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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Shield Punt Formation

I have always been a traditionalist when it came to punt team. Basically my thought was always to protect the ball and punter by using a closed punt formation with your big guys up front on the line with tight splits, two wings, and personal protectors. Just get the punt off, and worry about downfield coverage afterwards. I soon realized that the downfall to good protection up front was that after the ball was punted, they had the difficult task of running downfield to try and tackle the oppositions best player. It was a mis-match as the returner would run circles aroung the big men. I then read about the shield punt formation which is a spread formation with seven athletes up on the main line with huge splits that would thin out the rush, along with a shield of big guys in the backfield set up in front of the punter with their heels at 8 yards. The athletic linebacker types on the front line would be responsible for blocking their outside gap, so basically on the snap would shuffle out and two point punch the man in their outside gap, rip across his face and get downfield. The long snapper is free to get downfield after the snap so any single rushers in the A gaps would be allowed to go through to the awaiting shield players who with their size would be able to absorb any kind of agressive rushers. When there are two rushers in one A gap the Guard on that side would be required now to block his inside A gap and allow any single rushers in the B gap to go through to the shield. Rushers off the edge are just too far out to make a difference as the splits from Long Snapper to End are 2 yds, 3 yds, and then 5 yds. The result so far has been very good, and with speedier linebacker types on your front seven the downfield covergae has been greatly improved. Even the rush has slowed down as any rushers that get through now face a massive wall of big guys who have the ability to take on any player for the most part. The rush is thinned out now and if they try and overload the inside gaps with rushers they really are vulnerable to any outside run by the punter with the big shield leading the way. Cheers!