Blog Entry

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Posted on: August 17, 2011 8:48 am
BelichickPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With the new NFL rules stating that kickoffs are to be taken from the 35-yard line instead of the 30 -- though the Bears didn’t feel they needed to follow that rule, since apparently they wanted to work on their kickoff coverage -- it seems pretty clear the NFL wants to reduce the number of returns that can be taken.

In fact, as we wrote last March, the reason the rules competition committee wanted to make the change in the first place was because of safety concerns. But according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the league has an ulterior motive for making the change to kickoff placement.

The NFL wants to eliminate kickoffs entirely.

During a session with the media Tuesday, one questioner, according to CSN’s Tom E. Curran, began a query this way: “If the intention of the NFL is eliminate kickoffs …” Belichick quickly interrupted.

"That's what they told us," Belichick said. "I'm not speaking for anyone else. That's what they told us, that they want to eliminate the play."

Which would fundamentally change the game in a way that is not completely impossible to fathom but which critics could claim also turns the NFL into more of a flag football league. Even if that supposed philosophy never comes to pass, Belichick talked about the current system, in which teams might build rosters differently if kickoff returners won’t make as much of an impact.

"If, instead of covering 60 kickoffs in a year you think you're only going to be covering 30, then is that coverage player as important, or -- on the flip side of it -- is the return game?" Belichick asked (presumably in the rhetorical sort of way). "If you're going to be returning 30 instead of 60, are the guys who block on the kickoff return (as important)?  If you think you're going to be returning more punts than kickoffs (there's a decision to weigh). Usually you're going to be returning more kickoffs than punts but if you think you'll be returning more punts than kickoffs, then maybe you put more of a priority on your punt returner than your kickoff returner."

To be fair, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had this to say to CSN regarding Belichick’s claim that the league wants to squash kickoffs: "(Chairman of the Competition Committee) Rich McKay and (NFL Vice President) Ray Anderson say that’s not accurate. They said the Competition Committee’s position was that they wanted to 'shorten the field' and that the movement of the kickoff line would potentially reduce the number of kickoffs to be returned. They said they are unaware of anyone saying that it was intended to 'eliminate' the kickoff return."

But if that was the case and the NFL really does want to eliminate kickofs, you can bet teams like the Bears (because of KR Devin Hester), Browns (because of Josh Cribbs) and the Seahawks (because of Leon Washington) who are already not pleased with the new rules will be really, really unhappy.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:42 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:21 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 5:32 pm
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:45 pm
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:09 am
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:20 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

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Since: Apr 21, 2010
Posted on: August 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

If I was a Pats fan I'd slap you upside your head for making such a ridiculously blanket statement of arrogance. Your Pats have been really good for about ten years. So of their history they've been successful about 25% of the time.

On the other side of the coin, when I was in Maine last year I found some very knowledgeable Pats fans who were happy to finally be successful after so many years of futility and appreciated their success. Try being more like those guys: informed, yet appreciative. Not arrogant and entitled. 

I wish you were a Pats fan, I would love to see you try and slap me upside my head.

You don't know me! Who are you to judge me?  Who are people to judge BB? Are they perfect so they deserve that right? Nobody is perfect and that's my point.

You call me arrogant, I'm 38 years old, I have seen and dealt as a fan with the likes of Ron Meyer, Raymond Berry, Dick McPhearson, Rod Rust, Bill Parcells (lame duck coach) and Pete Carroll as a Patriots head coach. Growing up cheering for the Patriots while there records for the season ended 2-14 and 1-15 while my friends were cheering for the Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers because those teams were winners at the time and they wanted to be a part it.

I have a few Patriot jerseys I wear to the games. My favorite one is that of my favorite Patriot #14 QB Steve
Grogan. Grogan was never NFL MVP and he never won a SB. What I do admire about him most is he never gave up. This guy would get sacked and knocked down over and over again but he would get right back up and try again. 

Do I still sound arrogant to you?

I also see you have compared me to fellow Patriots Fans but don't be confused. There fans and I'm a Season Ticket Holder. In over 20 years I have been a fan for better or worse but I have shelled out a whole lot of money in the process, I should be entitled to speak my mind just for that reason alone.


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2011 3:52 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Before they kicked off from the 35 they kicked off from the 40.  The kickers were getting too good and were able to kick the ball into the end zone or through it so the NFL changed the rule to create more kick off returns and therefore more action.  Now they want to make the game less exciting. 

Which is more exciting to watch?  A man catching the kickoff 5 yards into the end zone, taking a knee and seeing an official walking the ball out to the 20 yard line or a player catching the ball on the goal line and returning it. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:25 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

That, patsfan50, sounds like you admitting your Dad's molesing children but other dads are doing it too.

Only a total nutjob would type a statement like that total lie and then try to insult someone else in the process.

Sorry if you consider me a total nuyjob becauser I use common sense. Your analogy of the molestion thing is pathetic. However since you tried I will play along. I dont equate it to molesting more like your dad got busted  for disorderly conduct while mine got nailed for jaywalking. Seriously,they were busted for filming from the wrong place. Thats all. Like I said plenty of other coaches have done worse. No I am not going to go and look them up because I am lazy and do not care enough to prove to a tool like you what I have read and heard.

Since: Aug 16, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:00 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

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