A personal protector in football is a special teams position that focuses on protecting the punter during punt plays. This position lines up closest to the punter and acts as the last line of defense for blocking incoming defenders.
Punt protection is the number one priority of a personal protector in football. This position is not used by all punt teams but when it is it is they are crucial.
If a player looking to block a punt makes it through the line it is up to the personal protector to protect the punter. Additionally if a personal protector fails to make his block and allows them to reach the punter it can have massive effects.
Punt Return Tackling
Personal protectors also play the role of tackling players on the punt return. During a punt a personal protector will block until the punt is in the air. At this time they will make their way downfield to attempt and make a tackle.
Since personal protectors are further back into the offensive backfield these players are not often the first to make it to the punt returns. Though every now and again this position will find a way to bring the punt returner down.
Personal Protector Attributes
Blocking ability is far and away the most important attribute to have when playing the personal protector position. When playing this position a player simply cannot afford to miss his block.
The job of blocking as a personal protector is not incredibly hard as you only have to do it for a short period of time. But they must be consistent as losing a one on one and allowing a blocked punt is not an option.
Having good tackling is important for personal protectors. Though they are not expected to make tackles on the majority of punt returns, managing to get one can solidify your spot in the lineup.
Passing/Carrying The Ball
Though not a major part of this position on some occasions they receive the ball on a fake punt. Sometimes this may be a direct snap to the personal protector in which they run with the ball.
On other occasions, the personal protector may get the ball and then throw it outside to the gunner. Having these sorts of skills is not mandatory for the position but can come in handy in some situations.
Positioning of the personal protector position is quite straightforward. There can be one or two personal protectors on the field during a punt. These players will stand a few yards in front and a few yards to the side of the punter himself.
We hope you have enjoyed this guide to the personal protector position. If you have any more questions about this topic please reach out and we will be happy to get back to you.