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Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

Posted on: March 22, 2011 6:45 pm
J. Cribbs was not happy to see the NFL change the kickoff rules (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Browns KR/WR Josh Cribbs is not a huge fan of the new NFL rule that will place the kickoff spot at the 35-yard line (instead of the 30-yard line). Not a huge fan at all.

Though the original proposal made by the NFL rules committee, which would have given a team the ball at the 25-yard line instead of the 20 for a touchback and would have eliminated the two-man wedge, was tweaked, Cribbs still wasn’t happy.

From his Twitter account, he wrote: “NFL rule changes are BS... U not making the game safer u messing a great sport, trynna hide behind safety just to add 2 games...smh”

The reasoning behind the rule change – which was passed today at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans – was for safety reasons. Kickoffs theoretically will be less dangerous now (though leaving in the two-man wedge lessens the original intent), because there will be fewer returns and more touchbacks. But Cribbs makes the claim that players will actually be harmed by the new rule.

“Essentially taking returners out of the game...injuries will still take place, then what move it up again, or eliminate it all together..” Cribbs tweeted. “Not just speaking for myself, but it affects the blue collar NFL players which are the majority who don't have big names, it extends careers.”

Added Bears record-holding returner Devin Hester on his Twitter account : “Hey hey fans don't get mad about the new rule, my run back just going 2 be over a 100 yards now. I hate them 90 something yards anyway!!!!!!”

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 7:35 am

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 3:25 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 6:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:54 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 23, 2011
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:43 am

Shoulda Just raised the tees back up

Go old school.

Give 'em a 3-inch tee instead of a 1-inch and see what happens...

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 10:32 am

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

In addition to the great comments by others on here, this rule has 2 major effects.  First it devalues the kickers like Janikowski who have the big leg and could create a majority of touchbacks when the kickoff was at the 30. That was a special teams weapon that the Raiders had that most other teams did not. Shorter field means a more level playing field with regard to special teams play. With the kickoff being at the 35 yard line now, it brings the elite kickers back to the pack.  Thus, no reason to pay big money to certain strong-legged kickers, not to mention several teams carry 2 kickers - 1 for FGs and 1 for kickoffs.  That will go away.

Second, it will water down special teams play as a whole by eliminating the elite return specialists. My guess is that the average starting field position after kickoffs will be inside the 20 yard line - either due to touchback or better coverage due to shorter distance to cover. This reduces the need for cover specialists as well. And offensive play calling gets conservative when backed up to your own goal line too.

Salaries for the Cribbs, Hesters and Janikowski's of the world just took a hit. The one-dimensional special teams player may be out of a job altogether. Maybe the owners are smarter than we think?

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2011 9:54 am

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

I think that this rule might actually have a negligible effect on the safety of special team players. I do not think this actually helps much at all.

Here is why:

1. As someone mentioned before, kickoffs are only a twice a game guarantee.

2. Unless kicking to a dangerous return guy, it may be better strategy for the teams with good kickoff coverage to kick the ball higher. Giving the ball more hang time will in turn provide the coverage team more time to set up a big hit, and get closer to the returner with hopes of inducing a fumble or recovering a mishandled kickoff. Many teams may still swive kick or short kick the ball to avoid return men as well.

3. Unless kicking the ball completely out of the endzone, some of the better return men will still be able to take the ball and attempt to go 105 + yds.

4. NFL players get up to full speed in a short distance. Most of them run 40s in under 5 seconds.  When a player runs full speed to cover the kickoff, and is blocked, injuries will still occur even if the returner does not catch the ball. If kicked out of the endzone, return teams may not be able to run the two man wedge and take guys out, but blocks will still happen upfield, and it is not like those blockers will have enough time to determine if the ball is in play before coverage units reach them, now that the coverage is  starting from a closer point on the field. You block until you hear the whistle.

If I were a return man in a contract year right now, i.e. Brad Smith, I would not be happy about this rule.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 9:37 am

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

The NFL just got more boring. The kickoffs were changed to eliminate touchbacks years ago, in order to add more excitement. Now, we regress back to the mega-touchback era. Pathetic ! And don't tell me your trying to eliminate injuries. Very few kick returners have been hurt in recent years. You are pushing for an 18 game schedule, which as another poster suggested, gives a RB or WR anywhere from 20-40 more plays where an injury can occur.

You will now see a trend where teams will feel a one-dimensional player(A.K.A. kick return man) is a luxury most teams will not be willing to pay for. Hence, there will be fewer Devin Hester-Josh Cribbs types in the league.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2011 9:11 am

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

I like the rule change restoral. If you like excitement, why not have them kick from the goal-line. That way, a team that scores can be penalized by field position. What the restoral accomplishes is providing an aid to the defense in an area that was one of the Steelers weaknesses (conspiracies begin....). You will see more touch-backs, but only because the defense will be closer and better set-up because the kicks will be higher. You won't see many more kicks deep into the end-zone. They will mostly be within 5 yards of the goal-line. They will usually want a return because it provides an opportunity for a defensive play and they will be better prepared to execute it.When the league expanded, every position thinned out, kickers included. Now, it doesn't take an elite kicker to execute a teams game plan.

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