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Darrell Hazell: Returning the Short Kickoff

Darrell Hazell: Returning the Short Kickoff

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with Darrell Hazell, Purdue University Head Coach; former Kent State University Head Coach, 2012 MAC Coach of the Year

A kick return can instantly change a game's momentum. Fair catching a sky kick or pooch kick, which typically establishes the line of scrimmage around the 25-yard line, reduces your team's chances of scoring. When the ball is returned beyond the 40-yard line, the offense scores 40 percent of the time (2 out of 5 possessions). Darrell Hazell has designed a kickoff return that maximizes field position when returning sky kicks and pooch kicks. In this presentation, he explains how to run the return and uses multimedia slides and practice footage to break down his simple rules.

Coach Hazell begins with his philosophy of the short kick, which involves timing and spacing for success. The simple rules for this kickoff return are easily implemented, and coaches may find it matches many of the man return schemes they currently today. In this segment, you'll learn:

six simple rules to running a kick return
indicators to give your return team a clue where the ball is being kicked
important elements of the kick return game by position (keeps effective timing and spacing)
tips and strategies for an effective return
a drill to identify potential special teams players
how to use a kickoff scrimmage to show players the impact of great special teams play on the outcome of a game

Effective blocking techniques are covered in depth. Coach Hazell discusses four steps associated with great return blocking. The two-step punch drill teaches players to effectively initiate and stay on blocks. It focuses on how to use a violent hand strike and maintain leverage on a player once they're engaged.

Take this philosophy and key strategies of the kick return game to your team this season. Become more efficient on offense by giving your team a chance to get the ball beyond the 40-yard line each kick return.

Produced at the 2014 Orlando Nike Coach of the Year clinic. 47 minutes. 2014.

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