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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.
The purpose of the punt is to force the team that is receiving the kick to start as far as possible from the kicking team's end zone. Accordingly, the most effective punts land just outside the receiving team's end zone and land either out of bounds (making it impossible to advance the ball until the next play) or after being kicked exceptionally high (allowing the kicking team time to run down the field and prevent the punt returner from advancing the ball). Punters therefore must be able to kick the ball high, long distances, and precisely. One standard is that a punt should be in the air for at least 1 second for every 10 yards it travels,  but the linear relationship drops off once it hits over 50 yards. 
Punters may also impart a spin to the ball that makes it harder to catch, increasing the odds of a muff that may lead to the punter's team regaining possession.
The punter frequently serves as the holder on field goal attempts. The punter has typically developed chemistry with the long snapper and is thus accustomed to catching a long-snapped ball. Additionally, punters are also kickers and understand kicking mechanics, such as how far back to lean the ball as the kicker makes an attempt, and when a field goal attempt should be aborted. Punters may pass or run the ball on fake field goal attempts and fake punts.
Many punters also double duty as kickoff specialists as most punters have been at one point field goal kickers as well, and some, such as Craig Hentrich, have filled in as worthy backup field goal kickers. Punters seldom receive much attention or fan support, in part because they are called upon when a team's offense has just failed.
Certain punters can have exceptionally long careers, compared to other NFL position players (there is a similar tendency with kickers). One reason for this is that their limited time on the field and heavy protection by penalties against defensive players for late hits makes them far less likely to be injured than other positions. Sean Landeta, for instance, played 19 NFL seasons and three USFL seasons for eight different teams. Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons as a punter, on five different teams.
Conversely, placekickers and punters can also have very short careers, mainly because of a lack of opportunity. Because the risk of injury is remote, NFL teams typically only carry one punter on their roster at any given time. Thus, the only opportunity a punter has of breaking into the league is if the incumbent punter leaves the team or is injured. Some NFL teams will carry two punters during the preseason, but the second punter is typically "camp fodder" and seldom makes the opening day roster. Unlike backups at other positions, backup placekickers and punters are not employed by any given team until they are needed; most indoor American football teams, because of smaller rosters and fields along with rules that either ban or discourage punting, do not employ punting specialists.
Bob Cameron of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), in a 23-year career, has the most career punting yards, with 134,301 yards.
Jeff Feagles holds the NFL record for career punting yards with 71,211 yards. He played from 1988-2009 for five different teams in the NFL.
Steve O'Neal set the record for the longest punt in a National Football League game in 1969 with a punt measuring 98 yards. It is the longest recorded punt in a game possible that did not end in a touchback. 
Former Oakland Raiders player Ray Guy is the only pure punter to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as the only pure punter to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft. Russell Erxleben was selected as the 11th pick in the first round of the 1979 draft by the New Orleans Saints as a punter but performed other kicking duties as well. Guy is credited with raising the status of punters in the NFL because he proved to be a major ingredient in the Raiders' success during the 1970s by preventing opponents from gaining field position advantage.
Before Guy's arrival in Oakland, many teams trained a position player to double as a punter (the placekicker was likewise expected to "double-up" at another position), even after the one-platoon system (which effectively required a punter to play offensive and defensive positions on top of their duties) was abolished in the 1940s. The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II using running back Donny Anderson as their punter. The Packers' regular placekicker, Don Chandler, was an All-Pro punter with the New York Giants but Vince Lombardi brought Chandler in from his old team to serve exclusively as a kicker after Paul Hornung, who set the NFL single-season scoring record with 176 points in 12 games in 1960, was suspended for gambling in 1963 and suffered a sharp decline in accuracy in 1964. Linebacker Paul Maguire served as a punter for the AFL-champion San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills in the 1960s.
The Kansas City Chiefs, who played in Super Bowl I and won Super Bowl IV, bucked the trend at the time by signing Jerrel Wilson as a punting specialist in 1966. Wilson punted for the Chiefs for 13 seasons, and combined with placekicker Jan Stenerud to give the team one of the best kicking combinations in the league.
Backup quarterbacks were commonly used to punt well into the 1970s. Steve Spurrier, who was stuck behind John Brodie at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, served as the team's primary punter for the first four years of his career. Bob Lee took on the same role for the Minnesota Vikings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, punting for the club in Super Bowl IV.
Danny White played little as a backup quarterback to Roger Staubach with the Dallas Cowboys from 1976 through 1979, but was the team's primary punter from 1975 through 1984, when he gave up the kicking duties to Mike Saxon.
One of the last examples of a punting quarterback was Tom Tupa. A quarterback and punter in college, Tupa started his career in the NFL as a quarterback but eventually settled into a role as a full-time punter and emergency quarterback.
Starting in the 1990s, some NFL teams turned to retired Australian rules football players to punt for them, as punting is a basic skill in that game. Darren Bennett, who played for the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings in his career, was one of the first successful Australian rules football players to make the jump from that sport's top professional competition, the Australian Football League (AFL), to the NFL, doing so in 1994. Ben Graham, who entered the league with the New York Jets, became the first AFL player to play in a Super Bowl when he played in Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals. Graham is now a free agent. Other former AFL players who made the transition to NFL punters include former NFL punter Mat McBriar and Sav Rocca, formerly of the Washington Redskins. In recent years, an increasing number of Australians have been making the transition to gridiron football at earlier ages, with a significant number now playing for U.S. college teams.
Between 2013 and 2017, all five Ray Guy Awards, presented to the top punter in NCAA Division I football, were won by Australians: Tom Hornsey (Memphis, 2013), Tom Hackett (Utah, 2014 and 2015), Mitch Wishnowsky (Utah, 2016) and Michael Dickson (Texas, 2017). All three finalists for the 2016 award were Australians.  In the 2018 season, nearly one-fourth of the schools in college football's top level, Division I FBS, had at least one Australian punter on their roster. 
Sam Koch revolutionized punting by developing many variations, due to his flexible hips in an effort to increase net punting average by giving the ball variable trajectories and bounce, making it more difficult for returners to catch and return. 
The New England Patriots were noted for almost exclusively employing left-footed punters during the coaching tenure of Bill Belichick, who claimed it was unintentional. Left-footed punters have been increasingly used at the NFL level; at the start of the 2001 NFL season, there were 26 right-footed punters, four left-footed ones and one (Chris Hanson) who was dual-footed. By the 2017 NFL season, there were 22 right-footed punters and 10 left-footed ones. 
By the late 2010s and early 2020s, punters were highly specialized players on an NFL roster. Louis Bien of SB Nation wrote:
A punter's job is no longer simply to kick the ball high and far while fans hold their collective breath that this time isn’t the time when the ball flies sideways into the stands. No, punters are now neutralizing and terrorizing the most electric return men in the NFL with kicks that spin and move and bounce and flip in all sorts of unpredictable, terror-inducing ways". 
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.
The quarterback, colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in gridiron football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive platoon and mostly line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is usually considered the leader of the offense, and is often responsible for calling the play in the huddle. The quarterback also touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and is almost always the offensive player that throws forward passes. When the QB is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, it is called a sack.
George Frederick Blanda was an American football placekicker and quarterback who played professionally in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). Blanda played 27 seasons of professional football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement.
Michael John Vanderjagt is a Canadian former football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons, primarily with the Indianapolis Colts. He served as the Colts' placekicker from 1998 to 2005 and was a member of the Dallas Cowboys during his final NFL season in 2006. Vanderjagt also played for four seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL), where he spent three seasons with the Toronto Argonauts and one with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Adam Matthew Vinatieri is an American former football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 24 seasons with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Considered one of the greatest kickers of all time, he is the NFL's all-time leading scorer at 2,673 points. He also holds the NFL records for field goals made (599), postseason points (238), and overtime field goals made (12).
Jan Stenerud is a Norwegian-American former football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) for 19 seasons, primarily with Kansas City Chiefs. The first Norwegian NFL player, he began his career in the AFL after being selected by the Chiefs during the 1966 draft and joined the NFL following the AFL–NFL merger. Along with his 13 seasons in Kansas City, Stenerud was a member of the Green Bay Packers for four seasons and the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons until retiring in 1985.
William Ray Guy was an American professional football player who was a punter for the Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973. Guy was elected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. An eight-time All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time.
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.
John Matthew Stover is a former American football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 20 seasons, primarily with the Baltimore Ravens. After five seasons for the Cleveland Browns, he was among the Browns players transferred to the newly-created Ravens franchise in 1996, with whom he played 13 seasons. Additionally, Stover was a member of the New York Giants during his first season and Indianapolis Colts during his last. His most successful season was in 2000 when he earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors en route to the Ravens winning their first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXV. He was also part of the Giants team that won Super Bowl XXV. For his accomplishments with the Ravens, Stover was named to the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor in 2011.
John Michael Carney is a former American football placekicker. He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 1987. He played college football at Notre Dame.
Russell Erxleben is a former American football player and currency investor. He shares the record for the longest successful field goal in NCAA history at 67 yards, which he set in 1977 while playing for the University of Texas. Erxleben was a three-time All-America punter. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, an extremely rare occurrence for a kicker. After an NFL career lasting six years, he became a currency investor. Convicted of securities fraud in 1999, he was released from federal prison in 2005. He was again convicted of investment fraud in 2014 and sentenced to 90 months in federal prison.
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 placekicker on the ground in a location designated by the kicker's 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 backhand was initially, then balancing the ball with one or two fingers until the ball is kicked.
Garabed Sarkis "Garo" Yepremian was a Cypriot-Armenian American football placekicker who played in the National Football League for 15 seasons, primarily with the Miami Dolphins. During his nine seasons in Miami, Yepremian was named to two Pro Bowls, twice received first-team All-Pro honors, and helped the Dolphins win two Super Bowl titles. Yepremian's first championship victory in Super Bowl VII occurred as a member of the 1972 Dolphins, the only team to complete a perfect season in NFL history. He also played for the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 1981.
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.
The 1988 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 21st year in professional football and its 19th with the National Football League (NFL).
Field goal range is the part of the field in American football where there is a good chance that a field goal attempt will be successful.
A fake field goal is a trick play in American football. Simply, it involves a running or passing play done out of a kick formation. Usually the holder will throw or run. Less frequently, the placekicker, who virtually never handles the ball in an American football game, will serve as the passer or rusher on a fake field goal.
Compared to other Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the National Football League (NFL) has the lowest percentage of foreign-born players. In 2017, roughly 3% of active players were born outside the US. In recent NFL Drafts, teams have made efforts to search internationally for prospects. A record 12 international players were drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft. As the 2020 NFL season, Canada was the most represented foreign country in the NFL with 12 players, followed by Nigeria with eight and Australia with six.
Mitchell Wishnowsky is an Australian professional American football punter for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft after a college career at Utah, where he won the Ray Guy Award and was a unanimous All-American as a sophomore in 2016. He was unanimously named to the College Football All-America Team as a result of his successful sophomore season.