The Importance of Special Teams  

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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
August 10, 2018 7:34 am  

Several years back I was the assistant T-Holder for a squad that suffered through an 0-fer streak for 2 seasons (Reasons are for a different topic).  Last game of year 2 we scored to go up by 2 points with less than a minute to go. Kids are celebrating on the sidelines!  I suggested we kick the ball out of bounds and was told, that's a penalty, that's not going to happen.  Line up, Kick Deep right down the middle, Poof! 80 some yards later, TD. Lost by 6. 2 other coaches turn and look at me shoulders shrugged, palms up.  Afterwards HC says why would you kick it out of bounds?  I said, I would much rather give the defense a chance to defend the field than take a chance on what just happened.

But if the other team thinks the same way, they can always have you kick again from 5 yds. back.  People tend to forget that choice of penalty exists for kicking out of bounds.


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Dusty Ol Fart
Illinois
Club Admin
Other
Wing (Double and T), ECO. Jacks 6-3, JR's Split 4-4. 5-3.. Some familiarity with Spread (Read), RPO.
August 10, 2018 8:13 am  

Bob:

You are correct.  I kick out of bounds again. Another Penalty.  Now they have the choice to take the ball at the 35 or where it went out of bounds.  They still have to go 65 yards or so against my Defense.  I'll take those Odds. 

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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August 10, 2018 8:44 am  

I think sometimes coaches, or people in general, forget that there is always a consequence to any decision. In football, not punting has it's consequences.. Is it more dangerous than not punting on 4th and 20 from your 20 with a minute left and up by 3? If you are not going to do something you better have a plan.

If you are 4th and 20 from your own 20 with a minute left and up by 3, you better have a way to take a safety from there.

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!


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August 10, 2018 9:21 am  

Bob:

You are correct.  I kick out of bounds again. Another Penalty.  Now they have the choice to take the ball at the 35 or where it went out of bounds.  They still have to go 65 yards or so against my Defense.  I'll take those Odds. 

Not sure what rules you play under, but under most rules the team receiving can
- keep making you re-kick from 5 yards back from the previous spot
- take the ball at the spot where it went out of bounds
- take the ball 25 yards beyond the last spot it was kicked

So, if you keep kicking it out of bounds, I am going to make you re-kick if I think that I can get better field position.  I can do it until you are kicking from your 5 yard line and then it is a half the distance penalty, but I am taking it 25 yards from where you kicked it long before we get to that. 


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Dusty Ol Fart
Illinois
Club Admin
Other
Wing (Double and T), ECO. Jacks 6-3, JR's Split 4-4. 5-3.. Some familiarity with Spread (Read), RPO.
August 10, 2018 9:51 am  

Pats.

Honestly, I've never had that happen as you describe. But then, to my knowledge, we aren't under the same consequences (Perhaps more investigation required by me).  I (we) try like hell to keep the ball in play short 30ish and get after it.  Our success (recovery) rate with onside kicks is low.  We have actually had better luck recovering the aforementioned. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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August 10, 2018 10:00 am  

Pats.

Honestly, I've never had that happen as you describe. But then, to my knowledge, we aren't under the same consequences (Perhaps more investigation required by me).  I (we) try like hell to keep the ball in play short 30ish and get after it.  Our success (recovery) rate with onside kicks is low.  We have actually had better luck recovering the aforementioned.

Well, pooches that prevent the back layer from returning the ball and are easily covered directionally are a great option.  I find that they work hand-in-hand with onsides.  We always wanted to be able to do those 2 and, when the kids got a little older, have the deep kick.  It gave us the opportunity to keep the receiving team guessing and not scheme against us from a ST standpoint.  Very similar to what we wanted to do on offense - run inside, run outside, pass options. 

As far as the rule goes, just read Rule 6, Section 1, Article 8 for NFHS or Rule 6, Section 2, Article 1 for NCAA.


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Dusty Ol Fart
Illinois
Club Admin
Other
Wing (Double and T), ECO. Jacks 6-3, JR's Split 4-4. 5-3.. Some familiarity with Spread (Read), RPO.
August 10, 2018 10:35 am  

Well, pooches that prevent the back layer from returning the ball and are easily covered directionally are a great option.  I find that they work hand-in-hand with onsides.  We always wanted to be able to do those 2 and, when the kids got a little older, have the deep kick.  It gave us the opportunity to keep the receiving team guessing and not scheme against us from a ST standpoint.  Very similar to what we wanted to do on offense - run inside, run outside, pass options. 

As far as the rule goes, just read Rule 6, Section 1, Article 8 for NFHS or Rule 6, Section 2, Article 1 for NCAA.

There seems to be some consternation with the NFHS rule and Illinois specific.  However, given the rule as stated, obviously (I hope) one would not kick OOB again.  Learn something new every day.  In reading briefly Kick Off Rules seem to be the more hotly contested rules over the course of time.  Anyone remember the A11 "Offense"?  That stemmed from Kick Off Rules as well.  It has been my experience they take it at the 35 and go. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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August 10, 2018 11:51 am  

If you are 4th and 20 from your own 20 with a minute left and up by 3, you better have a way to take a safety from there.

That is my point. You have an answer. Most won't in the heat of the moment. What if its on your 30 or 40. Then that gets a little tougher. You better win the foot race to the end zone.


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
August 11, 2018 9:52 am  

There seems to be some consternation with the NFHS rule and Illinois specific.  However, given the rule as stated, obviously (I hope) one would not kick OOB again.  Learn something new every day.  In reading briefly Kick Off Rules seem to be the more hotly contested rules over the course of time.  Anyone remember the A11 "Offense"?  That stemmed from Kick Off Rules as well.

What was the connection?


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August 11, 2018 11:42 am  

Several years back I was the assistant T-Holder for a squad that suffered through an 0-fer streak for 2 seasons (Reasons are for a different topic).  Last game of year 2 we scored to go up by 2 points with less than a minute to go. Kids are celebrating on the sidelines!  I suggested we kick the ball out of bounds and was told, that's a penalty, that's not going to happen.  Line up, Kick Deep right down the middle, Poof! 80 some yards later, TD. Lost by 6. 2 other coaches turn and look at me shoulders shrugged, palms up.  Afterwards HC says why would you kick it out of bounds?  I said, I would much rather give the defense a chance to defend the field than take a chance on what just happened.

My son's 3rd grade team went 0-8. By then, my nickname "Coach Google" was an institution. The closest game we had that season, we were up 12-7 with 4 plays (play count vs clock) left in the game, but were looking at 4th and 20 from our own 5 yard line. We did not have a punt installed. On that team, the defense would arrive at the punter about the same time as the snap. Anyway, I suggested to the HC to take a safety. He looked at me confused.  I calmly explained that if we take the safety, we preserve our lead, and give them the ball with only 3 chances to score. Still confused. His father in law was and is the local HS coach. He ran up to the sideline and told the HC to take the safety. "Okay, yeah. Good idea." My son was the QB so I told him to take the snap, then sprint out of the back of the end zone, which he did. HC's brother in law freaked out and started screaming at me. He heard me suggest the safety and walked off calling me an idiot and didn't hear the HS HC make the same suggestion.  The option was to run a play from our own 5 and at the rate we were going, would give the other team the ball on our own 2 with 3 plays to score.

We're now up 12-9 and have a free kick. We were supposed to free kick from the 12 yard line (60 yard field), but the ref spotted the ball at the 25, which is where "normal" kickoffs are spotted. I got excited and told my the kicker (also my son), to tap it 10 yards and try to fall on it. I was the ST coach and had worked on this with him in the back yard. Brother in law lost his mind, ran onto the field, got in my son's face and yelled, "NO! YOU KICK IT AS FAR AS YOU CAN!!!" I looked at the HC, who just shrugged, so my son kicked it deep. As you accurately put it, "Poof!" Best athlete on the team took it to the house and we're now down 15-12 with 2 plays left. Successful PAT and we're down 16-12 with one play left. Other team kicks it onside, our guy falls on it, game over. Brother in law freaks out yet again over the other team being "classless" for onside kicking.

Brother in law wasn't done though. He lambasted the entire team for "giving up" and told them to be ready to run the entire next practice.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
August 11, 2018 2:09 pm  

LOL at Gumby's story.


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