View Full Version : The new kickoff rule has GOTTA GO!!!

08-13-2011, 01:27 AM
Seriously. With almost every kick going through the end zone, it's all but removed any chance at excitement from that aspect of the game. :x

The sport is being watered down every year it seems now. Yinz who wanted an 18 game season, this is what you're looking at.

08-13-2011, 01:47 AM
although the Redskins managed to return one kickoff for 58 yards against us...

The League's New Kickoff Rule

One of the league's many new rule tweaks requires teams to kickoff from the 35, not the 30. If the recent slate of preseason contests is any indication, this essentially signals the death of the kickoff return for the season.

The NFL's reasoning, I guess, is that too many injuries take place on kickoffs, when special teamers have a lot of time and space to reach their top speeds. I get that, but this is a case of slightly improving safety at the cost of erasing an exciting and important part of football. Mark my words, this year we'll see less than half as many return yards league-wide as last year, just from an increase in touchbacks.

http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsbur ... in/2124339 (http://pittsburgh.sbnation.com/pittsburgh-steelers/2011/8/12/2360508/nfl-preseason-washington-redskins-isaac-redman-santana-moss-cameron-heyward-antonio-brown-grossman/in/2124339)

Discipline of Steel
08-13-2011, 07:01 AM
With more touchbacks and less return yards, opposing teams are going to be starting drives farther back on the field. That would tend to make games more low scoring. I guess thats the NFL compensating for their new rules about no tackling a player in the act of playing football, which might tend to help the offenses. This rule probably helps the Steelers more than others but I still dont like it.

08-13-2011, 07:41 AM
I wonder if this will make a specialty of kicking the ball high like a rainbow kick inside the 20 but just outside the endzone. I am still not used to it because it does look ridiculous for the kicker to almost kick it through the uprights.
Imagine if teams have to go 80+ on the D every drive as opposed to the 40. Thats a lot of work.

08-13-2011, 08:00 AM
In Goodell's "New NFL", it's like taking the ball in from out-of-bounds after the opponent scores --- like the NBA. What's next? Dribbling the football when you run with it? After fouls, kicking a 1-point field goal attempt?

08-13-2011, 08:23 AM
If teams play it right, you might be able to consistently pin teams inside the 15.

08-13-2011, 09:43 AM
Chalk another one up for Godell!!! He is slowly ruining the game I love. Seriously can't he get fired?

08-13-2011, 01:06 PM
After a score just go to commercial, put the ball on the 20 and start play when the commercials are done. No use wasting time and energy on a kickoff and this will certainly eliminate the injuries from the kickoff.


08-14-2011, 12:56 AM
If teams play it right, you might be able to consistently pin teams inside the 15.

I was thinking the same thing. In fact, on those times where a penalty is called, and the officials will add it on the kickoff, lets say a team then gets to kickoff from the 40 Yd line after a 5 yard penalty,,,can the team kicking off choose to " Punt " the ball ?...Just like on a safety ? Cause you would think that the Punter could easily get way more height on a punt, and the coverage team would have a better chance of pinning the receiving team inside the 20, if not the 10 Yd line. I'm kinda surprised some teams haven't tried that yet....Punting off instead of kicking off.

08-14-2011, 02:18 AM
Bears ignored new kickoff rule, twice

Posted by Mike Florio on August 13, 2011


One of the most controversial new rules of the 2011 season relates to the placement of the kickoff. With the NFL realizing that the kick-return play is one of the most dangerous in the game, the league has essentially tried to take bullets out of the gun, moving the kickoff point up five yards in order to engineer more touchbacks — and thus fewer returns.

The Bears opposed the move, and on Saturday night they ignored it. Twice.

According to Mike Pereira of FOX Sports, the Bears lined up their first and second kickoffs from Robbie Gould at the 30, not the 35. Per Pereira, NFL V.P. of officiating Carl Johnson (Pereira’s successor) called Soldier Field and “put a stop to it.”

He shouldn’t have had to. The officials running the game should have known where to line up the ball. Even if, as Pereira explains it, the Bears wanted to be able to practice kick coverage against the Bills and weren’t simply rebelling against the rule, the Bears should have been required to line up at the 35 when kicking the ball off.

After two kicks from the 30, they were.

Of course, if they really wanted to kick off from the 30 that badly, all they had to do was commit a five-yard penalty.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ule-twice/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/08/13/bears-ignored-new-kickoff-rule-twice/)

08-14-2011, 08:46 AM
I wonder if it will help the Steelers more than others in the short-term (meaning this season). LeBeau's defense is based on betting that the other side can't play mistake-free ball for long periods of time, and this new rule might mean the other team will have a 5-10 yard longer field than otherwise.

Besides which, we never seem to have a kicker that can kick it deep like a lot of other teams, and the new rule will help "equalize" that. And less chances for brain freezes by our kickoff special teams, I've had enough of those for a lifetime!

In the long run, I agree though ... the chance of taking it to the house on any given kickoff was a huge part of what made the game exciting.

08-14-2011, 11:15 AM
I, for one, like it!!!

Our special teams is spotty at best, and have been prone to giving
up long runs, and TD's.

Also, our return guys cant consistently run the ball back to the 20.

All in all, the touchback is good for the STEELERS!!!


08-14-2011, 11:19 AM
It also opens up roster spots for players that actually play a position on offense and defense. Arnez Battle type guys are going to be sweating bc kickoff duties may be the only way they get to make a team...

08-14-2011, 06:59 PM
Not a fan.

08-14-2011, 08:18 PM
It really hurts the Steeler offense. Last year's KO returns were terrible. Now they'll be pinned even farther back.

08-14-2011, 08:45 PM
I don't believe it's a new rule. I believe years back the kickoff was moved from the 35 to 30 to make the field shorter for scoring opportunities. IMO it's not a big deal.

08-23-2011, 03:44 PM
Critics blast kickoff rule change

ESPN.com news services
August 23, 2011

Former Tennessee Titans safety Donnie Nickey is the latest player to complain about the league's kickoff rules change, saying in an email to the (Nashville) Tennessean that commissioner Roger Goodell is "eliminating jobs" in his quest to improve player safety.

"I think the NFL is destroying the true game of football and the physicality that America has grown to love. For someone who has never played the game to make so many changes unchecked is criminal. Paul Brown is rolling over in his grave because of all the changes made in the name of 'player safety,' " Nickey wrote in the email to the newspaper.

Regular-season touchbacks

Of the 278 kickoffs in the 2011 preseason from the 35-yard line, 103 haven't been returned, making the touchback percentage 37 percent. If that holds up in the regular season it would be a big increase from recent seasons when kicks were made from the 30.

Year Pct.
2010 16.0
2009 15.4
2008 14.2
2007 12.1
2006 12.5
2005 8.6
2004 8.0
2003 7.5
2002 7.6
2001 8.8

-- ESPN Stats & Information

The NFL moved the kickoff spot up five yards (from the 30- to the 35-yard line) to decrease injuries by increasing touchbacks, reversing a rule change made in 1994 when the spot was moved from the 35 to the 30. The change could have another effect -- hurting the job prospects of special teams players.

The 31-year-old Nickey, who is a free agent and remains unsigned after playing eight seasons with the Titans, said in his email that big hits are part of the game.

"It's an injustice to the game and the men who have made their living covering kickoffs and sacrificing their bodies to have their jobs made obsolete," he wrote in the email to the newspaper.

Touchbacks have increased dramatically this preseason because of the rule change. According to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information, 103 of 278 preseason kickoffs have not been returned, meaning 37 percent of kickoffs have gone for touchbacks.

Sixteen percent of kickoffs resulted in touchbacks during the 2010 regular season, when the kicks were made from the 30-yard line.

Nickey isn't the first player to complain about the change in the rule.

Cleveland Browns kick returner Josh Cribbs, the league's career leader with eight kickoff returns for touchdowns, has been irate since owners, citing the need to protect players from violent collisions, announced the change during the lockout in March. Owners voted 26-6 to approve the rule change.

"I don't see (injury) stats behind it, and that's what the issue was," Cribbs said last week. "There's no stats to back it up. Their intentions are good, but the stats aren't there to back up the reasoning."

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said last week that he was told that the NFL was trying to eliminate the kickoff from the NFL altogether.

"As it was explained to me, what the league and the competition committee were trying to do is eliminate the kickoff returns, which I think they'll do," Belichick said last week. "They'll eliminate a lot of them, particularly early in the season when the weather is less of a factor."

The league denied Belichick's claim, however, in a statement to The Boston Globe last week.

"That is not the goal. We are not aware of anyone representing the NFL that has made that statement," the NFL told the newspaper.

Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell said last week that he believes there will be fewer touchbacks when the weather becomes colder late in the season.

"As the weather changes," Longwell said, "the ball just doesn't fly as far. It's a fact. I think those [touchback] numbers will come down."

The importance of players covering kickoffs diminishes with fewer opportunities to do that. So with kickoffs coming from the 35 instead of the 30 that could influence roster decisions.

"Now you're kicking through the uprights every time and there are touchbacks, what is the value of the cover guys?" Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said earlier this month. "How many cover guys do we really need? Do you really want a true special teams player, a guy who is a special teams captain, a Bill Bates-type guy? Is that worthy of a roster spot?

"Well, kickoff is just one aspect of the kicking game so there are other opportunities for that guy to make an impact on the team. We're still in the process of discussing that and seeing if we have the guys who fit those roles and how we want to play it out strategically."

Nickey believes the NFL's change in the rule simplified the Titans' decision whether to keep him on their roster.

"Businessmen, lawyers, and insurance companies are turning football into flag football and preventing men like me from feeding my family," he wrote to the newspaper.

Browns president Mike Holmgren, one of the most vocal critics of the rule change, said Sunday he believes the topic will be revisited for next season.

"It was sold to the membership for safety reasons. It's hard to argue that point. No one wants to see more concussions," he said, according to the News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio.

"But, goodness gracious, I think there would be a good chance we revisit it next year. It was a selfish motive on my part, too, (when the Browns opposed the rule change) because we have a good return guy, but other teams do as well. I don't think anybody is going to like this."

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/68878 ... ckoff-rule (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6887856/donnie-nickey-formerly-tennessee-titans-latest-rip-new-nfl-kickoff-rule)

08-24-2011, 01:19 AM
Belichick agrees with you :lol: :lol:

Tue Aug 23 03:16pm EDT
Bill Belichick wants the extra point to die
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdo ... nfl-wp5693 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Bill-Belichick-wants-the-extra-point-to-die?urn=nfl-wp5693)

Bill Belichick wants the extra point to dieThis is my favorite thing to come out of the conversation about the new kickoff rules. Bill Belichick used a kickoff question to move the conversation toward the extra point, and argued that it should be eliminated from the game, or at least greatly modified.

"Philosophically, plays that are non-plays shouldn't be in the game. I don't think it is good for the game. Extra points, when the odds are 99 percent range in extra points it is not a play. Let's move the ball back to the 15-20 yard line and not make it a tap in. Let them kick it. Same thing with the kickoff return, if you're just going to put the ball on the 20, put the ball on the 20."


Given my druthers, I'd eliminate it completely -- I don't think you'd see a lot of kicks missed from the 15 or 20, either. It saves time, it speeds the game along, and the guy in the end-zone seats with the John 3:16 sign doesn't get time to prepare for his close-up.

This is the MJD plan: Let's just make touchdowns worth seven, and if someone wants to risk a point either way, they'll have the option to trot the ball out to the 2-point conversion spot, and they'll get eight points for their touchdown if they convert, six if they don't. Hell, I say we move that back, too. I think the 6-yard-line sounds about right.

I'm with him on the kickoff, too. I'll talk more about this later, but Belichick is right. If what the NFL wants is more touchbacks, then why go halfway? Put the ball on the 20. Put it on the 25 or 30 if you want to. I'm not saying I'm anti-kickoff, I'm just saying that if the league just wants drives to start at the 20, there are ways to do that that are more efficient.

Hmm. This character. I think he might be a smart one.

08-24-2011, 11:05 AM
Towards the end of the season when it gets cold, most kickers won't be able to pin it deep. We will probably see some returns then...that's when our games will count the most, hopefully our coverage units aren't all rusty by then.

08-30-2011, 07:11 PM
Sean Payton wouldn’t be surprised if kickoffs are eliminated

Posted by Mike Florio on August 30, 2011


Saints coach Sean Payton joined PFT Live on Tuesday for a candid discussion that touched on several topics. Given all the attention that has been paid to the shifting of the kickoff point from the 30 to the 35, I had to ask Coach Payton for his take.

“I think the challenge the league had this offseason was, they had all this information and when you get this information, 3-to-1 or more likely to be injured on the kickoff, whether you’re a returner or cover guy,” Payton said. “In other words, statistically there would be no one that would argue that. Then you have to be able to take steps, so that 10 years down the road when someone is asking you, hey at this time when you knew it was such a dangerous play and you continued on with the kicks from the 30 and now you have someone who is seriously injured.”

Payton realizes, as do many other coaches, that there will still be plenty of kickoff returns.

“We are going to have inclement weather, we are going to have kicks that don’t go as far as they are suppose to and we are going to have return teams that take it out from five [yards] deep,” Payton said. “Overall numbers I think will be down and certainly effects the teams who have those elite returners. But I do think that it was very simple in its beginning, and that was the information was too strong. I think the league felt they had to do something to so show that they recognized it’s a tough play without getting rid of it.”

So what about the possibility of getting rid of it?

“Well, that’s a great question, because the next question you would ask as attorney, well, if it’s 3-to-1 the most difficult play in sports, you are still potentially kicking off and returning it right?” Payton said. “So I think the traditionalist in all of us want to see that as the beginning of the play. I mean for anything else, it represents what is the start of a game. So how can we slow down the momentum? How can we make it safer? And so that has been the challenge.

“Sitting in on John Madden’s coaches committee, and discussing this topic, this is a tough one, in regards to trying to reduce collision speed. There are a number of things you can do offensively and defensively, but when it comes to kicking that ball and these guys are running down the field a pretty good rate of speed, even if they have a five-yard start as opposed to last year the 10-yard start. I wouldn’t be surprised, Mike, if down the road that’s where it was headed. Unless we come up with some good answers. And that’s the trick.”

The league needs to come up with some good answers, because football isn’t football without a kickoff. Indeed, the Saints probably wouldn’t have won Super Bowl XLIV without the opportunity to pull off a surprise onside kick at the start of the second half of the eventual victory over the Colts.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... liminated/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/08/30/sean-payton-wouldnt-be-surprised-if-kickoffs-are-eliminated/)