Punter Ninja

Submitted by pee on freep on April 22nd, 2010 at 1:19 PM

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?



April 22nd, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

Didn't Brian Griese take snaps as a pooch punter? I can't remember if they ever ran a fake out of it.

I think it's a fair idea, but only when you don't want a long punt - it's probably just as good to have a bad kicker for the pooch punts.

mgm 05

April 22nd, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

Wouldn't waiting to let routes develop lead to ineligible man down field penalties?

Either way with Denard clearly winning the starting QB job we need to get Tate on the field somehow [/sarcasm]

pee on freep

April 22nd, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

what is the rule for ineligible downfield? can you elaborate on how this may increase this penalty? perhaps there is a way around it if this is an issue? if our players are hanging back and letting plays develop, then is that not keeping them from going down field? once the punt is kicked they would take off....downfield...

mgm 05

April 22nd, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

Rule: An ineligible receiver is past the line of scrimmage (LOS) prior to a forward pass. Ineligible receivers must wait until the pass is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage (or touched) before moving past the line of scrimmage.

In the punt game the lineman have a specific count then release downfield (as opposed to pass blocking where they're behind the LOS basically the entire play). If we're attempting a punt/pass/run option it seems that count would be more variable and have a higher likelihood of a lineman crossing the LOS prior to the pass.

I like the idea just think it'd be tough to execute.

pee on freep

April 22nd, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

thank you for the clarification. perhaps in this type of play the lineman (who-ever is ineligible) does take a few steps back as in a pass-play. after all they are still needed there for blocking up the middle, even to an extent to the sides. we still have our eligible players running routes and/or blocking the sides to allow Tate to make like sweetness. nonetheless, thank you for the backup...


April 22nd, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

I want all trick plays saved to be used on OSU. I want to win this game this year sooooo bad. I want every trick in the book pulled out, dusted off, and used to beat down the bucks.

pee on freep

April 22nd, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

if only there was a way to get the idea to them. how cool would it be to see a MGoBlog play scheme/idea make its way to the field.

if only there was a way to get the idea to them, they would probably be so overwhelmed with scheme/ideas that they would shut off the source.

perhaps Brian, our fearless leader, our guide, our Michigan Man, has an idea, some way to get this off the ground???


April 22nd, 2010 at 2:35 PM ^

I was talking with a buddy just yesterday about this and if Hagerup isn't ready I think this is a viable option because other than 4th and 20 on our own 10 this puts pressure on a coach to leave the d in or at least be in a punt safe, because Tate could chew them up pretty easily. A 4th and 5 and there is no way you could bring in your punt team if Tate is lined up to go for it at any point on the field, you have to leave your d on the field.

name redacted

April 22nd, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

I love it. Especially around midfield when you don't need a huge punt, and the fans all want them to go for it on 4th down anyway. For as many times as Tate might not "pin" them within the 10, they will get four times as many crappy returns because they were forced to stay in a nickel or punt safe. I wonder what damage Tate could do in a traditional punt formation, and how many times he could roll out and hit a TE doing a 5 and out? Not open, try the running punt we saw so much a couple yrs ago. Tate may not be the fastest, but he is illusive as hell, and I would feel pretty good he could avoid most of the pressure that might get to him


April 22nd, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

YES, YES, YES. I am 100% in favor of anything that will keep opposing teams guessing. I like this idea. I also like the idea of formations in which both Tate and DRob are in together running the zone read with DRob as either a slot or RB. The point is not that we should be running trick plays and crazy formations on every down, but that we should have the option of running those plays on every down, hence making other teams (1) have to adjust, and (2) play with a bit of uncertainty.