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.
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.
|Positions in American football and Canadian football|
|Offense (Skill position)||Defense||Special teams|
|Linemen||Guard, Tackle, Center||Linemen||Tackle, End, Edge rusher||Kicking||Placekicker, Punter, Kickoff specialist|
|Quarterback (Dual-threat, Game manager, System)||Linebacker||Snapping||Long snapper, Holder|
|Running backs||Halfback/Tailback (Triple-threat, Change of pace), 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|
A drop kick is a type of kick in various codes of football. It involves a player dropping the ball and then kicking it as it touches the ground.
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.
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, the specific role that a player takes on the field is referred to as their "position." Under the modern rules of American football, both teams are allowed 11 players on the field at one time and have "unlimited free substitutions," meaning that they may change any number of players during any "dead ball" situation. This has resulted in the development of three task-specific "platoons" of players within any single team: the offense, the defense, and the so-called 'special teams'. Within these three separate "platoons", various positions exist depending on the job that player is doing.
Michael J. Koenen is a former American football punter. He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He played college football at Western Washington.
Darrin Simmons is an American football coach in the NFL. He is currently the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals and has worked within the organization since 2003
Bret Anderson is a former Canadian football placekicker and slotback who played his entire career for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.
The place kick is a type of kicking play commonly used in American football, association football (soccer), Canadian football, rugby league, and rugby union.
John Deraney is a former American football punter and placekicker. He played for the NC State Wolfpack football program from 2003 to 2006, handling punts, kickoffs, field goals, and extra points. He also set an all-time NC State record by converting 76 consecutive extra points and also set the school's single-season record with 2,968 punting yards in 2006.
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 Jonathan Buehler is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at 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.
Brett Maher is an American football placekicker and punter for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He played college football at Nebraska. He has also been a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Ottawa Redblacks, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, and Houston Texans.
Jonathan David Baker is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs. He also was a member of the Edmonton Eskimos and BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. He played college football at Arizona State University.
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.