The members of a football team responsible for plays involving a kick of a football. This includes the kicker, punter and long snapper, as well as anybody involved in the kick return and kick coverage teams. A team with good special teams will tend to be good at field goals and extra points, and provide its offense and defense with superior field position after kickoffs and punts.
Special teams is a catch-all term that refers to plays that aren't typically offensive or defensive plays. The plays always include a kicker or punter. A good special teams unit requires several team members who are good at blocking after a kickoff or punt in order to allow their returner to gain a large number of yards. Good special teams also must be able to run down and tackle the opposing returner to limit the starting position of the opposing offense. Special teams units are often made up of backup offensive and defensive players, as well as the kicker, punter and long snapper.