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: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:46 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Sorry Andy35Moog (Oilers fan here! LOVE the name!) that's correct. I was wrong. Thanks for pointing it out without screaming bloody murder dude.

Since: Dec 3, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:44 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I don't like James Harrison but  he is right about one thing: Goodell is ruining the NFL.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:43 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs


BOW TO THE BELICHICK!!!!!!!!!Tongue out

Judas Priest.

Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:43 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I hate to hate but I hate this rule. They're going to ruin one of the best parts of the game!

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:41 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I didn't really think of the commercial aspect, HS!!!!!
Between this LAME change and the review of EVERY touchdown, the NFL is gonna rake in MORE MILLIONS in commercial revenue and there you have it, the REAL reason why.

Sad but true.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:41 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Can CBS deisign some kind of ignore button so I can filter out all the asshead cameragate comments that follow a Bellichick article?

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Spygate brought up all the time even when it has nothing to do with the story. That's gotta be annoying, and certainly it's been long enough by now. Is it coincidence, though, or not, that the Pats have failed to win a playoff game since?

They've won 2....

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:39 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

@IM4GVN. You are the typical arrogant Boston-ite who chants the yankee sux at the Nets/Celtics game. Classless buffoon. Hey, I don't cheat. I haven't cheated and do not plan on it. He is a cheater. I root for America's team so there is no hate or jealousy on my end. The Patriots are a fine organization and Kraft is a great owner but don't justify arrogance and cheating by saying we all do it because that is simply not the case. Bill cheats so get over yourself righteous BS.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:38 pm

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

The minimal lawsuits you site, are mere PENNIES to the BILLION dollar industry the NFL actually is.

Check your actual head injury facts out there. MORE devasting g-force trauma to the head happens on the LINE on EVERY single play taking place while the O line and D line go at it like battering rams.

These lawsuits have very little to do with it.

Also in contracts and labor agreement, there are clauses on what can be brought forth in lawsuits and wrongdoing has to be proven.

In few cases actual negligence can be found on the side of the teams, and the players actually get some money(very little in the end) rewarded to them via some mundane lawsuit, but to date the amount of money paid out by the NFL or an NFL team compared to what the NFL rakes in EVERY year is very, very LITTLE.

This whole safety issue is done in my opinion by the owners who do not like to lose their overpaid pieces of meat to injuries, which in the end can cost them wins.
BUT INJURIES ARE A PART OF THE GAME, PERIOD END OF STORY. The only way to bascially prevent them is play touch.

IF the owners were doing this because of lawsuits brought because of injuries as you say, than they sure as hell would not be trying to add two more regular season games.

I'm NOT buying it.

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:34 pm

Kickoff Returns History With New Rule

Just put it on the 20 and forget the kick altogether.  Any kicker at this level can get 90% touchbacks anyway.

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