Kickoff Coverage Team

This is part 1 of this post. There is a link to Part 2 of this article at the bottom of this post.

1. Intimidate our opponent with aggression.
2. Set the state of the football game with tough contact on ball carrier.
3. Show coverage which will carry throughout the game and season.
4. Show speed of our football team with desire to be the first down field!
5. When opponent turns on our film, make them fear us.
6. Be a disciplined and sound unit on the field.

1. Be the best kickoff team in the conference
2. Hold opponent inside 15 yards per return or inside 34 yard line.
3. Allow no big returns.
4. Must cause take always with aggression.
5. No yards after initial hit on ball carrier.

1. Loyalty –Be loyal to your teammates and team responsibilities.
2. Intensity –Instinctive desire to dominate.
3. Pride –Burning desire to be the best
4. Toughness –Make them fear us
5. Aggressiveness –Willingness to make the big hit
6. Disciplined –Know your assignment and stick to it.
7. Character –You are remembered by what you do on the field.

• Be Onside
• Sprint! Don’t squat early
• Stay in lane. Maintain good spacing between men.
• CONTAINMENT! Help is inside! Think squeeze –reverse –exchange.
• Tackle with explosion! Wrap up –cause Fumble
• Good block protection. Deliver blow! Chest Hands.
• Avoid early Blockers. Avoid to ball!!
• Safety –be as safety! Nose on ball! Maintain leverage! Work to sideline or funnel to other safety.
• Stay on feet.
• Don’t over run ball carrier.
• Don’t squat –run through.
• Always have a tackling angle –don’t run by it.
• Attack wedge or side return with reckless abandon.
• Ball is alive and free after 10-yards
• Go after and get ball –cannot advance it unless touched by Receiving Team.
• Kicker/Captain –Count your men! Five type of Kicks: Deep, directional, squib, onside, placement.
• Always know the type of kick, where it is going to be kicked, rules for each coverage. Directional and type of kick will be stated in huddle.
• Penetrate
• Rangers always huddle –know type of kick and coverage.
• Never spin off blocks.

1. Start
a. A good get off is essential for good coverage.
b. Must cross(-35 or -20) at full speed, onsides, and together. You accomplish this by alignment of your depth from the ball before it is kicked.

2. Avoid
a. Speed defeats early blockers. Always attempt to avoid early block toward direction of the kick. This should put you on your landmark, keeping a good lane distribution. Never follow your own color!

3. Read
a. Front Line Key –First read in determining return formation. Key angles and drops.
b. Back line key –Will support the final decision we make on the type of return. Key the wedge, direction of E, FB, HB.
c. Direction of returner is the final key and most important.
d. Always be aware of trick plays or unusual looking players during a return.
e. Always be aware of side blocks. Must not have tunnel vision. Beat these blocks with speed.

4. Attack
a. Must aggressively gain control of blockers using your hands. Stay square and penetrate.
b. Always keep ball inside and in front.
c. Do not trade one for one on blocker. Drive him backwards.
d. Disengage blocker by using hands when runner commits.

5. Reckless
a. Make the big hit or make the ball carrier go east and west.


Timing with the kickers steps as he approaches the ball is critical to this technique. You want to be going full speed when the kicker hits the ball.

You make plays on the Kick-off Team by not getting blocked. You must use your techniques to get by defenders. The avoid zone usually takes place between 40-25. (Dip & Rip, Bull, Head)

The contact area is usually between the 25-10 yard line. Use your technique here and bench press the defender, shed, and go make a play. You must be able to find the ball carrier.

1. All Ranger team members will gather in the box prior to taking the field to receive the coverage.
2. We will take the field together –100%sprint, and align the -25 yard line in a straight line, shoulder to shoulder. The order of the players in the huddle, will be the same as their alignment to cover the kick, called in the huddle.

3. Our kicker will set the ball prior to addressing the huddle and will then take command of the huddle. He will then repeat the type of kick and coverage. He must count 10 other players.
4. After giving the type of kick and coverage, our kicker will break the huddle by saying, “Ready…Hit!” He will only give this command to break the huddle after receiving the “ready for play” signal (whistle)
5. Everyone sprints to his respective lane alignment position.
6. When ready fro play, the kicker will check to see that all coverage personnel are ready. He will then drop his right arm, call Ready, and begin his approach.
7. The widest aligned coverage personnel are responsible for telling everyone to stay onsides.

Click here to read the remainder of this article.

About the Author of this post:

Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.

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