|Striding, extending the ball -|
|She's going to kick with right foot. Doesn't it look like|
the ball will more likely meet her right knee?
I don't know. I used to punt the ball in practice, never in a game. And somehow managed to get foot to ball. But looking back, I don't know how. It is inertia? You're walking forward. When you drop the ball it keeps moving forward while you're planting your left foot and that little inertia is just enough?
I don't know.
But somehow punters manage.
|Clearly possible. This is from a different time but I included|
it because, in spite of my suggesting punting is awkward,
there is nothing awkward in this performance. How does she do it?
|Griff with the ball from center, starting her motion forward.|
See how she's extending it so it will be far enough out to meet
|Left footed! She seems to be leaning back just a bit so her foot|
meets the ball before it reaches the ground.
|Sorry I don't have the ball in the photo. I considered doctoring |
this picture in Photoshop but that wouldn't be honest.
I can say she's made solid contact and the ball is accomplishing
the objective of getting out from the shadow of her goal posts.
|This is Rowland, #87, beginning her punting motion.|
|She's dropped the ball, bringing her right foot forward to|
make the kick. Notice she's close to her end zone
so needs to make solid contact.
|Once again, contact made, ball sails far and rescues the|
Outlaws field position.
Punters have the same problem as quarterbacks and place kickers: time. From when they receive the snap from center until they have to launch the ball is about three seconds. At least that's the theory. I don't have many photos to support that idea but I do have a couple that belie it. These were taken from the end zone a few years ago. Griff has the ball and apparently has all day to kick it. Sometimes the line does a really great job and, as a former line player, I always want to post pics of the line doing good.
Ordinarily the punter is facing a charging defense and has to get the quick off fast. Punters want to sail the ball high, to clear the heads of the line in front of her. And high to give "hang time" - while the ball is in the air the kicking team is racing down field trying to get to the kick returner at the same time as the ball. The longer the ball is hanging out up in the sky, the more time the tacklers have to get to the the returner.
In an earlier post I asked why we call it "foot"ball when there is so little foot-to-ball action. Well, when kicking is involved, it is important. Kicking off to pin the opponent deep in their own territory, kicking field goals or PATs for points, punting to win the field-position battle.
Kickers have a lonely job. Kickers have an important job. Let's hear it for Outlaws kickers.