A position primarily responsible for punting the ball back to the other team on fourth down in an attempt to pin the other team a significant distance down the field. Punters will receive a snap from center and drop the ball, kicking it before it hits the ground. They are prized on their ability to kick the ball both a significant distance, and with a large amount of hang time. Hang time is considered important because the longer the ball can stay in the air, the more time the team has to run down and deny the return man a chance to run the ball back.
Punters are considered specialty players since they only play a few plays a game, and only on fourth down. Punters can have a significant impact on the game if they can effectively pin the other team deep in their own territory. This forces the offense to travel the length of the field if they want to score, and gives the defense some room for error. Punters may attempt to kick the ball out of bounds on occasion if they either want to eliminate the possibility of a return, or if they want to try to angle the ball out of bounds deep in the opposing territory.