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What is a Block in the Back and Why Does It Happen During Kick/Punt Returns

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  • What is a Block in the Back and Why Does It Happen During Kick/Punt Returns

    I have a football question...what is this play, and why does it happen so much during kick and punt returns. It seems like it is called on so many players during these times. Can someone explain it to me? Thanks everyone.
    Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

  • #2
    Originally posted by broncoslover115 View Post
    I have a football question...what is this play, and why does it happen so much during kick and punt returns. It seems like it is called on so many players during these times. Can someone explain it to me? Thanks everyone.
    It's when the receiving team's blockers hits the punting/kicking's team players in the back when trying to stop them from getting to the ball carrier.. it happens a lot because the kicking team's players are usually moving faster as they come down the field... so when they're moving faster they get past the receiving teams blocks so they wind up hitting them in the back.

    Hope this explains it a bit... Let me know if you need any more help with rules and such... though Sam will probably have a better explanation.
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    2013 Adopted Bronco - Duke Ihenacho

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JakeNbake View Post
      It's when the receiving team's blockers hits the punting/kicking's team players in the back when trying to stop them from getting to the ball carrier.. it happens a lot because the kicking team's players are usually moving faster as they come down the field... so when they're moving faster they get past the receiving teams blocks so they wind up hitting them in the back.

      Hope this explains it a bit... Let me know if you need any more help with rules and such... though Sam will probably have a better explanation.
      No, that helps a lot. I just didn't understand why it seems to happen so much. Is there a way that special teams coach can coach it so players don't commit it so its not called so much? Can really hurt a big play.
      Adopted Bronco: DeMarcus Ware

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      • #4
        Usually (Like Today) it was the block in the back that allowed the other team to have the big play in the first place. Today had they not blocked Steve Johnson (I think it was) in the back he would have made the tackle at the 15 or so.
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        2016 Adopted Bronco - Derek Wolfe
        2014 Adopted Bronco - DeMarcus Ware - 2015 Adopted Bronco - Von Miller

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        • #5
          Kickoff Team is ten guys on one line with the kicker. They run lanes c.10' apart with the K as a Safety. Lane integrity is crucial and the bullets on the outside must contain.

          The Kickoff Return Team in normal deployment has five guys ten yards from the ball, three about ten yards behind them, two around the -10/-15 and the returner around the GL; there are variations. Return blocking is called. There are three possibilities: right, left or middle return. Right and left are usually Wall and middle is Wedge.

          Most of the guys on the Kickoff Return Team must run back, turn around and set up the Wall/Wedge. Between the Kick Returner and the Kicker, you have twenty guys running around a quadrilateral no larger than approximately 50 x 50 yards. The Kickoff coverage guys can visually acquire the returner who can see them and they are constantly moving and adjusting their movements in opposite directions. The Kickoff return guys only see guys they are trying to block. They get a block in the back flag if the guy they take aim on turns at the last moment. They get a holding flag if they are blocking a guy and grab him if he tries to get away. It's amazing there isn't a flag on each return.

          Punt and Punt Return Teams have a similar situation except they start off lined up right across the LOS from each other, and the Punt is contested. Punt Return Team will sometimes double the bullets who must contain. Punt Teams' bullets are the only ones who may release as soon as the ball is snapped. The other members of the Punt Team may only run their lanes after the Punt. The Wall Right/Left, Wedge and opposing lane runners operate in a somewhat smaller quadrilateral than the KO/KOR Teams.

          No blocking in the back is a safety rule that probably dates to the rules changes of 1906. Outside of Special Teams, blocks in the back and one-on-one cut blocks aren't illegal in the Tackle Box within about a yard of LOS. Outside of that area, blocking in the back is illegal whether it's for a ball carrier or for a defender returning an interception or a fumble.
          Last edited by samparnell; 12-24-2012, 10:16 AM.
          "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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