HomeMore Sports


American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballHistoryHow ToKick TypesLeaguesLingoNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesPlayersPlaysPositionsFootball BlockerFootball CenterFootball CornerbackFootball Defensive BackFootball Defensive EndFootball Defensive LineFootball Defensive LinemanFootball Defensive TackleFootball Dime BackFootball Down LinemanFootball Elephant EndFootball FlankerFootball Free SafetyFootball Free Safety Vs. Strong SafetiesFootball Front SevenFootball FullbackFootball Fullback Vs. HalfbackFootball GuardFootball GunnerFootball HalfbackFootball HolderFootball Injured ReserveFootball JammerFootball KickerFootball Kicker TypesFootball Kickoff ReturnerFootball Left TackleFootball LinebackerFootball Linebacker TypesFootball Long SnapperFootball Mike LinebackerFootball NickelbackFootball Nose TackleFootball Offensive BackfieldFootball Offensive LineFootball Offensive LinemanFootball Offensive TackleFootball Pass Rushing EndFootball Personal ProtectorFootball PlacekickerFootball Position AbbreviationsFootball Positions GuideFootball Positions ListFootball Positions Ranked By ImportanceFootball Punt ReturnerFootball Punt RusherFootball PunterFootball QuarterbackFootball Receiver TypesFootball Receiving TeamFootball Return SpecialistFootball Right TackleFootball Running BackFootball Running Back TypesFootball Sam LinebackerFootball SecondaryFootball Slot ReceiverFootball SnapperFootball Split End ReceiverFootball Strong SafetyFootball TailbackFootball Tight EndFootball True LinebackerFootball Wide ReceiversFootball Willy LinebackerFootball WingbackQuestionsRulesScrimmage DownsSkillsStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. Football Gunner

Football Gunner

Table of Contents


A gunner is a player on the special teams who stands close to the sidelines on a kicking play. In kicking plays, gunners are responsible for tackling the returner.

Gunners are lightning fast and have an ability to pass blockers on the opposing team to reach the returner. Gunners usually run on the sidelines of the field immediately when the ball is kicked to get to the returner as soon as possible. They can begin running as soon as the ball is snapped, trying to evade the other team's blockers.

In the best case scenario, a gunner will tackle the returner or force him to signal for a fair catch on a kickoff or punt.

Gunners also play positions like defensive backs, running backs or even wide receivers when they're not gunners.


A jammer is a player on the special teams that counters the gunner. During a return, jammers are on the receiving team and are responsible for stopping gunners from tackling the returner. Sometimes, a team will assign two jammers to a single gunner. This is because the gunner is so quick that it often requires more than one player to stop him. Jammers try to get the ball and run it back down the field for a touchdown.


Gunners are known for "gunning" it down the field, meaning that these players have to be very fast. However, a gunner's course down the field is not usually linear. He has to run a lot of ground in a very short time, so he has to be fast on his feet and agile enough to change directions in an instant. They must also be able to punt and catch the ball well. These situations only last a few moments, but can be the deciding factor and make or break a game.