Attack Outside With This Kickoff Return


By FirstDown PlayBook on May 1, 2022

Kickoff return formations have evolved over the past several years as the rules have changed. Kickoff return coaches are now almost forced to move more players forward in the kickoff return formation. What were once 5 and 6 man fronts now are more like 7 and 8 man kickoff return fronts.

What has not changed is the width of the football field. Special teams coaches still have 52 1/3 yards to work with and that is important to remember. There are distinct advantages to getting the ball north south with a kickoff return. We have written about that several times here on the FirstDown PlayBook Coaches Community website.

However, today we want to look at attacking a kickoff cover team on the outside third of the field. One of the main reasons to do this is if the cover team has a dominant cover player at the L3 or R3 position. Good special teams coaches will diligently study a kickoff team to find the best cover players on that team.

Much the same way that a good offensive coordinator will identify the defensive players who can take a game over and destroy  their game plan, a good special teams coordinator will do the same on Kickoff Return.  Once that player or those players are identified then there are several ways to counter but the primary way is to double team that defender the same way you would double team or chip a great defensive end on pass protection.

How To Find The 6 FirstDown PlayBook Special Teams Clinics

Todays coaching video takes you through one of the FirstDown PlayBook kickoff returns. It explains how this particular special teams scheme is designed to give you a chance to get started before a dominant L3 or R3 coverage player stops it. It also attacks the coverage outside of the hashmarks which is a great changeup from your north south attack..