Punt CoverThis is a featured page

No part of the kicking game can change the course of a game like the punting game. Nowhere in football is field position gained or lost as rapidly as it is in the punting game. On average, each punt is worth 35 yards per exchange.

Our punt coverage philosophy is a containing type of coverage in that we do not want the opponent to break any type of a long return. Football is a game of field position and mistakes. The team with the best field position and makes the fewest mistakes generally win the game. A mistake in the punt coverage can not only present an opponent with excellent field position, but a score – one that could defeat us. Thus, our coverage is designed to present the opponent’s offense with the poorest field position possible. If this is true, then our defense will have the best field position possible and be that much more effective.

Our goal is to net 39 yards per punt. This can be accomplished by:
  1. Perfect Snap!
  2. Firm Protection!
  3. High Hanging Punt!
  4. Aggressive Coverage!
  5. Violent Tackling!
Punt Cover Highlights 1




Training video used to teach and motivate offensive players on our punt cover unit. Similar to our kickoff coverage. Main difference, this is the only time that we use linemen to cover a kick since we punt with the offensive unit on the field.

This video is also updated every season. The players' goal each year has been to make it into the top 5 all time plays.








Punt Cover Highlights 2




First Season
New school. New Team. New players. New coaching staff.

Introducing special teams punt cover concepts into a new program. Basic coverage formations adopted (spread and trips) were influenced by overall team speed, personnel, and punter's average distance.








Punt Cover Alignment
Punter
1. Punter’s depth is 12 yards to 14 yards from the line of scrimmage.
2. The punter’s kicking foot should always be lined up directly behind the football.
3. Time Element:
  • Center Snap – The center must get the football back in 0.7 to 0.8 seconds. The risk of getting a punt blocked goes up with each tenth of a second beyond 0.8 seconds.
  • Punter’s In Hand Time – The punter must be able to get the ball off within 1.2 to 1.3 seconds. Any time taken beyond this margin is not safe.
  • Get Off Time – (Combine snap time and in hand time.) With the center getting the football back in 0.8 seconds and the punter getting the ball kicked in 1.2 seconds, the elapsed time is 2.0 seconds.
  • Hang Time – (The time the football is in the air.) The punter should strive to keep the football in the air for 4.5 seconds. A punt hanging for 4.5 seconds will allow our coverage to keep the return to a minimum. Force the fair catch!
4. Position the football chest high, always a good drop.
5. Ball placement is with the nose slightly down with the laces up.
6. Foot Position: Point the toes of the kicking foot and strike the ball slightly below the center of the football.
7. Hand Control: Right Hand – Controls the football. Left Hand - Guides the football. Hold the football as if you were going
to shake hands with it.

Guards
1. Split two feet to three feet from the center.
2. If opponents in an overload, stack, or ten man rush defense, reduce split to one foot to two feet.
3. Block #2 in your area. (Listen for the #1 call.)
4. Release fast off the line of scrimmage (once you hear the punt) and get into your coverage lane. Maintain moving rake – do
not follow your own color.
5. You are a tracker, keep the returner five yards to your inside shoulder when you break down and close on him.
6. Make the tackle with your inside shoulder.

Tackles
1. Split two feet to three feet from guard.
2. If opponents in an overload, stack, or ten man rush defense, reduce split to one foot to two feet.
3. Identify and block #1 your area. (Listen for change call by Personal Protector.)
4. Release fast off the line of scrimmage (once you hear the punt) and get into your coverage lane. Maintain moving rake – do
not follow your own color.
5. You are a Tracker, keep the returner ten yards to your inside shoulder when you break down and close on him.
6. Make the tackle with your inside shoulder.

Slot Backs
1. Split the difference between the tackle and the wide receiver to your side. Line up one yard deep.
2. Slam release off the line of scrimmage. You are a Forcer, get to the football as fast and as aggressively as possible.
3. Squeeze to the football, converging from outside in, with your inside shoulder on the ball.
4. Maintain leverage on the football with near shoulder.

Punt Cover Personnel
Center: Best long snapper, decent tackler.
Guards: Fastest linemen, decent tacklers.
Tackles: Fastest linemen or tight ends, decent tacklers.
Slot Backs: Best and fastest receivers on the sidelines, can be a running back, good tackler.
Wide Receivers: Best and fastest receivers in the program, good tacklers.
Personal Protector: Starting quarterback (if not the punter) or backup quarterback, or best wide receiver
or running back who can catch, run and accurately throw the football.
Punter: Must have total control and skill to kick the football to assigned zone accurately.

Punt Coverage Responsibilities
Center: If covered (“Storm” or “Cloud” call), block until the football is kicked, Head Tracker like in our kickoff coverage.
If uncovered (“Sky” call), go right to the football and make the tackle, Head Forcer like in our kickoff coverage.
Guards: Block until the football is kicked, Tracker like #2’s in our kickoff coverage.
Tackles: Block until the football is kicked, Tracker like #4’s in our kickoff coverage.
Slot Backs: Forcers, go right to the football and make the tackle, attack outside in, like #3’s in our kickoff coverage.
Wide Receivers: Forcers, go right to the football and make the tackle, attack outside in, like #1’s in our kickoff coverage.
Personal Protector: Call the direction of the punt, alert the team if the punt is short, contain-safety for your half of the field,
like K in our kickoff coverage.
Punter: Call the direction of the punt, alert the team if the punt is short, contain-safety for your half of the field, like K in our
kickoff coverage.

Punt Coverage Process

PC Process

Punt Cover Responsibilities





Teaching punt formations and coverage.

















Punt Coverage Team Objective
1. Get the football away quickly, accurately and consistently.
a) Total kicking time from snap to kick should be under 2.5 seconds maximum and 2.0 seconds ideally.
b) That allows 0.7 seconds for the football to travel 13 to 14 yards from center to the punter’s hands and 1.3 seconds
for the punter to punt the football from the time it touches his hands.
2. Provide good protection that will not break down and force a hurried punt or allow the kick to be blocked.
3. Cover the punt quickly and aggressively.
a) Get as much height as possible so that the football is in the air (hang time) at least 4 seconds (4.3 ideally).
b) The football should travel at least 40 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage.
4. Force a fair catch or hold the return to less than 3 yards. Come off the line of scrimmage fast and stay in your lane. Locate
the football as you cover the punt.
5. If a fair catch signal is given on the 10 yard line – first man down run past the receiver to the goal line and look for the
football if he lets go. Prevent the football from going into the end zone. Get possession of the football.
6. When a returner signals for a fair catch, surround him but do not touch him. Maintain a cushion of 3 yards. If he drops the
football, GET IT!
7. If the returner signals for a fair catch but does not catch the football, he may be allowed to block an opponent.
8. When downing the football, pick it up and hold it until the whistle. NEVER touch it and walk away. You may also down
the football by falling on it. This eliminates any doubt on part of the official.
9. On a “PETER” call by the punter and/or personal protector, coverage must locate the short kick and not allow it to roll
back toward the line of scrimmage.

Rules Pertaining to the Punt
1. To down a punt the covering man must stay with the football until the whistle.
2. If the covering team on a punt touches the football but fails to down it, the receiving team can now try to advance
it at no risk to themselves. (If they gain, they can take the gain. If they fumble or lose yardage, they can elect to take the football where it was first touched by the covering team.)
3. A blocked punt may be advanced by either team.
4. A partially blocked punt that crosses the line of scrimmage is exactly like a regular punt. We should call “Peter”
if it is a short kick.
5. A fair catch signal is the raising of one arm straight above the head.
6. A fair catch cannot be advanced, nor can the fair catcher be bumped or tackled.
7. A muffed fair catch, which hits the ground, is a free ball and belongs to the recovering team.
8. A man signaling a fair catch cannot subsequently block.
9. After making a fair catch, the receiving team has the option of utilizing a free kick on the next play. If it is a place
kick and it goes through the uprights, a field goal is scored.
10. Coverage on a punt cannot interfere with the free movement of a receiver in his effort to catch any punt.

Punt Procedure
1. Each player will assume a two-point stance. The interior linemen will have their hands on their thighs. Wide receivers
and slot backs will have a normal receiver stance with their hands.
2. Each man will make the appropriate blocking call and can point out the man he will block.
3. The personal protector will look to see that we have eleven men on the field and also check the front to make sure
our team is set. His first call will prepare us to listen to the play call.
4. The personal protector can give the formation call, then the protection call. Any protection call made by the personal
protector takes priority over a call made by the front people.
5. After a formation call, the personal protector will call “shift” and the punt team will move quickly to the required
alignment and identify their assignments. It is imperative that each blocker quickly and clearly call out his assigned man.
6. After all are settled the personal protector will re-check the formation and punt team’s alignment before saying “set.”
There can be no movement after the “set” call. The center will pause for at least one second after the “set,” and then snap the football.

Types of Punt

  1. Fly: High deep kicks down the field.
  2. Pooch: High short kicks down the field.
  3. Liner: Low line drive kicks down the field in front of coverage (forcers).
  4. Out of Bounds: Low hard line drive kick towards deep sideline.
Punting Zones
Punting zones are adjusted according to field position. Front three zones adjusted to first down marker.

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website


Calling Punt Coverage
1. Signal or call punt formation to team. NO HUDDLE
2. If you want to change your formation, signal or call the punt formation to the personal protector who will call out the
new formation.
3. Signal or call punt direction or fake and direction to punter.

4. Personal protector will call out the play signaled in from the sideline.

Punt Protection

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website






Punt Coverage Drill

Punt Cover - Coach T's Website



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