On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Jan. 28, 2017 1:30 PM EST Senior Bowl The Baltimore Ravens scouts are heading to Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama to check out prospects for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
  • Sun., Jan. 29, 2017 8:00 PM EST Pro Bowl The 2017 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 29, 2017 and will be televised live on ESPN from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
  • Sat., Feb. 18, 2017 10:00 AM EST Cheerleader Prep Clinics Get ready for Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader tryouts at the Cheerleader Prep Clinics!
  • Thu., Mar. 02, 2017 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST NFL Combine The NFL Scouting Combine is a vital event in the path to the draft. More than 300 prospects will participate in the 2017 combine in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams.
  • Fri., Mar. 03, 2017 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST NFL Combine The NFL Scouting Combine is a vital event in the path to the draft. More than 300 prospects will participate in the 2017 combine in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams.
  • Sat., Mar. 04, 2017 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST NFL Combine The NFL Scouting Combine is a vital event in the path to the draft. More than 300 prospects will participate in the 2017 combine in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams.
  • Sat., Mar. 04, 2017 9:30 AM EST Cheerleader Tryouts Tryout to be part of the 2017 Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders!
  • Sun., Mar. 05, 2017 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST NFL Combine The NFL Scouting Combine is a vital event in the path to the draft. More than 300 prospects will participate in the 2017 combine in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams.
  • Sat., Mar. 11, 2017 11:00 AM EST Playmaker Tryouts Tryout to become a Baltimore Ravens Playmaker!
  • Sat., Apr. 01, 2017 8:45 AM EDT Marching Ravens Auditions Come join us and become part of the best marching band in the NFL!

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