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Short punt formation

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Title: Short punt formation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: History of American football positions, Two-level defense, Down and out (football), Drag (route), Double coverage
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Short punt formation

Short Punt formation versus a 6-2-3 defense.

The short punt formation is an older formation on both offense and defense in American football, popular when scoring was harder and a good punt was itself an offensive weapon.[1][2] In times when punting on second and third down was fairly common, teams would line up in the short punt formation and offer the triple threat of punt, run or pass.[3][4] Harper's Weekly in 1915 calls it "the most valuable formation known to football."[4] The formation was invented by Amos Alonzo Stagg in 1896.[5]

The formation is similar to the single wing and modern shotgun by including the possibility of a long snap from center. However, it is generally a balanced formation, and there are backs on both sides of the tailback, offering better pass protection. As a result, it was considered a much better passing formation than running, as the premiere running formation was the single wing.[6] That said, it was regarded as a good formation for trap plays[7]

A play showing the short punt on offense and defense, and the qb under center.

The formation was used extensively by Fielding Yost's "point-a-minute" Michigan Wolverines in their early history, and was the base formation for the Benny Friedman led New York Giants in 1931.[1][8][9] In the 1956 NFL Championship, the Chicago Bears shifted into a short punt formation in the third quarter, after falling way behind.[10]


  1. ^ a b Retyl, Richard, U-M's Shotgun Offense is Older than the Winged Helmets Themselves. Nov. 9, 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  2. ^ Bible (1947), pp. 111-114
  3. ^ Bible (1947), p. 179
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Faurot (1950), pp. 268-270
  8. ^ Faurot (1950), p. 10
  9. ^ Short Punt in Pro Football Formations 1: In the Beginning. Hickock Sports. retrieved June 26, 2013.
  10. ^ Schenkel, Chris, NBC Broadcast, 1956 NFL Championship.
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