Special Teams?

I see the holdovers from the previous staff are going to be the leaders of the special teams–Barry Lunney on the offensive side and John Scott defensively, and Tanner Burns as an off-the-field analyst. Seeing how special teams was such a struggle, is there reason to think it will be any different under the new regime? Don’t get me wrong: not blaming Scott or Lunney, just a simple question that probably can’t be answered yet. I guess the question really is their qualifications to run the special teams?

Honestly, just about every program makes special teams an all-hands-on-deck deal. Steve Caldwell (Arkansas), Ron Cooper (South Carolina) and Jeff Traylor (Texas) have experience as special teams coordinators, and Mark Smith was a college kicker.

Lunney, Scott and Burns might oversee the various special teams sessions, but they are not going to be the only ones coaching.

Thanks, Matt. I’m also sure there will be a different philosophy concerning them as well.

Recruiting more speed and better recruiting overall, producing a deeper team, will provide the biggest improvement for special teams.

Special teams look a lot better when you have special athletes, no pun intended.

The field goal block team was awesome when Dan Skipper was on campus. The same could be said for punt return team with Joe Adams and or kick return teams with Felix Jones or Dennis Johnson.

I agree with that, Matt. If you don’t have those kinds of athletes, it doesn’t matter who the coach is. Hopefully, we will be better at kickoffs and punting. Punting really took a hit last year, starting with catching the snap.

I don’t think Tanner Burns made the decisions on who kicked, held or snapped in the kicking game. Coach B did. Hopefully his opinion will be taken more seriously this time around.

I was reading something last week about a current or former NFL coach. Might have been Bill Cowher. It said he highlighted his focus on special teams by doing ST stuff right in the middle of practice instead of pushing it off until the end. Sounded like a reasonable idea. For one thing the players will be less tired and more able to focus on what they’re emphasizing that day. Cowher was a ST coach before he became a HC, IIRC.

If I recall correctly, Bielema did punt return and punt coverage early in practice, kickoff return and coverage in the middle and field goals toward the end.

OK. We wouldn’t know that because we never got to see practice. :stuck_out_tongue: Or read many reports about it because you didn’t get to see it either. I get that coaches are paranoid and getting more so, but a little transparency might have helped BB weather this 4-8 storm.

Didn’t a Freshman on last seasons roster return one or two.

Don’t you mean punt catching? There is no way you could call what CBB punter catchers did as returning. Except for safety play it was the lamest part of his program.