What Happened to the Quick Kick?

So I was wondering..

What happened to the quick kick?

I've seen some vintage CFL on YouTube and most games from the 60s seem to feature a quick kick now and again.

Why was it ever effective strategy to line up on 1st or 2nd down in an offensive formation and just preemptively have someone like Joe Zuger boot it downfield?

Why did it then become a VERY rare sight in the modern game?


My guess is

The strategy was great and made sense to catch the defence off guard and changing field position quickly but I am thinking the changing views of fans didn't agree with it for entertainment value .

The casual fan may have not fully understood it's strategic value thinking there was no confidence in the offence to move the ball with a entertaining passing and running game .

Also more and more US coaching coming north that were built on US rules which may have not been sold on the quick kick strategy .

Plus maybe finding someone other than the punter to make a decent kick to catch them off guard was difficult . To depend on them may have been hard to do .


I feel like this is one of those things, such as the "wildcat offence" was for a time in professional football aka the "single wing" or "double wing" of old with its remnant now the read-option set, that will show up in a cycle though on a more minor basis because it is akin to a trick play.

But via Canadian rules there is far more versatility and opportunity to use such a play to advantage.

Like Jasmine said, having somebody else on the offence who can also kick the ball reasonably well, let alone on the run, is key because unless they have played other codes of football, it is not easy to do.

I think it was very early this season in the NFL when a punter, though it was not a quick kick play, picked up the ball from behind the line of scrimmage after it was blocked and ran with it and kicked it anew. A penalty flag was thrown for an illegal kick, but upon further review that play is legal also under American rules and all the same caught the receiving team off guard as would have a quick kick.

That punter had experience in Aussie Rules, so it was a routine play for him that would have failed most any NFL punter.


I imagine in a world with less proficient offenses, a less reliable pass game, where defenses could be more dependably relied upon to make a stop, occasionally pinning the other team deep and have the other team march against the wind maybe was good strategy to play a long game getting your team towards the end zone.


Aye and winds have not changed and neither has, well beyond the gridiron, all the hot air, but hey, not to digress ... :stuck_out_tongue:

@Aerial had a good post about the matter of wind in another thread, and well the strategy still remains for such games.

These are all great strategic ideas. Too bad it's only discussed in our forum and not in real time with CFL coaches. That would give me more confidence that they're using the rules to their advantage and not just adopting their American background to our game.

1 Like

The last one I remember seeing was by Randall Cunnigham A very good Philly QB performed a game changing quick kick against the Giants I believe in the 80's. Flipped the field position and the game. He was a very good punter and a imo underrated QB. Very dynamic when playing with Randy Moss after getting traded to Minny.


Researchers contend that sometime around the invention of the Internet, the 'quick kick' was superceded by the way more entertaining 'quick kick in the nads'.


Tom Brady has done it at least 3 times:


That's what his wife says (she's always frowning).



Most likely it's due to specialization on teams now. Back in the day, guys had two jobs on the team.
Jack Abendschan comes to mind with this. He was the place kicker and an O-Lineman.

Quick Kick was meant to be a way to create turnovers. If no one was ready and you had guys onside they could just scoop up the ball and take off.


That was a great find thanks for posting .

1 Like

Yes it was. Gisele Bündchen will just have to learn how to score WITHOUT Tom Brady.


Yup. Back then offenses were more of a grind. If your QB threw for 2000 yards it was a good year. Now 4000 is like a minimum. The quick kick was a potential big play. Since then, the passing game has been refined so that everyone can play vertical. In the 70s the long bomb (although still a low percentage play) became a much better percentage play than the quick kick and so replaced it.


I reember Thomas DeMarco doing it once or twice in the first few years of the Redblacks. I'd imagine that quarterbacks aren't as good at punting as they used to be because they've trained most of their life to be quarterbacks instead of being good at multiple positions and just playing quarterback.

Also, as @prairiedog72 mentioned, a long passing play has a higher chance of success than recovering a quick kick, so it doesn't make sense to risk losing possession when you could throw it and have a chance of incompletion as well as a higher chance of success

1 Like

Well folks, there were moments in the first half of the Eagles versus Bucs that I thought of this thread.

I figured that the Eagles should just quick-kick it, maybe on second down, and play more defence until the second half because they were far more incompetent on offence anyway.


You see it sometimes near the end of a game, when a team is in their own end and has one play/chance to score. They will throw a mid-range pass (since the defence is playing deep to prevent the long bomb), then the receiver will punt it and hope that someone onside can scoop up the ball before the other team realizes what happened.

What I would like to see is someone try a quick kick, but put it through the uprights for a field goal.


That would have to come by way of a drop kick. A punt can't score a field goal.