Special Teams Can Keep You Off The Street

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jan 25, 2021

The plain and simple truth is that special teams kept me employed as a college and NFL football coach as much as anything during my thirty year career.  Yes, I was fortunate to have gained experience coaching on both sides of the ball over this period of time too.

However, the one thing that always seemed to be the difference maker when it came to getting a job was that I could coach special teams.

Sometimes the special teams experience was the main reason I was hired. The ability to coach the tight ends or linebackers was secondary to the head coach doing the hiring.

As a young football coach it is extremely important that you embrace any and all opportunities to get involved with special teams. It is a great way to help the football team and in the process you are going to end up helping yourself.

Coaches are just like players when it comes to special teams. I have never met a player who said “Man I got into playing football because I always wanted to cover a punt or execute the key block on a touchdown kickoff return!”

At the same time, you don’t ever hear of many coaches who at a young age decide they want to begin a career coaching football because they have dreamed of coaching the punt team. It’s only after they get into their careers that they see the value and importance of special teams that they end up either embracing it or mistakenly hiding from it.

Why Did That Guy Get Hired Before Me?

You will see some young coaches who avoid these responsibilities early in their careers because they want to focus on being a great linebacker coach or the best receiver coach. This is a huge mistake.

Several years down the line they do not understand when someone else gets hired for a job that they want. If you look closer it’s sometimes because the guy who got the job could coach the linebackers AND could handle one or two phases in the special teams area.

This is the time of year when a young football coach can take a phase or two of special teams and just focus on that before all of the live bullets start flying in the spring. Doing it at this time of the year will give you time to grow and learn before your head coach or coordinator has you locked up in the offensive or defensive staff room all day.

Is it more work? Yes.

Are the players going to be falling down over themselves to be on your special teams unit? No.

Is the media going to have the slightest idea about how important your job is as a special teams coach? Not a clue.

However, as you begin to grow as a special teams coach, you will see the advantages you bring to a football program. Head coaches will see it too and it will often times be what makes him pick up the phone and offer you a job.

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help all designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown PlayBook is also the Official Playbook of NAIA Football and NAIA Women’s Flag Football.