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NFL Considering Change to Kickoffs

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    NFL Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said today that there is a proposal on the table that would bring major changes to kickoffs in the NFL games.

    What is being discussed is moving the line of scrimmage where the ball is placed after a touchback now being the 25-yard line, rather than the 20-yard line.

    In addition kickers will be able to tee the ball up on their own 35-yard line rather than their own 30, which of course means that kickoffs are going to travel five yards deeper.

    The third part of the proposal is the elimination of all wedges. A year ago wedges of three or more players were banned; now even a two-man wedge (is a two-man wedge even technically a wedge?) will be against the rules.



    The reason for the proposed rule changes is because "the injury rate on kickoffs remains a concern for us" according to McKay.


    First of all, where is the data from this past season versus previous seasons? It has only been one year since other changes to the kickoff were made; was there no change in injuries? Did the competition committee consider perhaps they need to give it more than one year before analyzing the data?

    Second, if it's all about concern for injuries, isn't the NFL being a bit hypocritical by pushing for two more games in a season? Are they expecting me to believe that two more games will not result in more injuries, but these changes to kickoffs will result in fewer injuries?

    Third, if there is so much concern for injuries why has the NFL not commissioned independent research on the development of safer equipment - specifically helmets, but also mouth guards, shoulder pads and footwear. A good start would be making the Maher Mouth Guard a mandatory piece of equipment; why hasn't the NFL done that if they are so concerned about injuries? Why is only one company allowed to make NFL helmets?


    As for the net result, the first thing that will happen is more kickoffs into the end zone and more touchbacks. Would be tacklers will be five yards further down the field; kickoff returners will be fielding the ball five yards deeper. Kickoff returns are one of the most exciting plays in a game, and that will be taken away for the most part. In addition special teams play is something that distinguishes the better coaches and better teams from the rest of the pack; removing that aspect from the game is an inevitable shift towards mediocrity.

    I feel as if this may not be the last step; eventually kickoffs will be outlawed and the ball will simply be placed on the 25-yard line following a touchdown. Which means the onside kick, another very exciting play - which has also been regulated to the point where it can only be pulled off if the receiving team is asleep at the wheel - will become a thing of the past.


    So what can innovative coaches and quality kickers do if this rule passes? My suggestion would be to consider kicking the ball in a similar fashion to how punters do when they are trying to pin their opponent deep in their own territory. Kick the ball extremely high, having it land outside the goal line. This would force the receiving team to field the ball, and perhaps call for a fair catch. Unlike a punt, they can't just let the ball roll into the end zone; it's a live ball so they would still need to recover it once it hits the ground.

    Of course all this would result in defenseless kick returners catching the ball and getting clobbered by a tackler on the kickoff team.


    And that will lead to yet more rule changes.
     
  2. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    That's a bit of an extreme conclusion. They're not removing kickoffs from the game. That's what makes it football. The opening kickoff of the Superbowl is a can't miss, exciting moment. Flashes popping off everywhere. Fans cheering madly. You can't replace plays like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  3. DaBruinz

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    VJC - If you move the kick-offs back to the 35 yard line and remove ALL "wedges" then you might as well be removing kick-offs from the game because the result will be significantly more Touchbacks. Look at how long the kick-offs were last year.

    I'd like to know all of these injuries that they are citing from the "wedges" on kick-offs, honestly. I can remember 1 or 2, but no more than on any other play.. At least when a coach wasn't involved.
     
  4. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 In the Starting Line-Up

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    this is not a move to save injury but more of a move to save teams from looseing games on ST's just look at san diego who was ranks #1 in offense and defense last year but still did not make the playoffs cause they lost about 4 games on ST's if they do go through with this it will make kickoffs and the NFL i alot less fun to watch
     
  5. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    It'd be an advantage to us early on as you know Bill will work something out for this.

    But, it'd also be a disadvantage as we have one of the few non-specialist Touchback kickers in the league.
     
  6. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Not surprising, the Colts were terrible on kickoffs last year.
     
  7. Froob

    Froob Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Bad move imo if it goes through. As guy above me wrote, probably Polian's idea :eek: .
     
  8. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan In the Starting Line-Up

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    BINGO, thats what I thought of too
     
  9. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    A kickoff from your own 35 yard line is a far cry from a punt from the opponent's 45. Kickers will not be able to kick it extremely high AND all the way to the goal line. If they could do that, they'd already be doing it (only it would be an extremely high kick that carried to the 5 instead of the goal line).

    If these rule changes are implemented, get ready to see plenty of touchbacks. There isn't a coach in the league who wouldn't be happy with the other team starting on the 25.
     
  10. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    That's not so obvious if it's after they move the kickoff line 5 yards forward. It would be like 30 yard line now.
     
  11. mgteich

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    Let's see: no wedge, kicking from 5 yard closer, on a tee.

    Conclusion, the opponent can start from the 25. I f my kicker can't do that, I will add a kicker who can. After all, I certainly can have one fewer kick return specialist.
     
  12. BradyBranch39

    BradyBranch39 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Uh huh. And it takes an advantage away from teams whose kickers can already do this. Polian knows this.
     
  13. IcyPatriot

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    If they want to make kickoffs better and less dangerous than they should just make it 7 or 8 per side on kickoffs ... now that would be way fun.
     
  14. ctpatsfan77

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    To be fair, though, about half the teams in the league have kickers who, given an extra five yards, still wouldn't have an average KO land in the end zone.

    [That said, Gostkowski averages just under 68 yards per kickoff; tack on 5 yards to that, and his average KO would land ~3 yards in the end zone.]

    Plus at this point, I don't think it'd help Polian: even if they canned McAfee, Vinatieri no longer has the leg strength to get TBs reliably, even at 65 yards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  15. Calciumee

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    5 yards closer means increased chance of a touchback, which now gains 5 yards more!

    If the ball is kicked into the endzone, why would any player think about running out?
     
  16. scout

    scout Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Take away the most exciting play of the game, sure why not? When you have to run out of the room during a game, and its the kick-off, most of us would wait and watch the kick-off first. Hey, here's an idea. Let's make the kick-offs more like the point after attempt.
     
  17. InRodWeRust

    InRodWeRust On the Game Day Roster

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    Why is the NFL trying to ruin the NFL? It's perfect the way it is. Leave it the hell alone! If this keeps up then in 20 years we're going to end up with two hand touch Arena football. :mad:
     
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Let me see if I have this straight...they would make touchbacks easier for the kicking team to achieve and more tempting for the receiving team to accept, plus make it harder for the receiving team to block for a return?

    So in sum, they want to virtually eliminate KO returns, but still leave the potential for an onside kick because they know those are crowd-pleasers.

    Meh.
     
  19. DaBruinz

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    One thing that the Competition Committee is also going to recommend is that ALL Scoring plays be automatically reviewed by the Booth.

    I think that this will pave the way for goal line cameras from the sides and from overhead.
     
  20. PatsWickedPissah

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    HD cameras with digital recorders are so inexpensive that it's a travesty that this does not already occur. One step further: camera mobile units slaved to the line of scrimmage yardstick and 1st down marker could also call infractions and in some instances help determine 1st down status.
     
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