Question on punt return strategy

Remember when teams used to send two guys back to return punts? At some point it became universal wisdom that one is better than two. Does anyone know why?

You would think the extra guy back could help with blocking, especially this year with return production down so drastically. Also a lot of balls bounce for extra yards because one guy can’t cover the whole field. Everyone plays 11 guys on the line of scrimmage, but it’s not like we’re seeing a lot of blocked punts either.

.....good question.....the only thing that pops to mind is that teams are attempting more fake punts than ever before and maybe having two men off the LOS is too much.....

one danger of two men back is they sometimes get their signals crossed as to who will take the ball.

Also, 1 man back give extra chance to block or rush the kick.

yeah, having to guys to get the ball puts the kicking team to a 9 to 11 disadvatage, and thus more risk of a block punt, weathers one guy back puts it at a much safer 10 to 11. spelling, syntax, logic and synonym mistake for every five words, nice KK, real nice....

I'd like to see someone try a 2-man return formation to see what would happen.

That’s simple, you would likely see the punt get blocked and possession to the D at a better position to score then if the punting team kicked, and/or used one or no guy in the back behind the kicker.

So do you want to regain posesion assuming the player gets the ball back, and that rare, have the return team start on the 20 yard line, or you 50 yard line?

What the hell are you talking about??

check it now.

I dont think you understand that this topic is about the number of kick RETURNERS that are back for the RECEIVING team.

each team has a primary returner. this is who they want returning the ball. with two returners the punter can direct the punt away from the best returner. with only one returner they will often choose to aim out of bounds thus reducing the distance downfield they can kick the ball. the strategy of only having one returner has been part of the reason we see less returns for touchdowns nowadays as the punters have learned it is better to lose yards and kick it out of bounds than kick for distance and get burnt.
his is the explanation that i have been given multiple times and i can buy into it except for this... then why two kickoff returners? esp as this is when the kicker can't hoof it out of bounds to avoid you??

because there is no rush to block the kick.

hmmmm maybe. but it still gives the kicker the ability to kick to the weaker recevier. could you not just have an extra blocker not quite as deep? i suspect that they way it is done is best as someone would have tried changing it up at some point. but i could buy the idea of the combination of having only your strongest returner back and extra player rushing to block the punt would explain it.

Sure, it does. That is precisely why Landry returned so few kicks last season. Kickers were aiming at the other guy. The key is having two capable returners. With Levingston, Bruce and Stokes, the Argos are a good example of a team you would not want to kick to anyone.

By the way, if my memory isn’t failing me, I think I remembered seeing Calgary defend a place kick by puting three kick returners in the end zone this season. I questioned the move because that made one less man rush the kicker and I always though you could cover all the endzone with two returners.

three return men in the endzone usually occurs at the end of a close game where one point can win or tie it. if the team misses the field goal they don't want to let it bounce out the endzone and this way they cover the whole area and have blockers ready to ensure they get it out. the other option is to kick the ball back out but then the other team can try to kick it back in. i can't imagine why else a team would use three back like this

jm02, translation please? :wink:

I do notice that 90% of the kicks are towards the sidelines. I guess thats to "pin" the receiver into a smaller area.