Our youth football kick return blocking is not that great. We did better this year by assigning players to block but we can do better. We missed many blocks and one that hurt us in our final play off game last season.
After reading Coaching Offensive Linemen by Dave Christensen and James Peterson, I learned something that I have never heard before about Kick Return front linemen, except maybe for the Hands Kick Return Team for onside kicks. They suggest in their book that your offensive linemen do not make good kick return blockers because the are not designed to be open field blockers. They recommend using linebackers, tight ends, and back-up running backs as your Kick Return Teams front-line blockers.
Why use skill players as the frontline blockers of your Kick Return Team?
- Better Open Field Blockers
- Better use of hands for blocking and recovering ball
- Quicker and Faster to set up your blocking line
- Allows time during kick to talk to O-Line as a group before 1st play
After thinking about this for a week, they may be right, especially in youth football leagues. I will be adjusting my kick return front line based on the above. It makes sense. If you decide to stick with your o-line as your kick return teams front line blockers, here are a few rules to use.
Rules for Lineman on the Kick Return Team:
- Never chase the football more than 2 steps
- Never try to catch the football over your head
- Never catch the ball and then run with it
- If you recover the kick, cradle the football with your body
- Physically cover-up your team mate with the ball
- If the ball is deliberately kick hard at you, don’t touch it, let it continue downfield to the backs
Source: Coaching Offensive Linemen by Dave Christensen and James Peterson
Good Luck this season.