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Why do punters stand so far back?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by loofasisgeek, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. loofasisgeek

    loofasisgeek On the Roster

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    Seeing Moormans 75 yd punt from back of endzone got me thinking... BB seems to value 5 yd differences in field position and Special Teams play in general a great deal. I don't think I have seen too many punts blocked on short ball-on-the-one snaps. Why not have the punter stand 4-5 yards closer to the LOS?
     
  2. MrClutch

    MrClutch Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It's easier to block the punt if they're too close to the LOS?
     
  3. Grogan's neck roll

    Grogan's neck roll On the Game Day Roster

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    MrClutch is correct, blocks would be easier, given the minimum two steps a punter takes prior to kicking.

    Additionally, for the punter to get protection as a kicker, the offense must be in scrimmage kick formation, which means the punter must be a minimum of 7 yards behind the center.
     
  4. RayClay

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    Yeah, that would have been my guess.:D
     
  5. loofasisgeek

    loofasisgeek On the Roster

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    "It's easier to block the punt if they're too close to the LOS?"

    Hey how about you stand the punter 20 yards back? It would be EVEN harder to block the punt. Duh.


    Try to think past the dogma.

    Would 3 yds closer be too close? How much more likely is a block for each yard closer? You say that it would be easier to block. Any stats to back that up? Any anecdotal evidence?

    QB's don't always take snap under center, they sometimes go shotgun depending on the situation. They don't alway's drop back 5 steps - they sometimes drop 7 or 3 - depending on the situation.

    So why would punting not be the same?

    So you lose the protections that 7 yards gets you. That IS serious. Would you ever choose to run that risk?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  6. Va_Pats_Fan

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    BB actually talked about this in a presser last year. There is an ideal distance. Too close, and the push from the line can get you. Too far, and the angles from the side are too oblique and a rusher can get to the punter quickly.
     
  7. Tunescribe

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    You need to consider how far the center can snap it as well. The distance is pretty scientifically determined, considering the rush, the fact the punter is stepping forward, and rushing angles from the edge. Watch where everybody is when the ball leaves the punter's foot -- everyone is pretty close and it's often like the punter's in a quarterback-like pocket.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  8. Canada's #1 Pats Fan

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    Because we don't have Moorman punting for us, that's why.
     
  9. Va_Pats_Fan

    Va_Pats_Fan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Did you see the safety in Denver a few years back. That ball was in the 15th row.....
     
  10. Tunescribe

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    Actually, it hit the goal post. The fact is he wasn't trying to snap it 20 yards back with any kind of accuracy.
     
  11. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    So there's a rule that states a punter has to be 7 yards behind the LOS?? OR a punter needs to be that far back for other rules to be in effect? (Don't know this last one just assuming..) What about quick kicks?? Pennington's last year? Brady's in 03??
     
  12. alamo

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    I can understand if that is a rule-of-thumb common practice, but the way you say it implies it's an offical rule. And I can't find that rule (using the rulebook Miguel posted). In fact, the rule below seems to contradict you. The only possible allowance I can see for running into a kicker who is too close to the line would be (b), "caused by the kicker’s own motions", and I can't see how a kicker 5 or 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage would necessarily fall under that provision. Searching the entire document for "seven yards" and "7 yards" yields nothing.

    Rule 12, Section 2.
    Article 6 No defensive player may run into or rough a kicker who kicks from behind his line unless such contact:
    (a) is incidental to and after he has touched the kick in flight;
    (b) is caused by the kicker’s own motions;
    (c) occurs during a quick kick;
    (d) occurs during a kick or after a run behind the line;
    (e) occurs after the kicker recovers a loose ball on the ground; or
    (f) is caused because a defender is blocked into the kicker.
    Penalty: For running into the kicker: Loss of five yards from the previous spot, no automatic
    first down. (This is not a personal foul). For roughing the kicker or holder, loss
    of 15 yards from the previous spot. (This is a personal foul, and also disqualification
    if flagrant).
    SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES
    (1) Avoiding the kicker is a primary responsibility of defensive players if they do not touch the
    kick.
    (2) Any contact with the kicker by a single defensive player who has not touched the kick is running into the kicker.
    (3) Any unnecessary roughness committed by defensive players is roughing the kicker.
    Severity of contact and potential for injury are to be considered.
    (4) When two defensive players are making a bona fide attempt to block a kick from scrimmage
    (punt, drop kick, and/or placekick) and one of them runs into the kicker after the kick
    has left the kicker’s foot at the same instant the second player blocks the kick, the foul for
    running into the kicker shall not be enforced, unless in the judgment of the Referee, the player
    running into the kicker was clearly the direct cause of the kick being blocked.
    (5) If in the judgment of the Referee any of the above action is unnecessary roughness, the penalty
    for roughing the kicker shall be enforced from the previous spot as a foul during a kick.
    A. R. 12.13 Kicker A1 in punt formation muffs a snap. He recovers on the ground and then kicks. A1 is run
    into, blocked, or tackled by B1 who had started his action when A1 first recovered.
    Ruling: Legal action by B1.
    A. R. 12.14 A1 receives a snap. He starts to run but after a few strides, he kicks from behind his line. As A1
    kicks, he is tackled or run into.
    Ruling: The kicker is to be protected, but the Referee should use his judgment when ordinary
    line play carries an opponent into such a kicker or at any time when it is not obvious that a kick
    is to be made (quick kick).
    A. R. 12.15 Fourth-and-12 on B30. On a field-goal attempt which is not good, receiver B1 runs into the kicker
    without touching the ball.
    Ruling: A’s ball fourth-and-7 on B25. Running into the kicker. If the field goal had been good,
    no penalty would be enforced on the succeeding kickoff, since it was not a personal foul.
     
  13. Mike the Brit

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    At some stage, punters (or special teams coaches) decided that the best way to punt was up the middle with a maximum of time in the air. For that, you need to have enough time to get all the power you can into the kick and so the punter stands a long way back.

    To someone who has watched (or played) rugby, NFL punting seems slow-motion, almost statuesque. The alternative that you could envisage would be to kick from closer with a quicker release. In that case you would sacrifice some power.

    But what if you sacrificed hang time and punted for a longer distance with a lower trajectory? Aren't you risking out-kicking your coverage? Yes, but what if you kick to the sidelines? I just watched the Titans (didn't get the name of the punter) kick to the sidelines deliberately to avoid Reggie Bush. 46 yards AND NO RETURN. Wouldn't we all settle for a net punting average of 46 yards? And you could give your punt coverage unit the afternoon off.

    It would take some practice and technique to organize this and I'm not sure that any of the NFL's current special teams coaches are that innovative, but sooner or later, I think, it should be tried.
     
  14. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I believe what you're talking about is akin to, if not exactly, a [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffin_corner_%28football%29]coffin corner[/url] punt.
     
  15. Mike the Brit

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    Yes, but coffin corner punts are used, I believe, in situations where the field is short as an alternative to the attempt to kick a high punt that is downed by your own team (what rugby players call an "up and under").

    I haven't seen even coffin corner punts used that often or effectively, I assume because NFL punters are straight leg/long swing kickers who don't have much experience of accurate placement. (Rugby players, by contrast, use a spiral technique when they "kick for touch" (= kick for the sidelines) which is believed to give a low, accurate trajectory).
     
  16. eastsrule

    eastsrule On the Roster

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    That was former Patriot, Josh Miller, punting for the titans.


    wtf.... why did we release miller for hanson.
     
  17. alamo

    alamo praedica numerum! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Actually, we released him for Danny Baugher, who having won the job then showed he wasn't a good choice. (Exactly how, we don't know, but he won the job and not too much later was cut).

    As far as Hanson goes... I was at the final preseason game, and he executed an excellent coffin-corner punt. It was a thing to behold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  18. RayClay

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    Obviously, through trial and error, teams determined a safe distance to punt from. You want them to greatly increase the risk of getting it blocked or shanking one?

    The total benefit for this increased risk would be two or three yards. This does not include the possibility of flatter punts leading to greater returns.

    Good luck with that plan.
     
  19. khayos

    khayos In the Starting Line-Up

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    Why are field goals always 17 yards away from the marking on the field of play?
     
  20. Mike the Brit

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    Oh... you're joking! :bricks:

    Unbelievable! Have Miller and then Sauerbrun on the roster, have TWO punters on the practice squad and still can't come up with a decent one? What next? Cut Hanson and bring back Ken Walter?
     

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