How many times does an Arkansas

Special teams make the mistake of not standing on the 10 and letting the ball go over their heads into the end zone. This has been going on for decades. Start on the 6 instead of the 25. We are momentum killers.

The old rule of stand on the 10 and not catch it if it goes over your head is a thing of the past. Punters are too good now at the sand wedge punt that hits inside the 5 and dies. If you fair catch at the 7 you may save yourself six yards of field position.

That is one of the dumbest statements I have ever heard. If you catch it on the 6…you’re on the 6. If you let it hit the ground and Tiger Woods puts spin on it…you have no idea where that ball is going…none. I will take my chances on letting hit the ground.

You may not like it, but that’s the truth. You don’t see punt returners park their heels on the 10 very often any more.

you should never fair catch inside the 10 makes no take a chance it goes in the EZ and get it on the 20

Probably about the same number of times we don’t come up and fair catch one in the middle of the field and watch it roll down inside the 5. The punter and punt coverage looked better today, hopefully the returner and return team can improve as much this week.

We are indeed special…

It appears to me to be incompetent coaching to fair catch on the 7; especially on a 50 yard or any long punt. The ball would hit the ground and either go into the end zone 90% of time or bounce back. Either way we have better field position. There is even a small chance of a fumble, in which case an instant touchdown for the other team.

Perhaps a fair catch on the 7 might be okay on a short punt that gives the other team time to get downfield and line up on the goal line.

I have to agree with arlington here, Swine. When you look at the risk/reward proposition, you have to let a ball that hits inside the 10 go. Only possible exception might be if it is a true “pooch” kick, where the kicking team sends a punt almost straight up (kicking from your 35 or something), where you have 2 or 3 seconds to settle under a ball coming straight down.

But in general, a “normal” punt that hits (especially artificial turf) has a good chance of scooting toward the goal line in an unpredictable way that could get you out to the 20. Might . . . might . . . also get you pinned at the 3 instead of the 8; but MIGHT also result in a bobbled catch and a turnover.

On balance, the gain (picking up 10+ yards to the 20, vs. maybe losing another 5 or so) is in your favor, and avoiding a catastrophic turnover possibility seals the decision. Even with “today’s kickers”. I’ll agree that, on the whole, today’s group is better at pinning teams deep. But a football is still an odd shape, and it doesn’t always behave the way the kicker wants it to.

Stand on the 10, and let anything over your head go. In fact, run away from it.

Prime example: Fourth quarter, Ravens-Steelers. Pittsburgh punted. Ravens returner made fair catch at the 8 with a Steeler gunner staring him in the face. I’m telling you, whether you like it or not, punt returners at all levels are no longer being told to park on the 10 and let it go if it’s over their head.

If there is a reward for letting it go - 25 yl vs the 6 yl - there is also a risk - 1yl vs the 6yl.

I don’t know where to begin to research it, but I’m guessing that 97% +/- of all drives starting at the six don’t result in a score. And, 99.5% +/- of all drives starting at the one don’t result in a score. Add to that our futlility and punting woes…

I’m also going to guess that at some schools they are teaching return specialists to read punts and to know how to react. One of those running Aussie kicks? Let it roll. The point-down, pooch kick Field at all costs.

In researching it, the field position proposition is pretty linear - you’re expected to drop about 1 point if you start out (first and 10) at your own 1 , drop 1/2 point if you start out at your own 10, and break even starting at your own 20. However, this assumes that you field the ball cleanly and actually “start” from those points.

What if you don’t catch the punt, and it is recovered by your opponent? If this happens, at - say, your 10 yard line - then the expected points for your foe is (on average) about 5 points (5 1/2 if at the 5 yard line). So, the difference in points expected due to field position, in general, is not that significant. What is significant is the potential for giving up an almost certain TD on a misplay. Granted, a high percentage of punts are fielded cleanly (about 1 in 30 punts are fumbled in the NFL - can’t find college stats). But is the potential gain from -1.0 to -.5 worth the risk of giving up 5 points? And keep in mind, that “potential gain” is only IF the ball continues to bounce toward the goal and is successfully downed at the 1 or 2. The possible “favorable” outcomes of not catching a ball inside the 10 is that it (a) checks up and bounces backwards; or (b) bounds into the EZ or is misplayed by the kicking team, resulting in it going out to the 20.

I won’t argue what players are being told to do, because - frankly - I don’t know (and, yes, I saw the Raven game too). But I still stand behind the reasoning for not catching any punt inside the 10. That’s what I would coach MY players to do, if I were in a position to do so. It’s kind of a Darrel Royal thing - of the few things that can happen, one is very bad and the others are about the same. So, avoid the “bad” outcome.

These aren’t pro punters. Park your heels on the 10 and take your chances