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PSU_dropout43
03-16-2011, 01:55 PM
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... yard-line/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/16/nfl-considers-kickoffs-at-35-yard-line-touchbacks-to-25-yard-line/)

by Michael David Smith

Significant changes on kickoffs are coming to the NFL in 2011 if the NFL’s Competition Committee gets its way.

Falcons President and Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay revealed on a conference call with the media today that the Competition Committee is proposing a major modification of kickoffs, moving the kickoff back to the 35-yard line instead of the 30, and giving the receiving team the ball at the 25-yard line, instead of the 20, if there’s a touchback.

In other words, it will be easier for the kicker to boot the ball into the end zone, and there will be greater incentive for the return man to stay in the end zone instead of running it out.

The Competition Committee is also proposing the elimination of all forms of the wedge block, including the two-man wedge, and requiring players on the kickoff team to line up between the 30-yard line and the 35-yard line. All of these changes, the Competition Committee believes, will cut down on injuries on kickoffs.

“The injury rate on kickoffs remains a concern for us,” McKay said.

One thing that will not change is what happens after a kickoff goes out of bounds: The Competition Committee’s proposal is still for the receiving team to get the ball on the 40-yard line.

All Competition Committee proposals will be voted on by the owners at next week’s NFL Annual Meeting.

Oviedo
03-16-2011, 02:04 PM
I'd be totally OK with this.

papillon
03-16-2011, 03:06 PM
They may as well just put the ball on the 25 and do away with the kickoff. If you're going to try and devalue a return, then just take it out of the game.

The specialists that make returning kicks an enjoyable part of the game will disappear. It's a dangerous game played by big, fast and strong men, people are going to get hurt. It's High risk, high reward career and they know this going in.

Pappy

Oviedo
03-16-2011, 03:19 PM
They may as well just put the ball on the 25 and do away with the kickoff. If you're going to try and devalue a return, then just take it out of the game.

The specialists that make returning kicks an enjoyable part of the game will disappear. It's a dangerous game played by big, fast and strong men, people are going to get hurt. It's High risk, high reward career and they know this going in.

Pappy

See I disagree because now a new element of strategy is brought into the game. Do you kick into the ned zone or do you deliberately kick short and high because your guys are 5 yards closer and maybe you can get a turnover.

I don't think it cheapens anything but it does introduce new decision options.

Alot of kickers already kick the ball into the endzone and returns come out of the endzone. It is just an alien concept for us because we had Jeff Reed for so long and he couldn't do it.

hawaiiansteel
03-16-2011, 03:34 PM
the value of guys like Devin Hester will definitely diminish...

Northern_Blitz
03-16-2011, 04:21 PM
Too bad they didn't have this rule 2 years ago. I would have been fine kicking every ball into the EZ for a TB @ 25. I'd be worried about this rule if I were a kick-off specialist. Even Jeff Reed might be able to get touchbacks now.

Oviedo
03-16-2011, 04:29 PM
the value of guys like Devin Hester will definitely diminish...

But the quality and effectiveness of our special teams play would increase exponentially

SteelBucks
03-16-2011, 05:11 PM
All we hear is safety, safety, safety...yet the Commish keeps pushing for an 18 game schedule.

I'm frustrated beyond belief with this lockout. Shame on the owners who support the 18 game schedule and shame on the players who seem to have no interest in bargaining and would rather have the legal system settle this. All I want is football, is that too much to ask?

NJ-STEELER
03-16-2011, 05:13 PM
They may as well just put the ball on the 25


i wouldnt have a problem with that. the more they let the game be decided by its true stars and athletes instead of these 5'9 180 lb. kickers

flippy
03-16-2011, 06:14 PM
We'll still target kicks inside the 5 yard line. And the returns should be shorter. Net positive for us.

hawaiiansteel
03-23-2011, 10:56 PM
Steelers Still Have To Worry About Kickoffs

Posted on March 23, 2011 by JJ


As Gretz has pointed out, the NFL’s recent decision to move kickoffs back to the 35-yard line should help the life expectancy of Steelers’ fans. Less kickoff returns equals less heartburn when opposing teams take those kickoffs to the house. (That rule by itself should be worth a point or two on the Steelers-Browns’ lines every time the two teams face off).

But to get a better idea of what this means, I pulled the kickoff stats for every regular kicker in the NFL last season. What I found is that, yes, you can expect a whole lot of touchbacks.

Rk Player Team KO Yds OOB Avg TB Pct
1 Billy Cundiff BAL 79 5,620 1 71.1 40 50.6
17 Olindo Mare SEA 72 4,679 1 65 20 27.8
18 David Akers PHI 96 6,214 2 64.7 23 24
36 Jeff Reed SF/PIT 26 1,542 0 59.3 1 3.8
37 Shaun Suisham PIT 40 2,357 1 58.9 2 5

What this means is 17 of the 38 kickers (yes, the Steelers’ two kickers were the second and third worst in the league) who had 10 or more kickoffs in 2010 averaged the distance needed for a touchback under the new rules (a 65-yard kick from the 35-yard line will put the ball on the goal line).

Now obviously that doesn’t mean that every 65-yard kick will be a touchback–returners have the option to bring the ball out of the end zone–but it does mean that a remarkably large number of kickoffs will likely reach the end zone in 2011.

The NFL moved the kickoff line from the 35 to the 30 back in 1994 because it was unhappy with the number of kickoffs that were turning into touchbacks. The move worked, as the percentage of touchbacks went from 27 percent to 7 percent. But since then, it has moved back up to 16 percent. There are a lot more big legs in the league now than there were 18 years ago.

Year No. of Kickoffs Avg Distance Touchbacks Touchback PCT
1993 1976 60.32 527 26.67%
1994 2084 60.27 146 7.01%
2010 2465 64.32 409 16.59%

Back when the NFL made the move to the 30, Giants kickoff specialist Brad Daluiso was in a class by himself. His 66.7 yard per kick average and his 60.9 percent touchback percentage was good enough to allow him to make a living without the accuracy to be a regular field goal kicker. He was the only regular kicker at the time who averaged more than 64 yards per kickoff.

Now, Daluiso would just be another good kicker. His 1993 average would be tied for sixth among last year’s kickers, and 20 kickers averaged better than 64 yards per boot.

It’s fair to speculate that we will see more touchbacks in 2011 than we’ve ever seen in any season before. It’s a rough estimate, but the top four kickers back in 1993 averaged 64.15 yards per kick (two-tenths of a yard less than what the average NFL kicker does now). They averaged touchbacks on 48.7 percent of their kickoffs. So a pretty reasonable guess is we could see touchbacks on roughly 50 percent of kickoffs in 2011.

But that doesn’t mean that the Steelers are out of the woods. If Pittsburgh depends on Suisham again in 2011, they likely will see few touchbacks. If you look back to 1993, there is no regular kicker who averaged exactly Suisham’s 58.9 yards per kickoff, but future Steeler Chris Gardocki’s 58.6 yards is pretty close. Gardocki had touchbacks on only 14.8 percent of his kickoffs.

So Pittsburgh will face some interesting decisions whenever the CBA is reached. Suisham did well as a field goal kicker, but by going for a kicker with a better leg, they could largely eliminate kick returns as a worry. Another option is that Pittsburgh could add a kickoff specialist. It’s something they have never done, but with a shorter field to the end zone, it’s possible that a kickoff specialist could replace another special teams player–after all would Keyaron Fox be necessary if two out of every three Steelers’ kickoffs ended up as touchbacks?

And if all this seems a little crazy to speculate so much about kickoffs, do remember that in 2009, the Steelers would have given up nearly two less points per game without four kick returns for touchdowns. In other words, the Steelers gave up seven rushing touchdowns in 2009 and four kick return touchdowns.

http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/03/s ... #more-4657 (http://www.steelerslounge.com/2011/03/steelers-worry-kickoffs/#more-4657)