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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: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:53 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Thanks to Belichick for saying this. I dont understand why the NFL would want to do this. It would be a bad move IMO. There would be no more special teams players or exciting returns for touchdowns

Since: Feb 27, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:53 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

i dont see how its going to reduce injuries. 5 yards isn't going slow down the kick cover team. guys are still going to be colliding into each other trying to hustle down there or block someone. and we all know its going to result in a lot of touchbacks but that still isn't going to slow them down. why? because if you aint hustlin or trying to get a block on someone you aint gonna make the team.

the only way i could see this reducing injuries is to the return man. but come on how many times do you see the return man get lit-up? vary little. usually the guys getting hurt are the guys getting decleated by blocks or dudes trying to make the tackle flying in there head first. thats still gonna happen even with the kickoff 5 yards up.

the main thing that will happen is more commercials....hey more advertising, more MONEY!!! woot! wooot!

Since: Aug 17, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:48 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Typical Steelers fan - ignoring the rapist quarterback, drunk driving receiver, another substance abusiny WR (no longer with the team), and trash-talking LB who criticizes his own teammates instead of other teams.  You're right, the Steelers are what is right with the NFL! 

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:38 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

you forgot to mention that Kordell Stewart is a better QB than Brady

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:36 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I am by no means a fan of the Pats, but BB is far from a "loser"....You're just mad cause your team can't win all those titles!  Don't hate on someone who CAN!

Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:36 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

your a cry baby BlaknGoldPosse... get over it you pathetic loser...

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:30 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Let's wait to see if the NFL eliminates cheating first.  They've worked on the whole ignoring-the--no-taping rule, now let's see if they work on the whole lie-on-your-injury-report rule.  When this clown coaches actual football according to the rules that are in place, then he can give his opinion on rules and potential rule changes.

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:29 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Read the article closer.  They are moving FROM the 30 TO the 35.  That is what the problem is. 

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:24 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Think about it a second, all these NFL owners want to make the sport less exciting? No way the excitement of the kick off is why they changed the rule from the 40 to the 35 in 1974 then from the 35 to the 30 in 1994. They wanted the fans to be excited about kickoffs. They still do, nothing has changed as far as them wanting the game to be exciting, thats what makes them the money.  Players have demanded compensation and sued over injuries they have recieved while playing a game they wanted to play and were very well compensated for to play. It was thier choice to play, no one stood there and forced them to play, yet they sue the NFL over these injuries and demand that the NFL compensate these players even after they have left football for injuries sustained. They were paid well to play a game, no one forced them to play but they think they are entitled to more money because they played and were injured. Thats just crazy and yet its legal for them to do it, so they do. The players have forced the NFL to be able to prove in courts of law that they do everything possable to avert these injuries, if they do not then they will be paying out million upon millions to players in these lawsuits, heck they have allready settled over 300 million dollars worth of player lawsuits in out of court settlements. Why? because they knew they could not prove that the NFL was doing everything it could to protect the players.  The rule changes are a result of these lawsuits.

Since: Nov 25, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:19 am

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

They do this, and the new rule does suck already, the NFL is truly what it stands for. the NO FUN LEAGUE. 

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