Football teams have three basic personnel units: offense, defense, and special teams. Even to the uninitiated, "offense" and "defense" are fairly self-explanatory. The simple way to think of "special teams" is that group of players who take the field whenever kicking is involved. I've always thought there was something mildly derogatory about the term "special teams"--I associate it with things like "special education" and the like--and I often wonder if the other players make fun of members of the "special teams" squad. 'Cause, you know, I would.