One inescapable conclusion of the influx of Australian punters into the major U.S. college ranks of the NCAA and from there to the NFL is that fewer punts are being returned and for a much lower yards-per-return average.
Aussies who earned their kicking boots on rugby and Aussie rules grounds have changed the special teams game in several important ways.
No longer is the only desirable kick a long-distance boomer that hangs in the air for a long time.
The Aussie specialists that few up footy codes other than gridiron have added the wrinkles of moving to the right or left before kicking, which to defenses, gives the appearance of a fake punt, preventing the receiving team from dropping back into blocking formations as quickly.
The Aussies also kick some ugly looking punts that bounce and roll unpredictably, putting pressure on punt returners who already have plenty with which to begin. Those bouncing punts given the coverage team extra time to get downfield whilst the punt returner is desperately trying to make the decision of whether to try fielding the punt, risking a fumble, or to risk letting it roll and costing his team field position.
The Aussie influx also includes kickers with the ability to kick close to the boundaries and completely negate any opportunity for a potentially explosive return.