Special Teams In Football And How Important They Are

Special teams in football: Besides defensive or offensive players, American football also has special teams (ST). As its name mentioned, these players take over special responsibilities on the field. To further understand how crucial the role of these teams is, let’s follow the article below.

What are special teams in football?

What are special teams in football?

In the NFL, we refer to the teams that take part in kicking plays when we talk about ST. A different perspective is that any unit other than the offense or defense is a special team. Members of the roster who are present on the field during kickoff plays are referred to as special teams. Punters, long snappers, kick and return covering players, and punters all fall under this category.

On a squad, special teams in football can frequently go unnoticed despite their significance. Highlights for a victorious team usually favor the offense and defense, but these teams are just as important to a victory.

You can see more Positions in American football

What are the groups of special teams in American football?

There are four main football special teams positions. Although each of these plays has distinct variations, they are all kickoff plays. In addition to the offensive side, the specific ST unit that is either stopping the play or returning it typically has a defensive counterpart. Here is the detailed information and what is a special team in football.


What are the groups of special teams in football?

The very first unit of special teams in American football is kickoffs. A kickoff signals the start of every football game. In order to get the ball as close to the goal line as feasible, the kicker will place it on the tee at about the 35-yard line and kick it toward the opposing end zone. A touchback occurs if the ball ends up in the end zone of the opposing team; this moves the line of scrimmage to the 25-yard line.

Defenders on this special team are often positioned 10 feet from the tee. Two additional players who are designated kickoff returners are located close to the end zone. These athletes can also play wide receiver, cornerback, or running back, among other positions.


In order to avoid losing the ball on their side of the field on fourth down during an offensive drive, offensive teams typically punt the ball. The punter handles the ball before kicking it, unlike in kickoffs and other kicking plays. The punter will catch the ball at the beginning of the play, drop it as he kicks it, and then the long snapper will snap it back to him.

Similar to kickoffs, the play results in a touchback, and the subsequent drive will kick off at the 25-yard line if the punting side kicks the ball too far to land in or past the end zone.

Field goal

When the offense tries to make a field goal, a specific team group called a field goal unit enters the picture. Likely shorter than a punt or kickoff, this play. While most offensive lines will take part in the field goal unit, they could substitute a designated long snapper for the center.

One of the most effective scoring units in football is the field goal unit. Placekickers frequently rank among the highest scorers for any given football club. Kickers make up all 25 NFL players with the most points.

Extra point kicks

After a touchdown, the majority of the players that take part in the field goal unit will also line up for the extra point. The quarterback or the backup quarterback may line up with the extra-point squad, though, as some teams may decide to go for a two-point conversion during an extra-point try.

The importance of these teams

Fans may undervalue the effect of special teams in football because they are frequently an expected aspect of the game. However, as the game progresses, the ST’ troops bear a heavy burden. For instance, a kick returner’s objective is to advance the ball and attempt to establish a strong field position from which the team may launch its offensive drive.

The importance of special teams in football

Defensive players are equally important in preventing a team from scoring on kickoff plays. A field goal and extra point attempts, which can be crucial in close games, can be blocked by blockers. A special teams coach who is directly in charge of ST’ plays is frequently present on NFL teams. They frequently become head coaches later in life because managing this set of athletes helps coaches develop a well-rounded perspective. NFL head coaches who began as special teams coaches include Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, and Joe Judge.

These teams in American football are literally. Even though these units aren’t as well-known as the offensive or defensive, their performance nevertheless affects the game’s outcome very much. 

In short, ST can not get a win for the team but without them, the football team easily loses the game. Also, through this article, we can answer the question of what special teams mean in football and their units. To read fascinating news like these above, our website American football terms is an ideal address that constantly updates this sport.

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