Read my Kickoff Return Team Checklist here.

Read my Kickoff Team Checklist here.

Read my article about neutralizing the Punt Team Gunners here.

1 Are we on turf or grass this week?
a If turf, tendency of ball bounce when it lands?
2 Which return should we use?
3 How can we best block their kick?
a Are we going to be able to block it off edge or up middle?
b What is the depth of their punter?
4 What punt formations do they have?
a Strengths of their formations?
b Weaknesses of their formations?
5 When do they snap the ball?
a Cadence or motion?
6 Where do they like to punt?  Straight?  Angle?
a When on a hash, does angle of punt change?
7 Do they huddle on the field?
8 Average distance of punts?
a How far back do we place our returners?
9 Create a “land” chart.  (Where the balls land from middle,hashes)
a Best place to place our returner from middle, hashes?
10 What number is their regular kicker?
a Left or right footed?
b Is there a backup kicker?  Number?
11 What number is their long snapper?
a How strong are the snaps?
b Does the longsnapper cover punts or block?
12 Who has the most punt team tackles?
a Where does he line up?
b Does he line up in the same spot all the time?
13 Do they have linemen covering the punt, or faster kids?
14 What is the path of their contain guys?
15 Coverage lanes cross?  Or come straight down?
16 What kind of fakes do they have?
a Do they have a QB or backup QB as an upback, or punter?
b Is punter a threat as a runner?  Speed?
d Starting WR or RB on punt team for a fake?
d Where on the field do they have a tendency to fake?
e Any tendency to fake depending on the yards to sticks?
Game Day Considerations
1 Field Conditions?  Dry?  Wet?  Mud?
2 Wind?  Behind us, coming at us, cross?
a How does wind change where our returner lines up?
b How will the wind effect the snap?
3 Moisture in air?
4 Injuries to their punter, longsnapper?
5 Field condition on hashes if we are returning that way?


Coach Fore is a consults teams on their Special Teams through his Eight Laces consulting business.  You can find a Kick/Punt Returns and Blocks Manual, his Shield Punt Manual and more at  He has a Shield Punt E Clinic here.