By: Aj Mansour |

Originally posted to

Special teams are often times the most overlooked facet in the game of football. So much attention is paid to the offensive side of the game and then a fair amount gets directed to the defense as well. But aren’t special teams units simply your first line of offense (kick returns) or your first line of defense (kick coverage)?

It’s been called “the down before first down” by special teams coordinators around the league for years. Of all the people inside a professional football complex, they’re the ones who will inherently have the greatest appreciation for the role that special teams plays for a team on a weekly basis.

Then there’s the special teams players themselves. Their appreciation for this part of the game is an interesting one. You’re not sure if they truly enjoy this violent part of the game or if they just understand that giving their all on special teams is the best way for them to make the roster. Still, not everybody is willing to run full speed into an opponent who is traveling at an equally accelerated pace. Fewer still are comfortable staring up into the sky at a falling ball while opponents come barreling down the field with the sole intent to maim.

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