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Author Topic: Why not to punt  (Read 3549 times)

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Offline Threepwood

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Why not to punt
« on: October 09, 2011, 07:50:59 PM »
I don't punt - for many reasons that has been discussed here before.  I didn't punt when I was coaching the 13-14 year olds.  I am coaching the 7-8 years this year and on Saturday, we played a team that gave the prime example of why not to punt.

4th & 20 or so, they elect to punt.  For the 7/8s we have a no rush for punts.  The take the ball and kick it straight up.  It hits the ground and bounces towards their goal.  It wound up to be a -10 yd punt.

4th and 20 or so a second time.  The punt, it goes straight up and ball bounces sidways for about a -5 yd punt.

3rd punt (i don't remember how far), they kick a line drive straight into their left guards butt and it bounces back for another negative punt.

They gave up punting after that.

Offline CoachKgs

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 09:11:04 PM »
I don't punt - for many reasons that has been discussed here before.  I didn't punt when I was coaching the 13-14 year olds.  I am coaching the 7-8 years this year and on Saturday, we played a team that gave the prime example of why not to punt.

4th & 20 or so, they elect to punt.  For the 7/8s we have a no rush for punts.  The take the ball and kick it straight up.  It hits the ground and bounces towards their goal.  It wound up to be a -10 yd punt.

4th and 20 or so a second time.  The punt, it goes straight up and ball bounces sidways for about a -5 yd punt.

3rd punt (i don't remember how far), they kick a line drive straight into their left guards butt and it bounces back for another negative punt.

They gave up punting after that.

Punting is a strategic move, but apparently not for your last opponent.   ;)

Offline markhansen

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 09:50:12 PM »
I don't know, it worked great for our opponent this weekend.  Our 9's never punt and have had only a few teams punt to us this year.  In this game, on the first punt it goes through our guys hands and hits his foot and they recover - their 4th and 25 becomes their ball after a 15 yrd punt.  We stop them again and tell our guys to just let the ball go, don't send anybody back.  They punt the ball and two of our guys from the line race the other linemen back to the ball and try to recover it but muff and they recover.  Our opponents 2nd and 3rd most successful plays of the game were  punts.

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 10:09:51 PM »
we played a team that gave the prime example of why not to punt.
Maybe the title of this thread should be "Why Not to Punt, Poorly."

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Offline CoachGugs

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 10:58:41 PM »
I don't punt - for many reasons that has been discussed here before.  I didn't punt when I was coaching the 13-14 year olds.  I am coaching the 7-8 years this year and on Saturday, we played a team that gave the prime example of why not to punt.

4th & 20 or so, they elect to punt.  For the 7/8s we have a no rush for punts.  The take the ball and kick it straight up.  It hits the ground and bounces towards their goal.  It wound up to be a -10 yd punt.

4th and 20 or so a second time.  The punt, it goes straight up and ball bounces sidways for about a -5 yd punt.

3rd punt (i don't remember how far), they kick a line drive straight into their left guards butt and it bounces back for another negative punt.

They gave up punting after that.

It took them that long to stop...lol
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Offline 2ez

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 12:00:31 AM »
Why to punt..............  4 and 10 ball on your 20 and your punter gets into one and it rolls to the opposite 10yd line.  Age 9-10yr olds.

Why not to punt same year 0-0 your center snaps it over your punter and you get a safety and lose 2-0.............. 


Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 11:48:48 AM »
We have the option to "declare" a punt, wherein we give the team the ball 15 yards downfield (2nd graders).  It seems like a million years ago, but back when my defense was working, we were shutting down teams something like 18 out of 20 plays.  They would typically score on 2 big plays per game and that was it.  Based on that, I was in favor of going for it on 4th and long.  I'm often at odds with another AC on the sidelines who thinks we need to declare the punt more often and play a field position game.  Field position rarely means anything with 2nd graders.  Typical teams have just as much of a chance to score from 5 out or 50 out.  I'll even make the argument that when our offense is clicking, having WORSE starting field position works to our advantage as we'll eat up a lot of plays on our way to the end zone.  We don't have a clock, but a set number of plays per quarter.  We're also one of the only ball-control offenses in the league.
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 01:02:05 PM »
We're also one of the only ball-control offenses in the league.

Lar

Which just like last year....probably isnt a good thing. Starting next year I think it will begin to be a good thing for you.

Good post. Field position really seems like the last thing to think about at this level.
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Offline Michael

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 01:07:44 PM »
Yeah, at that age, I'd probably rather have the ball 3rd and 20 than 4th and 3.
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 01:16:44 PM »
I don't punt - for many reasons that has been discussed here before.  I didn't punt when I was coaching the 13-14 year olds.  I am coaching the 7-8 years this year and on Saturday, we played a team that gave the prime example of why not to punt.

4th & 20 or so, they elect to punt.  For the 7/8s we have a no rush for punts.  The take the ball and kick it straight up.  It hits the ground and bounces towards their goal.  It wound up to be a -10 yd punt.

4th and 20 or so a second time.  The punt, it goes straight up and ball bounces sidways for about a -5 yd punt.

3rd punt (i don't remember how far), they kick a line drive straight into their left guards butt and it bounces back for another negative punt.

They gave up punting after that.

W

I had a change of heart on the not punting thing about 10 years ago.

We had a pretty good looking team of 9 year olds so we won 7 out of 8 games during the regular season and never considered punting…although we did practice it as an after thought on occasion. Won the first round of the playoffs in typical fashion. Got to the Conference Championship game and all hell broke loose. We really needed to be able to punt well. It got so bad I took a run out of the back of the end zone safety rather than attempt to punt again.

Our opponent had our number and ransacked us 38-6 because most of their drives started inside our own 15-yard line. Our only regular season loss was to this same team...20-13 or something normal like that.

I committed to being a very good punt team after that. By the time this team were 8th graders our punter could kick it 40-50 yards in the air with tremendous hang time as the norm. He was so good I got after him to attend all of the off-season kicking camps so that he would continue to shine in HS and get some real looks from the colleges as a kicker. He could KO out of the endzone as an 8th grader as well and made his first FG when he was 11. PAT kicks were nearly automatic as a 10 year old. 

His HS career lasted a few seasons. He is now a model and out of football as a Senior. I guess the girls don’t care about kickers.  ::)
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Offline Coach Ike

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 12:51:50 AM »
His HS career lasted a few seasons. He is now a model and out of football as a Senior. I guess the girls don’t care about kickers.  ::)

Can't blame him if he'd rather chase something other than balls  :P
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Offline belebuch

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 02:04:36 AM »
Can't blame him if he'd rather chase something other than balls  :P

 :D

Offline DumCoach

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 02:56:19 AM »
We have the option to "declare" a punt, wherein we give the team the ball 15 yards downfield (2nd graders).  It seems like a million years ago, but back when my defense was working, we were shutting down teams something like 18 out of 20 plays.  They would typically score on 2 big plays per game and that was it.  Based on that, I was in favor of going for it on 4th and long.  I'm often at odds with another AC on the sidelines who thinks we need to declare the punt more often and play a field position game.  Field position rarely means anything with 2nd graders.

I disagree.  I played "field position" football with 2nd graders all the time.  I actually won most of my games with it with the bobbleheads.


Quote
  Typical teams have just as much of a chance to score from 5 out or 50 out.

I'm willing to take my chances on starting on my opponent's 5.  :)

Here's how I played it.  I had the same "15 yard" punt rule as you.  In the first half, the score would be low, if not tied (often 0-0).  That's because a 100 yards is long ways to score for the little guys and I coach pretty good defense. So the ball tended to move back and forth between the 40's.  So I'd punt from his 40 to his 25. 

In the second half, I could always count on my opponent to finally "go for it" on fourth down from his own 25.  At this moment I was virtually guaranteed to win the game.  He wouldn't make it and it's probably my ball on his 30.  If I only go 5 yards and punt, it's his ball on his own 10.

What he does next, doesn't matter.  If he goes three and out and punts, my ball on the 30 again.  If he goes four and out without punting, my ball on his 10. 

Either way, I'm going to win.  My running backs start smelling the goal line.

Oddly enough, it was only with bobbleheads and mandated 15 yard punts that I was able to coach winning "field position" football.  As soon as that rule was gone at the older ages, they'd punt - And punt 25 yards (35 if you're guy didn't field it.) instead of just 15.  So they got themselves out of trouble. 

So my theory reversed.  Now instead of punting, I went for it.  By this age I could move the ball with more than just two players (DC Wing T) so I had pretty good odds of getting the first down.  I also didn't like who I would have been punting to.  They always had their "best guy" back there and it seemed my "best guy" was either punting the ball or blocking for him.  It's really hard to get good downfield coverage under these conditions (It wasn't just me that had this problem.  My opponents had it also.  I routinely ran their punts back to the original LOS, often with their punter making the tackle, the only guy I didn't block.).  Downfield coverage at the youth level is hard to do because SKILL falls off very quickly and the unskilled players you send down to cover the punt have to make an "open field" tackle versus ca skilled player.  Defensively, I really hate to see any of my defenders placed in a position of making an open field tackle against the other team's best player running in open space.  So my first inclination is to "go for it" on fourth down.

But, as Mahonz said, sooner or later, WE ALL HAVE TO PUNT.  I just choose for it to be later and, when I do punt,  I "DC Punt".  I'm not going to let them return it.  As I said, I don't believe in open field tackles.  I don't want to give up a cheap 6 points.  I average about (and no more) than four "DC Punts" a year ("DC Punt" is a quick kick on fourth down.).  I've only had to use it once, but I also have another punt called "Sidelines Punt", where we actually do punt the ball.  But again, I don't let them return it.  The punter aims the ball to within 5 yards of the sidelines where it either goes out of bounds or rolls downfield for another 10 yards.  Either way, no return.  If my punter ever punts the ball down the middle of the field, he'll be running laps all week.

So give me a team of bobbleheads and a 15 yard punting rule and I'll be punting my opponent deep all the time.  Take away that rule and now I'm not looking to punt at all unless I absolutely have to (Mahonz).  And, if I do punt, there will be NO RETURN.

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Offline coachJR

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Re: Why not to punt
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 07:23:11 AM »
Just like anything else, if you do it in a game, you better have prepared for it in practice.  Last year "Punt" was one of the better plays for our 11/12 year old team.  Guaranteed to gain at least 30 yards of field position.  Teams were not ready for our punter, and he usually hit it over their PR's head, or at least kicked a line drive that was hard to field.  In one game he boomed a 35 yard, high arching spiral that got lots of oooohs and aaaahs. 
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