Originally Posted by TheCount
I didn't say special teams wasn't important. I said I can find no proof of what a ST coach actually does. Other than yell at people when things go wrong, of course.
I can promise you no ST coach ever taught Devin Hester how to juke a guy out of his shoes or how to run faster.
I'm also half kidding. Half.
There is some truth to that. A lot of the top special-teams players are just that way because of their natural ability to play it.
But if you take the Hester example, it still takes blockers knowing who they've got to hit to give him a chance to do his stuff. It can't just be chaos. So the ST coach has a role in that success. The evidence is often how well the play is blocked because there are definitely times when a good returner overcomes poor blocking.
Same thing with the coverage. A good scheme is going to be set up to not just depend on defeating blocking, but to have players get to certain points to allow others to fill in and make the plays. It can be undone by the kicker putting the kickoff in the wrong spot. It can be undone by players not being disciplined to let the scheme develop or not understanding where to go if the blocking develops a certain way.
In a way, special teams has to be coordinated better than either of the other units because there's so much field to cover. Leave gaps in your scheme and there they go!