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Author Topic: Do you still punt?  (Read 5471 times)

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Offline Shamrocks

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Do you still punt?
« on: August 27, 2012, 10:45:49 AM »
And if so, when?

And for those of you who don't punt, why don't you?

And at what age would you consider punting?


Offline fizzlife

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 11:08:51 AM »
And if so, when?

And for those of you who don't punt, why don't you?

And at what age would you consider punting?

Lot of threads on this. It is becoming more rare, especially by the good teams, even up to the high school level.  I am still not sure I could always not punt, but it would definitely be very rare.

I was happy to hear another assistant talking this past weekend about never punting.  I believe I can see changes in the right direction for our staff.  While our HC has been doing it for a very long time, we also have some new blood, that really are trying to become one of those perrennial good teams and understand there are different ways of doing things.
Dave

Whatever the situation, offering apparently well-reasoned excuses and plausible alibis to explain your failings is simply irresponsible. --Bill Walsh,  Finding The Winning Edge

Offline PSLCOACHROB

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 11:15:39 AM »
We punted once this week. We were in the mercy rule but still moving the chains. On 4th and 2 we punted to get some work in on it and because we wanted to get our defense on the field to get some work for our back ups. We have learned our lesson about punting. The other team punted once. We blocked it and returned it for a td. It was called back for a block in the back but we still ended up with better field position than if they would of just went for it. We gave up 5 tds last year in 17 games, 2 on special teams.

Offline CoachJJ

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 11:18:40 AM »
I dont have any statistics for this ... but Kevin Kelley at Pulaski Academy does ... and I believe them over a decade before I ever heard of this guy ... it is painfully obvious to me but I will explain that in a minute ... first here are a couple of links ...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/scorecasting/09/15/kelley.pulaski/index.html



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Offline PSLCOACHROB

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
Those 2 times we punted we were 4th and long deep in our own territory. In those situations we would probably still do it again. One was a 0-0 tie at the time.

Offline davecisar

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2012, 11:34:30 AM »
Those 2 times we punted we were 4th and long deep in our own territory. In those situations we would probably still do it again. One was a 0-0 tie at the time.

Ive seen MANY games at the Pop Warner and AYF National Championhips decided by punting. You guys had 1 as well.

To beat the tomato cans- never have to punt
FAKE punts are the best part of the punting game
To beat the elite teams= you have to excell in all parts of the game- including punting

One year at 7-8th grade I think we lined up to punt something like 13 times- we faked 10 of them and got 9 first downs. The other 3 we punted out of bounds and picked up 25-30 yards. Had we NOT punted, we wouldnt have had a legit punt fake opp- one from our own 10 yard line- with something like 8 yards to go etc

Penalties happen, bobbled snaps happen- eventually everyone is in a 4th and 15, 4th and 10, 4th and 8 etc
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Winston Churchill

Offline CoachJJ

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2012, 11:41:54 AM »
After you read and watch the above links ... let me just add that I believe in the following things ...

1. Youth football has far more breakaway TDs than grind it out 10-12 play drives ...
2. A breakaway TD scores from 50 or 60 yards out just as easily as it scores from 20 yards ...
3. If a team is good enough to force us to punt then it is good enough to block the punt ...
4. If a team is good enough to force us to punt then it is good enough to score from anywhere on the field ...
5. If they score quickly we get the ball back quickly (no I am not scared of the other team scoring) ...
6. First downs are much easier to get if you use 4 downs instead of 3 ...
7. Mistakes happen in the punting game far more often than they do on offense ...
8. Missing a 4th down conversion is a mistake ... so is getting a punt blocked ... if we make a mistake on 4th down I want it to hurt as little as possible ...
9. Teams that punt assume they are getting a better result ...
10. Voluntarily giving the ball to the opponents is NEVER the right answer ...
11. Yes, I preferred 'make it, take it' in halfcourt pickup basketball games ...
12. Bad field position can lose a game for you ... getting 1st downs on 4th down can win a game for you ... and we convert at least 4 to 1 (some drives we convert 3 or 4 times on 4th down) ...
13. Practice time is too valuable to spend on something I might not do ... its why we REMOVE plays from our offense each year so we arent wasting time on them if we dont run them ... so if not punting is only going to hurt us once a year then I accept that and get hundreds of more reps on the plays that we use to get 1st downs ...
14. In 15 years I have never punted in a youth game (freshmen football at the HS they made us install it and the HC used to get IRATE when we went for it and converted on 4th down because he believes in field position) ...
15. In 15 years we have never lost a youth game where I believed that PUNTING would have helped us win ...

Here is an article I wrote about this very subject ...
http://www.coachsomebody.com/never-punt-always-onside-kick/
Coach JJ
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"Football may be the best-taught subject in American High Schools because it may be the only subject that we haven't tried to make easy."

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Online mahonz

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 12:11:53 PM »
 
Second graders punting…dumb.

Eight graders punting…smart.

Everything in-between is a progression.

If you believe you never need to punt or you don’t have to punt then you must play nothing but crappy teams. Punting…and fake punting is a huge part of winning a championship where all things are equal and all phases of the game are well played.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t punt on 4th and 10 from your own 20 during the last game of the season of all the marbles. And you will have some 4th and 10’s….you are playing the best team your league has to offer. 

So….best to get good at punting all season long to better  prepare for when it really matters. A lesson I learned the hard way.   

...and I completely agree with JJ's articles but its too risky at times.
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline PSLCOACHROB

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 12:27:58 PM »
Last year at nationals we were playing an extremely disciplined and fundamentally sound team. We were uncharacteristically putting the ball on the ground in the 1st half(qb and center were a little freaked about the whole championship thing). The opponent punted very well and had obviously practiced special teams extensively. They were continually able to flip field position on us due to punting and our poor execution in the first half. We gained over 300 yds to their well under 100 yds and held them to 2 first downs(both late in the 4th). We punted to try and flip field position because we were pinned deep. Big mistake. They scored. We were forced to drive 70-80yds every drive and they either stopped us or more often than not we shot ourselves in the foot. The reality is the only reason they were able to hang with us(besides our mistakes)was their superior punting game. I am no fan of punting and we rarely use it. But in a pretty close game it can be the difference. I agree with you JJ but as always their is that rare exception.

Offline CoachC.

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 02:27:08 PM »
The league I coach in 6-8 and 9-11 year olds use to punt, with no rush from Defense, about 2 years ago we went with no punt. You can go for it on 4th and whatever or you can say punt and the referees will back the other team up 25 yards and not inside the 20

Offline bigshel

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 03:37:34 PM »
I guess I'm in the minority of youth coaches that still punt as part of a field position strategy (rightly or wrongly).  When we punt, it's usually a function of (1) current field position, (2) yards to gain for a first down, or (3) how well we're executing (or not, as the case may be) on offense and/or defense.

Of course, we have been blessed with kids that can actually kick the ball fairly well.  For the past couple of seasons, we've had a kid that can punt the ball 35-40 yards consistently with hang time.  Admittedly, this kid is the exception, not the rule. 

In addition, we practice punt protection and coverage more than the average youth team - mostly in games where we're up 28+ points.  I've mentioned in another thread that we have rules that kick in at that point differential which prevent us from running outside the tackes, passing, or blitzing.  To keep opponents from putting 11 in the box and teeing off on our kids, we have taken to punting on first down, and giving our 2nd and 3rd tier players game experience on defense.  This also gives us time to work on punt protection and coverage.  At that point, the clock is running, and the game is little more than a scrimmage anyway, so why not?

Not saying what anyone else should do, but it works for us.

Offline CoachJJ

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 11:22:05 PM »

Second graders punting…dumb.

Eight graders punting…smart.

Everything in-between is a progression.

If you believe you never need to punt or you don’t have to punt then you must play nothing but crappy teams. Punting…and fake punting is a huge part of winning a championship where all things are equal and all phases of the game are well played.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t punt on 4th and 10 from your own 20 during the last game of the season of all the marbles. And you will have some 4th and 10’s….you are playing the best team your league has to offer. 

So….best to get good at punting all season long to better  prepare for when it really matters. A lesson I learned the hard way.   

...and I completely agree with JJ's articles but its too risky at times.

Actually Mike, if we played all crappy teams we would probably work on punting ... The thing is we need 4 downs against the good and great teams in order to get 1st downs sometimes ... And because we are prepared to fight for every inch of the field we can even beat some of those good/great teams sometimes and we are ALWAYS able to give them a game !!!

I wish I could understand why so many guys give up on finding a compelling argument and instead just claim that anyone playing like this must be playing crappy teams ... If memory serves Mike you have said the same exact thing about playing taps all game ...

I have a bunch of video on YouTube and I have given out at least 100 hilite DVDs over the years ... We play our share of crappy teams ... And we play our share of talented teams ... Well coached teams ... All types of teams ... And yet we continue to win games with all these bad ideas and misguided schemes ... lol
Coach JJ
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"Football may be the best-taught subject in American High Schools because it may be the only subject that we haven't tried to make easy."

~Dorothy Farnan
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  Erasmus Hall High School - Brooklyn, New York

Offline CoachJJ

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 11:30:06 PM »
Last year at nationals we were playing an extremely disciplined and fundamentally sound team. We were uncharacteristically putting the ball on the ground in the 1st half(qb and center were a little freaked about the whole championship thing). The opponent punted very well and had obviously practiced special teams extensively. They were continually able to flip field position on us due to punting and our poor execution in the first half. We gained over 300 yds to their well under 100 yds and held them to 2 first downs(both late in the 4th). We punted to try and flip field position because we were pinned deep. Big mistake. They scored. We were forced to drive 70-80yds every drive and they either stopped us or more often than not we shot ourselves in the foot. The reality is the only reason they were able to hang with us(besides our mistakes)was their superior punting game. I am no fan of punting and we rarely use it. But in a pretty close game it can be the difference. I agree with you JJ but as always their is that rare exception.

There is an exception to every rule ... Like I said we focus on dominating the situations that occur the vast majority of the time ... We want to ensure that we win the 99% and then try to overcome the 1% ...

It is possible that if your team didn't try to punt and didn't shoot itself in the foot numerous times that day that you may have won in a blowout ... The punt alone may have been a 14 point swing ...
Coach JJ
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"Football may be the best-taught subject in American High Schools because it may be the only subject that we haven't tried to make easy."

~Dorothy Farnan
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  Erasmus Hall High School - Brooklyn, New York

Online mahonz

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 11:40:22 PM »
JJ

If you never need to punt or dont have to punt ...ever for an entire season...then you are never in a dog fight in a sudden death type game with a lot on teh line...was my point.

So...you are playing nothing but crappy opponents. Or you are so above the oppenets every week in every facet of the game. Take you pick....they mean the same thing.

I actually agree with all of the philosophies you posted up.. Makes perfect sense until you are faced with a real situation. Then what?

Playing full taps 100% of the time....works against the crappy teams always. Works against the better teams as well. I dont understand your point here.  :(
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline Coach D

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Re: Do you still punt?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 12:04:19 AM »
My two cents is this...  After reading up on Pulaski Academies philosophy about punting and agreeing with it just about 100 percent, I will still take a little bit of time to have a punt team ready (based on some of things already mentioned by the Veteran coaches on here).  However, we punted only once last year and here's why.  Unless you have a kid who can punt 50 plus yards (which I have yet to see) I am taking my chances on 4th down.  Even 4th and 10 on my own 20.  If I punt the ball from my 20, even if my punt team covers great, chances are, my punter has only kicked it about 20 to 30 yards.  That isn't worth it to me to chance a quick kid getting a chance to do his thing in open field.  The reason you see punts in college and the pros, is because typically, those punters can get the ball down field and get the other teams offense starting with their back to the wall.  There are just not many punters who can do that.   

Most of us onside kick.  We do it because there is almost a zero chance of return, and we get a better shot at keeping the ball.  If we all had a youth kicker who could kick the ball into the opponents end zone, we would maybe opt for that... but none of us do, so we onside!  I see punting much the same way....  JMHO  ;)