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Thread: Kickoff vs punt returning

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    Default Kickoff vs punt returning


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    What's the difference? In both cases, don't you catch the ball and run?
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    Quote Originally Posted by luv View Post
    What's the difference? In both cases, don't you catch the ball and run?

    ...Basically yes, but there are some very vital differences.

    On kickoffs after the ball goes ten yards or more it is then a live ball and anyone can pick it up and advance it; hence the reason for the onside kick.

    On punts, it is not necessary to field the ball.

    There are more but those are the most basic differences.
    Last edited by Chiefster; 08-29-2007 at 02:31 PM.


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    There is a little difference as the ball is typically coming in a spiral on the punt, not so with the kickoff...

    Also there is a huge difference in formation and blocking schemes. Many "specialists" over the years have done well with both, Eric Metcalf comes to mind very quickly along with Dante Hall.

    Many teams will use a top player for punt returns as the option to fair catch can reduce risk of injury, like Deion Sanders, Steve Smith and Tiki Barber. However those same players rarely to never take a kick-off return.

    Some players (esp rookies) have difficulty learning the nuances of both and may be given on the responsibility of one (Ted Ginn w/ Miami right now).
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    Also on punts, if the ball touches a member of the receiving team it is then a live ball and can be recovered by anyone. In both cases a fair catch can be called for and the coverage must not tackle the receiver and the receiver can not advance the ball. If, on a kick off, the receiver either fields the ball in the field of play or steps out of the end zone with it then they had better run for all they can get. Once a kick off is fielded in bounds the receiver can not step into the end zone for a touch back. These are some more basics as I understand them.
    Last edited by Chiefster; 08-29-2007 at 02:58 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiefster View Post
    Also on punts, if the ball touches a member of the receiving team it is then a live ball and can be recovered by anyone. In both cases a fair catch can be called for and the coverage must not tackle the receiver and the receiver can not advance the ball. If, on a kick off, the receiver either fields the ball in the field of play or steps out of the end zone with it then they had better run for all they can get. Once a kick off is fielded in bonds the receiver can not step into the end zone for a touch back. These are some more basics as I understand them.
    True all around...however the fair catch rule is rarely to never used on kickoffs (unless a kick is high and short)
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbedgood View Post
    True all around...however the fair catch rule is rarely to never used on kickoffs (unless a kick is high and short)
    Yeah, it is virtually unseen in kickoffs.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rbedgood View Post
    There is a little difference as the ball is typically coming in a spiral on the punt, not so with the kickoff...

    Also there is a huge difference in formation and blocking schemes. Many "specialists" over the years have done well with both, Eric Metcalf comes to mind very quickly along with Dante Hall.

    Many teams will use a top player for punt returns as the option to fair catch can reduce risk of injury, like Deion Sanders, Steve Smith and Tiki Barber. However those same players rarely to never take a kick-off return.

    Some players (esp rookies) have difficulty learning the nuances of both and may be given on the responsibility of one (Ted Ginn w/ Miami right now).
    Excellent examples!


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    One of the biggest differences is the coverage. On a kickoff, all eleven members of the kicking team are trying to tackle, immediately. Whereas, punt coverage requires several members to block the recieving team from blocking the punt, but, get to send a couple of guys after the reciever, at the snap and before the actual punt. Kickoff returns have a higher average, because noone is allowed to begin their 'coverage' until the ball is kicked and then there are ten blockers, who are prepared for nothing else, like a fake-punt. Therefore, it takes the coverage longer to get to the returner, usually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chief31 View Post
    One of the biggest differences is the coverage. On a kickoff, all eleven members of the kicking team are trying to tackle, immediately. Whereas, punt coverage requires several members to block the recieving team from blocking the punt, but, get to send a couple of guys after the reciever, at the snap and before the actual punt. Kickoff returns have a higher average, because noone is allowed to begin their 'coverage' until the ball is kicked and then there are ten blockers, who are prepared for nothing else, like a fake-punt. Therefore, it takes the coverage longer to get to the returner, usually.
    Yet another series of good examples differentiating one from the other.


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