the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Special Teams the Key to Victory

It has long been said that “defense wins championships”.

However, some now argue that rule changes over the years have tipped the balance of power to the offense.

Of course we all know that neither of those is the real answer. We asked those-in-the-know the following question:
Why is Special Teams the most important element of football?
Jared Guberman, Ultimate Kicking Academy
"Special Teams is the most important element of football because it sets the tempo of a game, determines field position, swings the momentum of a game and builds confidence in a team. A team feeds off whether a kick is great or if there is a big tackle or if the opposing teams starting field position is horrible. Starting field position is one of the most important statistics in a team's ability to score on a drive. From the snappers, holders, kickers/punters to the coverage teams every aspect of the special teams is important and can determine the outcome of a game."

"Field position, field position, field position! I believe it was John Madden who once quoted, "Ray Guy (long-time Raider punter) was the best defensive player I have ever coached." That says it all."

"Special teams controls the field position of the game, therefore it creates and provides the offense's and defense's opportunities."

"The momentum factor!
  • Kick Off return for a touchdown
  • Punt return for a touchdown
  • Long FG at the end of the 1st half
  • Big hit on Kick Off coverage
  • Big hit on Punt coverage
  • Cause a turnover
  • Big hit by a kicker or punter"
"The biggest change in field position happens on a special teams play."

"It presents the best chance for a quick strike and for momentum to swing back your way."

Nathan Chapman, ProKick Australia
"Simple, they come to us (special teams) when they cant get the job done. They ask us to clean up the mess of bad field position or score if they can not take it all the way. I am sure they will not admit it but deep down they love special teams."

"It is commonly said that football is a game of inches and that couldn't be truer. When a punter or kickoff unit can consistently pin the opposition near its goal and force a long field it makes for that many more "inches" to travel for a score. When a kicker consistently converts on kicks it is not only a victory for the scoreboard but also crucial for momentum and yet another opportunity to keep the other team on the other side of the field.

You want to know why Special Teams are so important? Answer me this question... Without Adam Vinatieri's clutch kicks in the AFC Championship game vs the Raiders or in the Super Bowl that same year, who is Tom Brady and who is Bill Belichick?
Answer: A backup from Michigan with no rings and a journey-man coach with a losing record with the Browns."

"In any given game, there is more yardage exchanged in Special Teams plays than both team's offenses combined!"

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