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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Comments

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

The NFL originally moved kickoffs from the 35 to the 30 to decrease on touchbacks and make the game more exciting.  Moving it back again sends the message that they don't believe kickoff returns are important and should be eliminated.  If this is going to be the case then let's just give teams the ball at their own 20 yard line and move on.



Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

If they want to eliminate the kickoff return, it has nothing to do with player safety.  My guess is that they can get more commercials in when there is not return. This would make sense to me.  The games are becoming almost unwatchable when you consider all the time outs for tv, instant replay, injuries, etc.  I hate the replay rules and all the BS it's added to the game.



Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Is it coincidence, though, or not, that the Pats have failed to win a playoff game since?
The Pats won several playoff games in '07-'08 before losing the Super Bowl.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I think the NFL really doesn't like returns for a TD. The reason for this is because some teams have really good return and they change the game. An example last year was when Seattle played San Diego, Leon Washington ran two back for a touchdown and then had another one which turned out to be a long return this moved us into position where we could score again which we did. I believe it was a field goal.

The NFL wants certain teams to win so if you take away one of their main weapons you can stop them from wining. Just my opinion.



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

IM4GVN,

I can appreciate the frustration of having 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?

I anticipate some Pats fan will check my profile and make some comment about the Raiders sucking, even though that has nothing to do with this comment. Much like your response to a Spygate comment that had nothing to do with the article.

Your point is fair, but holy arrogance. You know why the Partiots are despised by most NFL fans moreso than fans of other teams? Read your own arrogant post about how the Patriots do everything right and the rest of the world should bow and scrape to them, and you have your answer.

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.

Steeler fans, at least historically, have far more to crow about than you do. They've also won a Super Bowl more recently as well, and were there last you and you weren't. So why would they be jealous?

Your post is what's wrong with the Patriots fan base and the fundamental reason nobody can really stand listening to those with the same sentiment.

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.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I believe it. It fits with the move.



Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

If you're 16, why wouldn't you be in your parents basement?



Since: Apr 30, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Can I have your tickets



Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Maybe we can have some members of the Lingerie Leagues do the kickoffs instead, at least the crowds would enjoy that. Better yet, have them mud wrestle for it in the middle of the field, winner gets the ball at the 30.

How stupid has the NFL become? Eliminating one of the most exciting plays in football is just ridiculous and asinine. Sounds like the $$$ are again speaking, loud and clear, cuz it sure is not common sense.



Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

yea right!


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