachDP
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"the only reason for that one punt (and yeah, I am proud of it) was purely strategic"

--And that's part of my point: that youth coaches like to emphasize how few times they've punted, as if that's an indication of their coaching prowess.  In youth ball, even the worst teams don't punt.  So what's the big deal about having done it only once?

--Several years ago in the championship game, we punted seven times (age group 8-11).  We won the game by three touchdowns.  There's an inherent advantage when your opponent always has to go 80 yards to score and you only have to go twenty yards to score.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Dusty Ol Fart
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I agree with DP 100%.

I have not faced many opponents who can consistently drive the ball 80 yards and score.  True, each situation is different, but the fact remains that I have beaten better teams simply by making their team go 70 and 80 yards each time they have the ball. 

What the point should be is that there are times when your best defense is a good offense and a punt to pin them deep. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Pearls of Wisdom
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An article in this months American Football Monthly started me thinking on the (and some of this post is quoted directly from there)

I don't have good statistics on our punts, but have been looking at a couple of studies from both the high school level and the NFL level on punts.  Here are some interesting statistics:
In both the NFL and HS, the average for successful 4th down conversions is about 50%.  Now, those results are skewed, because most teams would go for it on 4 and 1, few would go for it on 4th and 15.  BUT, there is a HS in Little Rock that has crunched the numbers, and completely did away with their punt team (they go for it EVERY time) and they convert more than 50%.

Here's the rationale:
The average HS punt play will push the opponent back 30 yards (cut that at least in half for our kids).  From the offense's 10 yard line, the opposing offense has a 77% likelihood of scoring after a punt.  If the offense goes for it on 4th down, and misses, the opposing offense has a 92% chance of scoring.  So, it's only a 15% differential.  Also, if you've got a 50% chance of converting, that drops it to a 7 1/2% difference.  That's a chance I'm willing to take to keep my offense on the field.  Here's another interesting statistic - when this Little Rock team converted on 4th down, they scored 84% of the time.  Some of this is psychological, if you convert on 4th, the defense gets frustrated, lets down, etc...  while at the same time, the offense is energized, because they just won another major battle in the war.

From an offensive standpoint, if I know I've got 4 plays to get 10 yards rather than 3, it changes how I call plays.  3rd and 7 is no longer an automatic passing down.  Here is a direct quote from a Defensive coordinator that played against this team: 

"As a DC, I always get a great feeling when our team stops our opponent on 3rd down and we know we'll get the ball back.  But it scares you to death when you know they're going to go for it on 4th down and it's really deflating when they make it...when they convert a fourth down, it's almost as if they've scored on us."

I think early on, our no huddle will be HUGE for this, they will be looking for a punt, trying to figure out how to line up, and we just come at them.

It's also one less special team we have to practice.

I absolutely hate to punt.  But I don't know if I have the huevos to go for it on 4th down deep in my own territory.

What do you guys think?

BTW, I am the HC, my DC thinks it's a bad idea.  We are a 6th grade team.

We had an All-State punter (High School) who AVERAGED 40 yards per punt.  Damned good WEAPON.  Only play in our offense that AVERAGED 40 yards per attempt.

We are BIG BELIEVERS in "Field Position" football.  SEE VA TECH CHARTS:

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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davecisar
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We had an All-State punter (High School) who AVERAGED 40 yards per punt.  Damned good WEAPON.  Only play bin our offense that AVERAGED 40 yards per attempt.

We are BIG BELIEVERS in "Field Position" football.  SEE VA TECH CHART:

I always teach and practice the punt

However in YOUTH FOOTBALL- where the average punt is far less than 40 yards, and where you dont want to allow the other teams best player to have the ball in a lot of space- there may be a lot of merit to not kicking much

In YOUTH FOOTBALL- where often times the NET average is 10-20 yards, the delta may completly change the decision making. Most YOUTH teams dont have the kickers or coverage that a DI team with DI talent has on it, like VATECH.

My favorite play out of the punt formation, in youth football is the fake punt

I hate putting my very best athletes who are usually 2 way players as the gunners on Punt team- which you have to do with limited rosters- you have to match your best to the other teams best player- After a 30 yard sprint and chase, he has to line up at LB or CB and get right back into the mix.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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