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SmootSmack 07-30-2006 11:24 AM

How Special are Special Teams?
 
Has the value of special teams been overrated all this time?

Read the full article here

[url]http://www.thewarpath.net/wordpress/2006/07/30/how-special-are-special-teams/[/url]

and discuss

Schneed10 07-30-2006 11:43 AM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[quote=TAFKAS]Has the value of special teams been overrated all this time?

Read the full article here

[URL="http://www.thewarpath.net/wordpress/2006/07/30/how-special-are-special-teams/"]http://www.thewarpath.net/wordpress/2006/07/30/how-special-are-special-teams/[/URL]

and discuss[/quote]

Interesting points and a good article. Offense and defense are clearly what drive most victories, more so than special teams. But I'd note:

1) The discussion addresses starting field position, which of course is a huge factor. But other aspects of special teams come into play as well. FG %, especially from long ranges, can have a big impact on the game. Ask Josh Brown of Seattle (typically a very good kicker) who banged one off the upright against the Redskins in Week 4 of the 2005 season. That kick would have won the game for Seattle.

2) Average starting field position may not be as important as the occasional big play on special teams. Where would the Redskins have been last season without Antonio Brown's kick return TD against the Cardinals? 9-7 and out of the playoffs.

In this day in age with parity running rampant in the NFL, so many games are decided by one big play or one clutch kick. Just look where the 'Skins would have been in 2005 if Josh Brown had made that kick, or if Antonio Brown hadn't ripped off that return for a TD. 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

And imagine if the Cowboys had Vanderjagt last year. The season could have looked VERY different.

I don't mean to say special teams are an end-all be-all to winning. Offense and defense are clearly more important than special teams. But in a league when so many games are decided by just a few points, and by one big play on one side or another, special teams can still make all the difference between a successful season and a disappointment.

SmootSmack 07-30-2006 11:50 AM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
Good points Schneed. Like I said I was determined to write an article about how important special teams was and the crux of my argument was going to be starting field position, and especially how Al Saunders really benefited from guys like Dante Hall and Az Hakim.

But then when I did some digging I was thrown off. Like finding out the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, my world was turned upside down.

JWsleep 07-30-2006 11:52 AM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
There's no Easter Bunny?

SmootSmack 07-30-2006 11:54 AM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[QUOTE=JWsleep]There's no Easter Bunny?[/QUOTE]

um...maybe you should sit down for this

gibbsisgod 07-30-2006 12:24 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
Next your going to say the tooth fairy is a myth also?

Now that you have completely ruined my day I will get back on topic:

Special teams to me is so much more than just feild position. I think STs can set the tone of a whole game by being very physical. The tone of a game can change with one huge hit on a kickoff or punt. A team can send a very clear message on the opening kickoff of every game by smacking the shit out of an opponent. I truly believe the most physical team will win the majority of the time and it all starts on STs. Feild position is can be a very good advantage but as noted by the article taf posted, it doesn't nessecarily translate into wins.

That Guy 07-30-2006 02:24 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
typo:

And I know what you’re thinking. “Oh people can Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything.


decent article, but special teams are usually just nothing plays. Big plays make a huge difference though (40+ yard returns, return TDs, blocked kicks, not fumbling, etc) and good special teams comes up with more big plays.

A Brown and his return TD, cowboys and their kickers, vandy botching a kick for indy, and on and on.

SmootSmack 07-30-2006 02:37 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[QUOTE=That Guy]typo:

And I know what you’re thinking. “Oh people can Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything.[/QUOTE]

You know I saw that typo when I submitted the article and I was too lazy to change it and my exact thought "Well I'm sure That Guy will point it out"

Still too lazy to change it though

Schneed10 07-30-2006 02:54 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[quote=TAFKAS]Good points Schneed. Like I said I was determined to write an article about how important special teams was and the crux of my argument was going to be starting field position, and especially how Al Saunders really benefited from guys like Dante Hall and Az Hakim.

But then when I did some digging I was thrown off. Like finding out the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, my world was turned upside down.[/quote]

Yeah, special teams play is an interesting animal. In most games it doesn't play a significant role; probably enough games to make people think it's a rather insignificant part of football. Then right when you start thinking that, your team loses a game on a big special teams play. Every now and then special teams pop up and make all the difference in a game.

superskins 07-30-2006 04:14 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
they are super special and dont you go thinking otherwise

hooskins 07-30-2006 06:05 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[quote=superskins]they are super special and dont you go thinking otherwise[/quote]

Ok, we will take your word for it.

TheMalcolmConnection 07-30-2006 08:51 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
I'm going to say, they're "short bus" special. VERY important. Stats say at least 1-2 games are won or lost due to special teams. Cardinals anyone?

scowan 07-31-2006 10:58 AM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
Special Teams were huge in the Skins/Seahawks playoff game last year. The Skins started with bad field position the entire first half, and almost turn the game around with some fumbles and such by the Seahawks return guys, BUT and I say a huge BUT, the Seahawks were the better team that day and the Skins offense could not get anything going, until they were desparate late in the game.

GTripp0012 07-31-2006 12:00 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
Ave. starting field position is very, very important. I do think that ave. starting field posistion has more to do with how good a teams offense/defense is, than the success of its kick team.

Schneed10 07-31-2006 12:21 PM

Re: How Special are Special Teams?
 
[quote=GTripp0012]Ave. starting field position is very, very important. I do think that ave. starting field posistion has more to do with how good a teams offense/defense is, than the success of its kick team.[/quote]

EDIT: Double post. My bad.


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