A Kicking specialist or kick specialist and sometimes referred to a "kicker", especially when referring to a placekicker, is a player on gridiron football special teams who performs punts, kickoffs, field goals and/or point after touchdowns. The special teams counterpart of a kicking specialist is a return specialist.
Placekicker, or simply kicker, is the player in gridiron football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker also serves as the team's kickoff specialist or punter as well.
Gridiron football, also known as North American football or, in North America, simply football, is a football sport primarily played in the United States and Canada. American football, which uses 11-player teams, is the form played in the United States and the best known form of gridiron football worldwide, while Canadian football, featuring 12-player teams, predominates in Canada. Other derivative varieties include indoor football, football for smaller teams, and informal games such as touch and flag football. Football is played at professional, collegiate, semi-professional, and amateur levels.
In gridiron football, a punt is a kick performed by dropping the ball from the hands and then kicking the ball before it hits the ground. The most common use of this tactic is to punt the ball downfield to the opposing team, usually on the final down, with the hope of giving the receiving team a field position that is more advantageous to the kicking team when possession changes. The result of a typical punt, barring any penalties or extraordinary circumstances, is a first down for the receiving team. A punt is not to be confused with a drop kick, a kick after the ball hits the ground, now rare in both American and Canadian football.
Kicking specialists were exceptionally rare until the 1940s; for most of the history of American football, teams relied upon players who played another position to kick and punt. The first kicking specialist in the National Football League was most likely Mose Kelsch, a former sandlot football kicker who was on the inaugural roster of what became the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1933 and 1934. Even after the one-platoon system was phased out in the 1940s, kicking specialists remained uncommon. The introduction of the soccer style of placekicking in the late 1960s coincided with the rapid rise of kicking specialists. Danny White of the Dallas Cowboys was the last non-specialist kicker in the NFL, serving as a punter in addition to his quarterback duties until 1985.
The history of American football can be traced to early versions of rugby football and association football. Both games have their origin in multiple varieties of football played in Britain in the mid-19th century, in which a football is kicked at a goal or kicked over a line, which in turn were based on the varieties of English public school football games.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
Christian "Mose" Kelsch was an American football placekicker and running back in the National Football League (NFL). He was a charter member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
|Positions in American football and Canadian football|
|Offense (Skill position)||Defense||Special teams|
|Linemen||Guard, Tackle, Center||Linemen||Tackle, End||Kicking players||Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist|
|Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System)||Linebacker||Snapping||Long snapper, Holder|
|Backs||Halfback/Tailback (Triple-threat), Fullback, H-back, Wingback||Backs||Cornerback, Safety, Halfback, Nickelback, Dimeback||Returning||Punt returner, Kick returner, Jammer, Upman|
|Receivers||Wide receiver (Eligible), Tight end, Slotback, End||Tackling||Gunner, Upback, Utility|
|Formations (List) — Nomenclature — Strategy|
|This American football–related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
A drop kick is a type of kick in various codes of football. It involves a player dropping the ball and then kicking it after it bounces off the ground.
John Matthew "Matt" Stover is a former American Football placekicker. As of the start of the 2009 NFL season, he was the third most accurate kicker in the history of the National Football League. He has played for the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Ravens, with whom he played for 13 seasons.
A punter (P) in gridiron football is a special teams player who receives the snapped ball directly from the line of scrimmage and then punts (kicks) the football to the opposing team so as to limit any field position advantage. This generally happens on a fourth down in American football and a third down in Canadian football. Punters may also occasionally take part in fake punts in those same situations, when they throw or run the football instead of punting.
Rhys John Lloyd is a former American football kickoff specialist. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Minnesota.
In gridiron football, the holder is the player who receives the snap from the long snapper during field goal or extra point attempts made by the placekicker. The holder is set on one knee seven yards behind the line-of-scrimmage. Before the play begins he places the hand which is closest to the place kicker on the ground in a location designated by the kickers foot, with his forward hand ready to receive the snap. After receiving the snap, the holder will place the football on the turf, or block, ideally with the laces facing the uprights and the ball accurately placed where the back hand was initially, then balancing the ball with one or two fingers until the ball is kicked.
In American football each team has 11 players on the field at one time. The specific role that a player takes on the field is called their position. Under the modern rules of American football, teams are allowed unlimited substitutions; that is, teams may change any number of players after any play. This has resulted in the development of three "platoons" of players: the offense, the defense, and the special teams. Within those platoons, various specific positions exist depending on what each player's main job is.
Darrin Simmons is a coach in American football.
Jerry Dean DePoyster is a former American football placekicker and punter who also played in the National Football League.
A field goal (FG) is a means of scoring in gridiron football. To score a field goal, the team in possession of the ball must place kick, or drop kick, the ball through the goal, i.e., between the uprights and over the crossbar. American football requires that a field goal must only come during a play from scrimmage, while Canadian football retains open field kicks and thus field goals may be scored at any time from anywhere on the field and by any player. The vast majority of field goals, in both codes, are place kicked. Drop kicked field goals were common in the early days of Gridiron football but are almost never done in modern times. In most leagues, a successful field goal awards three points.
Hayden Scott Epstein is a former American football placekicker and punter who played college football for the Michigan Wolverines from 1998 to 2001 and played professional football in the National Football League (NFL), NFL Europa, and the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Justin Charles Medlock is an American professional player of Canadian football who is a placekicker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and earned consensus All-American honors. The Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Medlock has also played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL, as well as the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL).
The place kick is a type of kicking play commonly used in American football, association football (soccer), Canadian football, rugby league, and rugby union.
A return specialist or kick returner is a player on the special teams unit of a gridiron football team who specializes in returning punts and kickoffs. There are few players who are exclusively return specialists; most also play another position such as wide receiver, defensive back, or running back. The special teams counterpart of a return specialist is a kicking specialist.
A kickoff specialist is a seldom-used position in gridiron football. Kickoff specialists are members of the special teams. They are responsible for kicking the ball in the kickoff. These players tend to have a strong leg, often capable of making touchbacks, and capable of keeping a ball in the bounds of the field of play but do not have the accuracy or technique required to be a full-time placekicker or punter. Some kickoff specialists later become full-time placekickers, while some are marginal placekickers who are soon out of football.
David Buehler is a former American football kicker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football for the University of Southern California.
Swayze Waters is a gridiron football placekicker and punter who is currently a free agent. He was most recently a member of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed by the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He played college football at UAB. He has also been a member of the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Edmonton Eskimos, Carolina Panthers, and BC Lions.
Justin Palardy is a professional Canadian football placekicker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted 36th overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2010 CFL Draft and was used as a punter. After being released by the Tiger-Cats, he was signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as their placekicker, where he played for four seasons. Palardy also spent some time on the Ottawa Redblacks roster. In the 2010 season, he set the Blue Bombers single season record for place-kicking accuracy with 86.7%, a feat he would equal in 2012. He played CIS football for the Saint Mary's Huskies.
Kenneth Arthur Allen is an American football punter who is currently a free agent. He was the starting placekicker and punter for the 2015 and 2016 Michigan Wolverines football teams.
Donny Hageman is an American football placekicker who is currently a free agent. He played college football at San Diego State.