And so the Punter Ninja was born (at least in my dreams)...
So try this on: Tate Forcier comes in as our punter when we are at or around the 50 yard line. He steps back in punting formation, and the other 10 are in their standard punting formation. Tate has the athletic ability to punt deep(ish) or run. I know this is not new, but what if we brought in the element of pass? Pass as an option, a threat, to keep the defense back.
Defenses may get burned at first, but will then (and perhaps very quickly) start lining up in a perhaps nickel, 3-deep, whatever defense, with one punt returner down in their red zone. Forcing the defense to spread out like that will: 1) significantly reduce the pressure on the punter, and 2) allow our tacklers to get down the field quicker and more free and clear. Win-win?
I know the trick play punt option is not new, but utilizing it as an extra down (perhaps a 3rd-and-a-half down), that has the ability to strike and keep a drive going, why not? Worst case scenario we open up the defense and get to the punt returners quicker.
For those worried about a potential increase in injury to Tate, I do not think there would be one, the defensive players are more spread out, on their heels, and not able to go after the punter as much as we have now.
Anyone? Good right? We have Tate Forcier, a multi-dimensional athlete who scrambles like runny eggs, and who can punt well. I'm in. What do you think?