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KICKOFF RETURNS-GENERAL INFORMATION

We will have basic kickoff return calls. These are:

1. Kickoff Return - Middle

2. Kickoff Return - Right

3. Kickoff Return - Left

4. Kickoff Return - Convert Right-Left

5. Hands Team

We will have basic assignments for each of the above returns, and these assignments will be adjusted each week, if necessary, in order to take advantage of the specific coverage pattern being used by our opponent. We will also make some adjustments, when warranted, to take advantage of opponents' personnel weak- nesses.

It is essential we field kickoffs in the air, and our backs other than the safety must be prepared to field short kicks which come to them.

There are several situations which require special preparations as we prepare to return a kickoff. These are listed below and explained briefly:

1. Hands Team We will use special personnel and a special kickoff return alignment in those situations where we know it is extremely likely that our opponent will attempt a short kickoff. When the short kick is something we feel is a concern but still less than a 50% possibilitY, we will keep our regular kickoff return personnel in the game adjusting their alignment somewhat in order to defend against such a kick. In the latter situation, we will have a regular return called and will employ it if our opponent kicks away.

2. Squib Kick Defense When we know an opponent is going to squib kick, we will loosen the men on our wedge in order to better cover the field against a bounced kick. Halfbacks should also be alert for a ball squibbed to them. Anyone on the wedge who fields a squib kickoff should return it straight ahead being certain to cover the ball with both arms.

3. Converting to a Sideline Return Whenever the ball is kicked down a sideline away from where we had intended to return it, we will auto- matically convert to a special type of return up the side where the ball has been kicked. This adjustment will prevail against both regular and squib kickoffs.

••

1. Objectives:

Gain good field position 35-40 yard line). Score. Set the TEMPO of the game in our favor with good returns, hard hitting, intimidation. No clipping penalties and no fumbles.

2. It is a FREE BALL after going ten yards, or touching one of us. Down it or return it, unless you are sure it is going out of bounds.

3. Study your man in films. Learn your assignments. Timing is essential for good execution. This will come with practice, experience and film study.

4. Be determined you are going to successfully carry out your assignment. Get your man. It is a game of inches. A little extra speed, effort, hustle and follow through, may mean the difference in our ball carrier breaking loose.

1

(Kick Off Return=continued)

**

5. DO NOT CLIP. This can cost us forty to fifty yards. We can end up back on our own ten yard line rather than being at mid-field. It is not worth it. Hold off if you are going to hit an opponent from the rear. Losing yardage and field position due to a clip is a blow to morale.

6. Second effort means you get up off the ground after throwing your first block. Go get someone else. DO NOT CLIP. Chase our ball carrier if he breaks lose. Get to the ball and look for someone else to block.

7. Keep your eyes on your man after the ball is kicked. Try to knock him down at the right time (so he cannot get back up and make the tackle). Forcing him way out of his lane will also help our return. On cross blocks, SPEED will be required.

8. Keep your eye on the kicker until the ball is kicked. (Always think short kick first.)

9. You can signal for a fair catch and fair catch a kick off. This might occur on a high blooper kick, especially if a strong wind is blowing.

10. Always be aware of the WIND. It is a big factor in a football game and, particularly, in the kicking game. If our opponent is kicking off into a strong wind, you should be alert for a squib kick off.

11. Make the most of it when we get a good return opportunity. *Every time we return a kick off, there is a possibility we may break loose for a touchdown.

12. Anticipate a short kick by our opponent if we have incurred a fifteen yard penalty and they are kicking off from mid-field.

**

13. Remember that a kick off into our end zone is a free ball. It must be covered. If our opponent recovers it in our end zone, it is a touchdown for him.

-

14. We must have the toughness to run through people.

15. Blocker should keep a wide base and do not get over-extended.

16. Front line people must not let themselves or their blocking assignments obstruct the wedge. Perfect the timing of your block (usually about the thirty-five yard line.)

17. No cut blocks on any returns.

2

(Kick Off Return---continued)

INFORMATION FOR DEEP BACKS OR RETURN SPECIALISTS

1. Practice sound fundamentals when handling each ball. Lock the ball into your hands. Tuck it away tight. Get in the habit of keeping a tight grip on the nose of the ball with your fingers and hands. Put pressure on the rear of the ball with your elbow and arm. Learn to run with the ball in a secure position like this. You can let the ball swing back and forth in a natural rhythm and still keep the ball in close to your body with tight pressure front and rear. When you get trapped, bring the ball in close and protect it with both hands. *If you think about these good fundamentals and do them in practice, it will be automatic in a game.

2. Catch all kick offs. Do not allow the ball to hit the ground. Do not run a dropped ball out of the end zone. *Any kick off into the end zone must be covered. If our opponent recovers it in the end zone, it is a touch- down against us.

3. If you bring a ball out of the end zone, do not take it back into the end zone. That would give our opponent

a safety (if you downed it or they tackle you).

4. A cool head is required in your job. Always be thinking.

5. A bouncing kick off that ricochets off you or one of our players into the end zone, can be downed there for

a touchback, and we get the ball on our twenty. (The impetus that sent the kick into the end zone came from the kicker, even though it may have bounced off you or one of our players.)

6. Watch the kicker's angle to anticipate a corner kick. Be thinking what to do if the kickoff goes into a corner of the field.

7. Catching a kick off going full speed forward is one fundamental of good returns. The kicking team knows this so they frequently try to prevent this from happening by kicking it to the corner. If they can get you to field the ball going sideways or going backwards, your momentum will be effectively slowed.

8. Another tactic to nUllify a good return man is to SQUIB kick. Field these type of balls as quickly as possi- ble and get all you can.

9. A kick that goes 2, 3, 4, or 5 yards deep into the end zone requires good judgment as to whether or not you run it out. The scouting report will be especially important here. Talk to each other.

10. Know the kicker-where he puts the ball, average distance, height, and hang time.

11. Be conscious of the wind-is he kicking with it or against it? How strong is it?

12. Talk to each other to be sure who is catching it. Safety-give a ''you" or "me" call.

13. Know the coverage, how the kick off team comes down the field, and any habits they may have.

14. Kickoff after a safety may be punted. Make sure you adjust your alignment. Even though ball is punted normal kickoff rules apply.

3

KICK OFF RETURN (cent.)

HUDDLE On the sideline and on the field, the center will check for eleven men and give type of return. Reminders: "Alert for short kick"; "It is a free ball"; "Do not clip".

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is a free ball"; "Do not clip". @ ® s @) @@) @@ CENTER ·Offset yourself

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CENTER ·Offset yourself from the kicker so the ball will not hit you. Watch the ball go past you and then block. Be especially alert on squib kick offs. We may give you a different place to line up in this situation. Alert to see the ball laid flat. DO NOT BE OFFSIDES.

FRONT LINE Do not be offsides. Be alert for surprise short kick and to see the ball laid flat. Avoid getting hit by a squib kick off. Look at the ball.

Do not attempt to run with the ball should you field the kickoff. Get both hands on it, protect it, and hit the dirt.

~

Alert the front line for a surprise short kick. We will work on falling on the ball.

WEDGE It is necessary to have a good blocker, ball handler, and runner at the wedge position. If there are a lot of squib kick offs, the wedge will need good hands. The tackles are also reponsible for wedge spacing.

You will be responsible for fielding short kicks, if they bounce in front of you. Protect the ball and get as much yardage as possible. Never back up for a kick.

RETURNEES Reckless runners!!

4

of you. Protect the ball and get as much yardage as possible. Never back up for
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Block R3.

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Keep proper spacing in the wedge. Block 1st color.

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Block 1st color. You are the "captain of the wedge".

LH

Join the wedge looking for L4. If he does not show, move upfield with the wedge.

RH

-

Join the wedge looking for R4. If he does not show, move upfield with the wedge.

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Field the ball and pop through any opening in the wedge. If the ball goes to a halfback, you will assume his position and responsibilities. Make a loud and clear ''you''-''me'' call.

5

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Block L1.

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Block L2.

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Block A2.

LG

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Block L1.

LE

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Block L3.

LT

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Block 1st color. You are the" captain of the wedge".

FB

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Keep proper spacing in the wedge. Block 1st color.

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Look for A3. If he does not show, move upfield with the wedge.

LH

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Check L4. If he does not show, move upfield with the wedge.

AH

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Check A4. If he does not show, move upfield with the wedge.

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- Field the ball and pop through an opening in the wedge. If the ball goes to a halfback, you will assume his

position and responsibilities. Make a loud and clear "you"-"me" call.

6

KICK OFF RETURN RIGHT

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C - Drop at angle to side of return and block R1. LG - Drop back and block L1.

LE -

Drop back and block L2.

RG -

Drop back getting outside position on R2. Block him in.

RE -

Drop back and double team R3 with the RT. Do not let him get outside you.

RT - Double team R3 in with RE. FB - Drop back. On "Go" signal kick out R4. (Double team with LT). LT - Drop back. On "Go" signal. Kick out R4 with FB. LH - Make sure the ball is fielded then seal L3. RH - Dig out R5. Safety-Run between R4 and R3.

7

KICK OFF RETURN LEFT

DO NOT CLIP

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Kick out L4 (Double team with RT).
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Dig out L5.
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Run between their L3 and L4.

8

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Block R1.

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Block L1.

LE -

Block L2.

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Block R2.

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Block R3.

LT

-

Start same drop. work over in front of the ball. lead upfield and block L5.

FB -

Start same drop. work over in front of the ball. lead upfield and block L4.

RT -

Start same drop. work over in front of the ball. lead upfield and block L3.

LH -

Run straight upfield; get all the yardage you can.

RH -

Sprint to get over and help on R3 or block first color.

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Sprint to get over and help on R2 or block first color.

9

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Block Ll.

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Block L2.

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Block L3.

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Block Rl.

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Block R2.

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Start same drop, work over in front of the ball lead upfield and block R5.

-

Start same drop work over in front of the ball lead upfield and block R4.

-

Start same drop work over in front of the ball, lead upfield and block R3.

-

Run straight upfield and get all the yardage you can.

-

Sprint to get over and help on L3 or block first color.

-

Sprint to get over and help on L2 or block first color.

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1. Front five crowd +45. Step up to field slow roller.

2. Wings-Tackles be ready to adjust to over-shift.

3. Ball near sideline bat out-of-bounds.

4. Ball kicked deep - take numbered man, one safety will block #5 to side the ball is kicked.

5. Use fair catch option vs lob onside.

11

KICKOFF RETURNS -

There will be several basic kickoff return calls:

GENERAL INFORMATION

THE FORMATION WILL KEY PERSONNEL!

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We will have basic assignments for each of the above returns, and these assignments will be adjusted each week, if necessary, in order to take advantage of the specific coverage pattern being used by our opponent. We will also make some adjustments, when warranted, to take advantage of opponents' personnel weaknesses.

It is essential we field kickoffs in the air, and our backs and short people must be prepared to field short kicks which come to them.

There are several situations which require special preparations as we prepare to return a kickoff. These are listed below and explained briefly:

1. Onside Kickoff Defense:

We will use special personnel and a special kickoff return alignment in those situations where we know it is extremely likely that our opponent will attempt an onside kickoff. When the onside kick is something we feel is a concern but still less than 50% possibility, we will keep out regular kickoff return personnel in the game, adjusting their alignment somewhat in order to defend against such a kick. In the latter situation, we will have a regular return called and will employ it if our opponent kicks away.

2. Squib Kick Defense:

When we know an opponent is going to squib kick, we will loosen the men on our wedge in order to better cover the field against a bounced kick. Tight ends should also be alert for a ball squibbed to them. Anyone on the wedge who fields a squib kickoff should return it straight ahead being certain to cover the ball with both arms.

3. Converting to a Sideline Return: (AUTOMATIC RETURN-RAMBO)

Whenever the ball is kicked down a sideline away from where we had intended to return it, we will automatically convert to a special type of return up the side where the ball has been kicked. This adjustment will prevail against both squib and regular kickoffs.

KICKOFF RETURN - PRINCIPLES

1. FIRST PLAY: The Kickoff Return is considered the first play of the offensive drive. We mYH get the ball beyond the +28 in order to establish field position. Our first goal is to get a 1ST DOWN (beyond the +28) and then a TOUCHDOWN!

2. WALL: The personnel that aligns between the +40 and +45 will be referred to as the FRONTLINE. The C (Center) will coordinate this group.

3. WEDGE: The deep personnel that form to act as a shield for the return man will be referred to as the WEDGE. The WS (Wedge Setter) will coordinate this group.

4. RETURN SAFETIES: The deep personnel that will be responsible for the majority of the returns and forming on the wedge will be referred to as the .sa (Secondary return- ers) and PR (Primary returners). They will work together in fielding the ball. "YOU" or "ME" calls will be made quickly and loudly - REPEAT!

5. TIMING: In order to have a well-coordinated return, TIMING is critical. The WS (Wedge Setter) will set the wedge and all the other components of the unit will form relative to his direction. The wedge will, in turn, move into their blocking responsibility

on the command "GO!" -

"GO!".

6. ABORT: When we have a reverse or fake reverse called and the ball is kicked to or outside the numbers, we wiIlIABORT" (eliminate) the REVERSE or FAKE REVERSE and take the ball up that respective sideline. We will adjust our blocks accordingly.

7. "MIDDLE" WEDGE RETURN: With a squib-kick or low line drive, the WS can call

"MIDDLE -

MIDDLE" in which case we will convert the predetermined call to a middle

wedge return. All principles apply. the WALL will adjust their blocks relative to where the wedge and ball is located.

8. ADJUSTMENTS: When a middle return is called (Wedge or Cross) and the ball is on or outside the numbers, the wedge will set up only as wide as the numbers and the return will go up that respective sideline.

9. SWITCH: When we want to exchange blocking responsibility, we may do so by using the term "SWITCH" and, in turn, identifying the change in assignments.

10. RAMBO: When the kick goes outside the NO's opposite the designated return, we will call II Rambo" and adjust our blocking in order to take the return up that sideline.

KICKOFF RETURN - (PROCEDURES AND FORMATIONS)

* Huddle at the 50 yard line with Coach Zauner after each score. (1) Get the call; (2) move to the field and huddle at the 35 yard line. (3) (PR) Primary Return man will make the call once again. READY BREAK!

* Our team goals are to average more than 25 yards a return and establish field position for our offense.

* No Fumbles, No Mental Mistakes, No Clipping, and No Blocking Below the waist. (Any player can call for a fair catch!) NEVER LINE UP DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE BALL!

OUR FORMATIONS WILL DICTATE SPECIFIC PERSONNEl

AND ALIGNMENTS.

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KICKOFF RETURN TECHNIOUES AND TERMINOLOGY

FRONT LINE & TIGHT ENDS:

A. Go Get 'Em Call = (1) Square up with assigned cover man, (2) Breakdown and take him on in the numbers, (3) Make him go away from the side of the return, and (4) Get to your position in the wall or to the return side.

B. Drop Back = Front line will retreat and sprint to the 25 yard line and execute the proper

block. (swinging gate, arc block, wall off etc

)

C. Short Set = Front line will drop back 5,10, 15, or 25 yards before executing their Position or Arc blocks.

D. Swinging Gate = Is our drop back technique in which we turn and run to a specific yard line. As you run, keep a 3 to 4 yard cushion inside your man. At the 25 yard line, you want to break down, pivot, open up to the outside and usher your man to the outside.

E. Arc Block =Technique used by our FRONT LINE and (TE's) to cave in a primary cover

man.

shoulder, (4) time up your block and (5) block your man. Position block or shield your

man from the return.

(1) Find your man, (2) give ground, (3) look for your man over your inside

(Your Head Front Side)

F. Wall -it =After a Chip or Go Get 'EM Call designated front line men will sprint to an

area to set a picket fence for our wall return.

(CENTER, GUARD & TACKLE)

G. Press = when the ball is kicked near the sideline you may not be able to execute your

normal blocking technique.

Push or Press your man to the sideline.

H. Wall them off = when the ball is kicked across field and you can not execute your normal blocking technique, try to shield or wall your man off from the return.

I. Influence Block = A block in which a front line man will drop back to about the 30 to 35 yard line and attempt to execute an Arc block on his assigned man. As he sets up to block his man out away from the return the cover man will try to rip across his fac"e. As the cover man rips across the blockers face, open your hips and take him down to the inside. Wall him off to the inside so we can run our "Bust Out" return.

J. Post Up = A technique used by the tight end.

The tight end will move to a designated

yard line, usually the 20 and wait for his designated blocking assignment.

K. Chip & Wrap Around = A technique used by the front line tackles. The tackle will attempt to chip the # 3 man at about the 45 yard line. Hopefully the # 3 man will avoid him to the outside. The tackle will continue to drop back downfield and arc the same # 3 man.

. . " . FRONT LINE & TE'SMUST . WORK ON T.HESE TECHNIQUES
.
.
"
.
FRONT LINE & TE'SMUST
.
WORK ON T.HESE TECHNIQUES

NOTE:

KICKOFF RETURN TECHNIQUES - (CONTINUED)

TIlE ARC BLOCK AND SWINGING GATE TECHNIQUES CAN BE EXECUIED DROPPING BACK AND BLOCKING YOUR MAN IN EITHER DIRECTION.

TIlE WORDS: WALLING OFF, SEALING BACKSIDE, APPLY WHEN YOU ARE BLOCKING PLAYERS PERSUEING TIlE RETURN FROM TIlE BACKSIDE. PRESS: PRESSING YOUR MAN CAN BE USED WITII ANY TECHNIQUE BUT IS A REACTION BLOCK TO THE BALL BEING KICKED TO TIlE CORNER OR SIDELINE.

OPTION BLOCK: APPLYS MOS1LY TO TIGHT ENDS AND RETURN MEN. TIlE PLAYER HAS AN ASSIGNMENT TO CONNECT TO THE WEDGE BUT BECAUSE OF HIS ANGLE OR DISTANCE FROM THE RETURN HE WILL BLOCK TIlE MOST DANGEROUS MAN TRYING TO COME OFF THE CORNER OR BACKSIDE.

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40
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20
20
10
10
BACKSIDE

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PR

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NOTE;

AREA

RESPONSIBILITY

KNOW YOUR AREA RESPONSIDILITY AND BE ALERT FOR ONSIDE KICKS, SQUIB KICKS, AND POP UP KICKS -- MAKE THE PROPER FAIR CATCH SIGNALS AND COMMUNICAT (YOU-ME) CALLS. THE PERSON BEHIND HAS PRIORITY CATCHING THE BALL.

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DRILL

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FREEZE COVER TEAM GOAL LINEIO 10 YD. LINE

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KICK OUT BLOCKS

 

 

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30

ATTACK I TAKE IT AWAY

30

AVOID SAFETY

HURDLE DUMMIES

ATTACK I TAKE IT AWAY 30 AVOID SAFETY HURDLE DUMMIES ••••••   ,.-. 40 ATTACK -TAKE
ATTACK I TAKE IT AWAY 30 AVOID SAFETY HURDLE DUMMIES ••••••   ,.-. 40 ATTACK -TAKE

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BEAT BACKSIDE SAFETY CLUB - CROSS OVER MOVE

STUDDER&GO BEAT BACKSIDE SAFETY

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CONE DRILL FOR KICKOFF RETURNERS

(BALL KICKED TO AREA # 1)

DRILL

•••• •• .- ••• -.--SET UP MOVE 20
••••
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FREEZE COYER TEAM GOAL LINE"fO 10 YD. LINE

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• • • • • • • • BEAT BACKSIDE SAFETY CLUB - CROSS OVER MOVE

BEAT BACKSIDE SAFETY CLUB - CROSS OVER MOVE

CONE DRILL FOR KICKOFF RETURNERS

(KICKOFF TO AREA # 3)