I'll admit to ignorance, but is all this really necessary for a professional football team? If the team lines for an ordinary punt, without any special call for a fake, and the opponent leaves one of the gunners _completely_ uncovered, is it possible for
a) the gunner to recognize that no one is covering him, and so run 5-10 yards along the sideline while looking for the ball
b) the punter to recognize that no one is covering the gunner, and so, after having caught the snap, to look briefly at the gunner; if the gunner is looking
back, throw the ball there
Step a), the gunner's actions, are not irrevocable: if the punter ignores him and kicks the ball, he's already moving (albeit more slowly than usual) in the right direction, and can simply speed up. Since he isn't covered, he'll probably reach the receiver in plenty of time. The crucial actions here are those of the punter. I could understand if the act of pausing the natural kicking motion to check out the gunner would be too risky -- if the punter decides to kick the ball, this hesitation could lead to a block.
Is this something that could only be done by a team with veterans in both gunner and punter positions, who have trained together for years?