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Football: Kickers

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Field goal attempt in football
Source: US Navy

The kickers are members of the special teams in football. They have very specialized skills and roles to play in the game.

Skills Needed Kicking Positions It's a Fake!

Sometimes the punter or place kicker will be involved in a fake. This is when the team pretends to kick the ball, but then runs a play to try and gain a first down. Sometimes the kicker is directly involved either passing or running the ball. Other times the kicker just needs to pretend to kick the ball in order help fake out the defense.

Onside Kick

Another kicking play is the onside kick. This takes place during the kickoff. Once the kickoff travels 10 yards down the field, it is a free ball for either time. In an onside kick the kicker tries to kick the ball just over 10 yards down the field. The other players on the kickoff team try to recover it.

Long Snapper

During punt formations the ball must be snapped around 20 feet to the punter. This player is often a specialist whose only job is to snap the ball on punt plays.


Sometimes the kicker becomes the last line of defense during kick offs and punts. In this case the kicker needs to help tackle. Anything the kicker can do to help, such as turning the runner into other defenders or pushing him out of bounds, may prevent the other team from scoring a touchdown.

More Football Links:

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Player Positions
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The Secondary
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Offense Basics
Offensive Formations
Passing Routes
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Defensive Formations
Special Teams

How to...
Catching a Football
Throwing a Football
How to Punt a Football
How to Kick a Field Goal

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