Anatomy of a Punt Block – Alabama vs Colorado State

It’s not often that we focus on the Bama special teams but throughout the early part of the 2013 season they have been superb.  On Saturday, Alabama turned to their punt block unit in an effort to turn the tide against the Rams and send them to a watery grave.

Ask any coach and they’ll tell you the key to having a great special teams unit is having some tremendously skilled athletes.  Linebackers, running backs and safeties are typically the prototypical body type that special teams coordinators like to send on seek and destroy missions and that’s exactly what we saw this past Saturday.

In the picture below, just take a look at the players going from left to right on the screen:  Dillon Lee, Landon Collins, Kenyan Drake, Jalston Fowler, Trey DePriest, DeAndrew White, Dee Hart and Reggie Ragland.  That’s a ton of talent.  By the way, make sure you take a look at the three punt protectors (circled) – they are the key to the punt being blocked.

puntblock1

In the next screen shot, you can see that Hart and Ragland (circled together) have engaged two of the three punt protectors.  This leaves one pour soul in charge of blocking both Lee and Drake and, as they say, “he chose poorly” – he chose Lee (circled to the left).  The rule for any blocker on either a field goal or a punt is to block from the inside out.  Drake should have been blocked and Lee should have been the free rusher but, instead, this little Ram lost his way.  Here, you can see Drake following the yellow brick road to an Alabama block party…

puntblock2

The punt was easily blocked by Drake and all that was left was for Lee and Collins to thumb wrestle for the honors of scoring the Tide’s third special teams score of the season.  Lee, of course, won the race to the end zone.

puntblock3

So, that’s how you block a punt.  Just line up a bunch of incredible athletes and then threaten every gap until one poor blocker has to make a critical decision on his blocking assignment.  Frank Beamer would be so proud…

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