On any given football team, typically the skill players are the ones that get all of the recognition. The quarterback is the face of the franchise, the wide receiver has all of the glamorous catches, and the running back is the workhorse of the team. This goes the same with defense. The defensive ends celebrate after a huge sack creating a huge uproar from the crowd, linebackers gloriously crush any running back that gets in front of them, and secondary players come up with huge turnovers that can spark an entire team.
You can actually go ahead and make an argument for the kicker as well. There is a lot of pressure riding on one swift swoop of the leg. A kicker can get carried off a field as a victorious savior of a game, or can walk alone after missing a clutch kick. A made kick of over 60 yards will undoubtedly get you a highlight on SportsCenter.
The guy that no one really talks about on a football team is the punter. A punter will never live in the glamorous lime light of the quarterback. He’ll never be carried off the field like a hero after a football game. Yet, the punter is the unsung hero of these football teams. Why do I say this, you ask?
Punters are one of the largest contributors to field position in a football game. If your team has a good punter on your side, they will undoubtedly control the battle for field position. If an offense were to go 3 & out on their own 20-yard line, and a punter is able to get off a kick to the opponents 30, then he’s done his job. You’ve just automatically turned your opponents position from a 20-yard field to a 70-yard field.
On the same hand, if you are punting from the 50-yard line, and your punter has legitimate control over his distance, direction, and spin, the ball will most likely wind up inside your opponents 10 yard line, giving their offense a devastatingly long field to work with that will rarely result in points.
But you know this already.