On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Jul. 11, 2016 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM EDT Junior Ravens Cheerleaders Camp

    Designed to focus on specific competitive cheer skills, Junior Ravens is the perfect camp for competitive cheerleaders! Participants will have the chance to perform at our annual Fireworks Night during Training Camp at M&T Bank Stadium.

  • Wed., Jul. 13, 2016 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM EDT Lil Ravens Cheer Camp At the 2016 Ravens Cheerleaders Lil Ravens Summer Camp kids will enjoy activities and crafts including, individual cheerleading instruction, performance opportunities, autographs from the Ravens Cheerleaders, and an end-of-camp all-day celebration.
  • Mon., Aug. 01, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Training Camp Military Appreciation Day The first M&T Bank Stadium practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. This practice – free and open to all fans – coincides with the Ravens’ annual Military Appreciation Day. Approximately 3,500 special seats will be reserved for active service members and veterans who present valid military identification upon check-in at the stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 6:00 PM EDT Training Camp Fireworks Night On Saturday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m., the second M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the organization’s third-annual Fireworks Night, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show.
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 2:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016

News

Print
RSS

Tandon Doss' Unusual Punt-Catching Technique

Posted Oct 10, 2013

WR Tandon Doss frequently catches punts with his hands over his head.


Ravens wide receiver Tandon Doss leads the NFL in average yards per punt return this season (16.7).

So he’s doing a lot right.

But Doss says that the way he has caught nearly all of his 13 punt returns is actually, technically, wrong.

Doss has an unusual way of fielding the high, often knuckling balls. While most returners cradle the ball into their arms and chest, Doss reaches both hands out and snatches it out of mid-air like a receiver would catch a pass.

It’s quite rare and seemingly incredibly difficult.

“Honestly, it’s just a bad technique,” Doss said. “It’s just me misjudging the ball. I’m usually running up too close when it’s still hanging. I’m ready to run forward with it instead of waiting, catching it and going.”

Doss said the correct technique is to put your elbows together and catch the ball against your body, like bringing it into a pocket. But some punt returners have their own style.

For example, Doss said that Denver’s Wes Welker, who the team considers their safe pooch-punt returner (despite his Week 1 fumble against the Ravens), crosses his arms to create a “V” shape that the ball’s nose falls into.

“[Coaches] really just tell you to catch the ball,” Doss said with a chuckle. “It depends on where it is. If a ball is dropping, usually I’ll try to get underneath it. But if it’s high and hanging and I have to open up to it, then I’m going to catch it with my hands usually.”

Doss actually doesn’t like to catch the ball against his chest pads.

“For me, if a ball hits my chest, it’s coming out,” he said. “It’s just awkward for me.”

Doss’ technique impresses his teammate and fellow punt returner Jacoby Jones, who is an electric punt returner in his own regard. Jones remembers watching Doss catch punts above his head, with one hand, backhanded. He’s even seen him do it in the rain.

“He’s probably got the best hands on the team,” Jones said. “It’s pretty freaky.”

Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg pointed to just one other punt returner who he remembers catching the ball like that, Cleveland’s Kevin Johnson.

“It stems from him being a receiver. When he sees a spiraled ball like that, he doesn’t see any reason why he should put his arms under it when he can catch the ball over his head and he’s done it his whole life,” Rosburg said. “It takes extraordinary hands. … So far it’s served him well.”

Asked whether he gets nervous when Doss plucks the ball above his head, Rosburg joked, “I’m nervous all the time. It doesn’t matter.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos