Professional Football/nfl punting

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Question
I notice that about half the time a punter kicks, by the time he is in his motion to kick, everyones back is turned away from him.  This last sunday in fact, a long snap was really bad and actually hit the ground before the punter grabbed it.  He managed to get the kick off because no defensive player even saw the bad snap!
I dont for the life of me understand why more punters dont run for first downs or throw for first down.  On film it looks like a no brainer!  Freeze any video of a punt and youll see what i mean.  Wny am I the only one who sees this?  Thnx for your two cents.  Are coaches that conservative about everything ?  I alao keep track of how many punts lead to points and most of them do!  Half of punts make no statisical sense!

Answer
Craig,
I hear what you are saying.  Let me give you some reasons why punters do not get involved in trick plays.
1) Most punters are not "real" football players.  They are soccer players who can kick the heck out of a football. However, running or throwing the ball is not in their skill set.
2) Before the NFL started employing soccer players as kickers, lots of times the QB was also the punter.  There used to be a play called a "quick kick".  If the QB could punt the ball, he might do it on third down when the defense would be unprepared and the ball would go over their heads, hopefully rolling to a stop before it turned into a touchback.
3) Sammy Baugh, one of the greatest QB's of all times for the Redskins (1937-52) still holds a lot of NFL records for passing and punting.
4) The last punter I remember who could pass and run was "Hunter Smith" nicknamed "Hunter the punter". He played for the Colts and Redskins. I think it was the 2009 season and he lead a horrible Redskins team in touchdowns until the middle of the season.
5) So why don't we develop punters who can play football? Mainly because the distance that the ball is kicked has improved dramatically since using a kicking specialist like a former soccer player.  Heck, the kickoffs nowadays will regularly travel 80 yards in the air! Back in the day, the "football" kickers used to kick a ball between 50 & 60 yards.
6) The reason that the defense turns their backs on the punter is due to a notion of "risk and reward".  The risk of getting caught getting penalized for hitting the punter is not worth the reward of the blocked punt.
And that's my 2 cents. I don't disagree with your assessment of a typical punt nowadays and I expect that some coach & player is going to change it in the future.
Best wishes.

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Jim Considine

Expertise

The subject of my expertise pertains to "American Football", as opposed to "Futball" or the game we refer to in the USA as soccer. --------------------------------------------------------- I can answer statistical questions about professional football. I am especially strong on the subject of the Baltimore Colts from 1947 through 1983, Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens. My services are best used when an older, obscure question is posed. The newer NFL records are easily accessible through www.NFL.com I do not appraise memorabilia. I am not an expert on Canadian Football, though I will take a shot at any questions you might pose. I have a good understanding and recall of the folklore about Baltimore football. Some of this information may be subjective in nature. I will give the best answer possible if this is the case.

Experience

I was an NFL Statistician with the Washington Redskins. I grew up during the days of the Baltimore Colts in the 1960's. (Please refer to the movie "Diner" for more information about the Baltimore Colts fans)

Organizations
Washington Redskins Statistician, 2005-2010 Baltimore Ravens, 1996-2003

Publications
The records were used by author Jon Morgan in his book, "Glory For Sale". The records have been part of the Baltimore Ravens Media Guides since their inaugural season in 1996. I was interviewed for the cover story of The Press Box, a local, monthly sports tabloid newspaper. http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=5594

Education/Credentials
I researched and was able to piece together the statistical history of the AAFC Baltimore Colts 1947-49, and the 1950 NFL Colts. This information was used by The Baltimore Ravens for their 1996 Media Guide. The records were entitled "Baltimore Football Records". It was considered "unofficial" since the AAFC league records were not incorporated with the NFL records when the leagues merged. The reason that this information was created was due to the fact that the NFL had prohibited the 1996 Baltimore Ravens from bringing the records, colors, and team name from the Cleveland Browns. The Baltimore football records were presented in order to create a frame of reference. The Ravens have kept these records since 1996, adding and amending as the Ravens football team challenge these records.

Awards and Honors
I was awarded two game balls from the Ravens and was recognized for my work as the top game day employee.

Past/Present Clients
Baltimore Ravens, Wise Guides, Washington Redskins

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