ITP Glossary: Pin Deep Punt

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From personal protector to jab step, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.

Pin Deep Punt

A pin deep punt is defined as any punt kicked when the line of scrimmage is from a team’s 41-yard line forward. As many NFL punters can easily hit the ball into the opposing end zone on the fly or bounce, the goal of pin deep punting is to target the opponent’s 10-yard line with the intention of forcing a fair catch, rather than hitting the ball as far as possible.

Teams utilize a number of different strategies for pin deep situations. The coffin corner kick is the most traditional directional punt, with teams attempting to land the ball at or near a sideline to allow a punter to take a full swing yet still control distance.

Other teams will use a higher kick trajectory to target the center of the field, with the trajectory largely determined by the punter holding the nose of the ball up slightly. This tends to be a difficult strategy to employ, as it can require a punter to change his leg speed drastically from kick to kick depending on distance.

Nose-down punting has also come into favor in recent years, as this produces a backspin that instead of carrying easily through the air, naturally reduces distance because of both greater air resistance and less compression at impact.

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Chuck Zodda wrote this entryFollow Chuck on Twitter @ITP_ChuckZ.

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