In football, the punter is a specialist player on the special teams squad whose role is to catch and kick the ball to the opposing team, called a punt. The punter's goal is to kick the ball far enough away so that the offense soon to take the field does not have good field position. The punter must be very cautious as to not 'outkick their coverage,' which means to kick the ball too far away and the coverage team who is meant to tackle the punt returner cannot reach the returner before they begin running with the ball.
The role of the punter can be a challenging one. Although the kick happens in a few seconds, there are a lot of steps that have to occur perfectly or else the kick could be skewed or missed altogether.
After the ball is thrown, the punter has only a few seconds to perform the kick. He is responsible for catching the ball and making sure his kick is executed before a defender can stop block the ball. However, the kicker is virtually untouchable by defenders.
If the punter is tackled during or after punting the football, a penalty called roughing the kicker is called and the kicking team is awarded the ball and 15 extra yards. The punter can also be involved in trick plays wherein the punter can run the ball and pass the ball.