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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Football 101

11:14 PM |

Football 101 for women...Part III

So ladies, again, football season is upon us. Once again it's my mission to help you not be an annoyance to you man during the games. Because I'm sure you all have bigger things to argue about than why he's ignoring you during NFL Sunday. I've already discussed the offense. I've discussed the defense. Now it's time for the special teams.

Special teams are those men that are on the field kicking the ball. They can serve as offensive or defensive and they are only seen randomly throughout a game. Most special teams players are second- and third-string players from other positions. But don't get it twisted, just because it's not your typical all star players on the field at this time doesn't mean they're not important. A special teams play determines where the offense will begin each drive, and it has a dramatic impact on how easy or difficult it is for the offense to score.

Special teams include a kickoff team, a kick return team, a punting team, a punt blocking/return team, a field goal team and a field goal block team. Many times when you kick the ball you are either trying to score or send the ball down the field to the other team. So what are the positions? Here they go

Kicker
Handles kickoffs and field goal attempts, and in some leagues, punts as well.
Translation:He kicks the ball. Typically it's to get it through the field goal and to start off the game.

Holder
Usually positioned 7-8 yards from the line of scrimmage, he holds the ball for the placekicker to kick. The holder is often a backup quarterback or a punter.
Translation: He holds the ball for the kicker to kick. The holder is often a backup quarterback or a punter.

Long snapper
A specialized center who snaps the ball directly to the holder or punter. Thirty-one, of the Thirty-two teams have specialized players just to long snap.
Translation: He tosses the ball to the holder or the punter.

Kick returner
Returns kickoffs, generally is also a wide receiver or cornerback.
Translation:He catches the ball after it's been kicked and runs. Generally is also a wide receiver or cornerback.

Punter
Kicks punts. In leagues other than the NFL, the kicker often doubles as the punter. He's different sometimes from the kicker. When he punts the ball, he gets it directly from the long snapper and kicks it as far down the field as possible during the game.
Translation: He also kicks the ball. Sometimes it's the same guy.

Upback
A blocking back that lines up approximately 1-3 yards behind the line of scrimmage in punting and kneel situations. His primary job is to act as a second line of defense for the punter. Upbacks can receive a direct snap in fake punt situations.
Translation: A guy that keeps the big guys on the other team from hitting the punter so he can kick the ball.

Punt returner
He catches the ball after the punter kicks it. Often the same player as the kick returner, although not necessarily so.

Gunner
A player on kickoffs and punts who specializes in running down the field very quickly in an attempt to tackle the kick returner or the punt returner.
Translation: The fast guy who runs down the field to tackle the guy that catches the ball.

Wedge Buster
A player whose goal is to sprint down the middle of the field on kickoffs. While ideally, their goal is to reach the kick returner, their immediate goal is to disrupt the wall of blockers (the wedge) on kickoffs, preventing the returner from having a lane in which to get a substantial return. Being a wedge buster is a very dangerous position since he may often be running at full speed when coming into contact with a blocker.
Translation: This guy's job is to keep the big guys on the field from letting the kick returner run too far.

Hands Team
Used only during onside kicks. Onside kicks give the kicking team the possibility of getting the ball back. The members of a hands team are responsible for preventing the kicking team from recovering a kick, usually by recovering the ball themselves.

Now that all the teams are covered, we'll need to talk about the game itself. Next lesson: What the f*@% is going on in the game???



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