Special Teams Factor Into Critical NFL Training Camp Decisions
By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 11, 2019

As we type this blog on Sunday, August 11, 2019 you can bet that in thirty two NFL cities they are watching video. They are watching sixteen different games played over the past three days. This video critique is a grueling process that requires the scouts to not just watch their game but also the other thirty teams, who played their first pre-season game this weekend. (our apologies to the Hall of Fame game last week)

Putting together an NFL roster is an extremely complicated thing. You are selecting your football team at the same time that every other football organization is doing the exact same thing. You are not only evaluating your players but you are also evaluating the overall strength of the different positions on your football team.

In other words, you are not only ranking your linebackers but you are also evaluating how your linebacker room stacks up against the other thirty one teams. There may be fifty seven linebackers in the league better than your best linebacker. Yes, some teams might have two or three players at a position that are better than your number one!

It is a general manager’s job along with the head coach to take all of these different moving parts into consideration. One of the hidden aspects of all of this from the fans’ perspective is just how important special teams play factors into all of this. My first year in the NFL with the Chicago Bears I was extremely surprised when we cut what I felt like was a clear choice for the fifth receiver roster spot.

Turns out that the player we kept brought more value with special teams and he played on the four core phases of special teams that entire year for us. He also was available as a wide receiver if we needed him. In fact this player often dressed on game day when the fourth receiver did not.

So as you are putting together your fantasy roster for this season, please understand that it’s a little more complicated than that for an NFL general manager and head coach. The video below dives into this more and if anyone is interested in hearing one of the all time best special teams coaches discuss how he approached all of this just click here. Bobby April not only talks about this but he also addresses some of the things a high school head coach needs to be aware of as he handles special teams on game day.

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