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: Nov 5, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:44 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

SealedHey... I have a better IDEA Do Away With FootBall Altogether !!

Dumb A's :



Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:42 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

The new kickoff rules are unbelievably bad.  What used to be an exciting play just became the most boring play in all of sports.  I couldn't believe what they had done when I watched two preseason games during the past two weeks.  Horrible, horrible, horrible.



Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:41 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

warlord

Kickoffs are dumb??? You are a poke.  They are part of the game and an exciting one at that.  Teams draft for such a play. They are gamechangers.  They are tradition.  Have you ever run at full speed and hit someone. But what do you know you are only 2 years old anyway.

And it is only recent tradition to kick from the 30. Prior to that the tradition was from the 35 yardline, like today, before that? The 40 yardline.

So the tradition continues...





Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:38 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

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.


Does the author understand this statement actually means you can fathom it? If so, wouldn't it read better to say nearly impossible? Even though it's pretty clear that wasn't the intent...

(nonexistant)DynastyofPats, Bill Belichick is a liar, get used to it, he is...stop whining, you know it too.
Jimmy:

How does the competition committee think this shortens the field?

30 yard line to the end zone for a kick-off is 70 yards. yes? So what then would 35 yards to the end zone be?

If you ask me, the field just became longer when the majority of kickoffs result in touchbacks.

If you are thinking from the returner, not the kicker's perspective.

Vader you are off.

The NFL wants it. The liberal media folks that have been cramming the injury issue down our throats want it. The sportswriters claiming the NFL owners are evil and should pay players even more than the 62% they were getting because they put their bodies on the line must want it. The posters that repeated that same line of nonsense must want it. Guys getting injured on kickoffs want it. And it is no different than from 1974 to 1994 when that was where the ball was placed. Prior to that it was the 40 oh my!

And again, a slow white guy on the Chargers just returned one 103 yards for a TD last week. Last week. A kick from the 35...amazing...not a short kick mind you, one from inside the endzone.

How familiar are you with NFL rules? Ever hear of the Halo rule? No not a video game, but the Halo rule as it applies to kick-offs and punts? No one will be dropping the hammer. And the average starting position? Down 3 yards...3 yards, and we aren't even to the bad weather games that reduce the kick off distance.

That being said...Belichick is the new Al Davis...sound bites to create drama. None true.

Fan and Media reaction so far...mountains made from mole hills.



Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:38 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Heck everyone complains that football needs to go back the way it was in the 60's and 70's all the time. Yet here the NFL changes a rule back to what it was changed to in 1974 and people complaine because they changed the rule to back in the 1970's. Kick offs before 1974 were from the 40 yard line, in '74 they changed it to the 35, then in 1994 to the 30. The made those changes to liven the game a bit. What they did not count on were the number of serious injuries that occured by allowing more returns.  Since the NFL has been sued and is being sued by former players over saftey concerns this was bound to happen. The NFL basically has thier hands tied because of the former players sueing them, they have to be attempting to make the game safer so they can fight those court battles. Its not the NFL owners and the NFL itself actually making those decisions, its the former players whinning and sueing the NFL causing all this. 



Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:31 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Invest in better kickers.




Since: Sep 21, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:28 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Kickoffs are dumb??? You are a poke.  They are part of the game and an exciting one at that.  Teams draft for such a play. They are gamechangers.  They are tradition.  Have you ever run at full speed and hit someone. But what do you know you are only 2 years old anyway.



Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:21 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I do not have a problem with the new rule. I always thought kicking from the 30 gave kickoff squads on both sides too much weight in a game.

I want to see the game decided by the true starters, who are on offense and defense. Kickoff units are made up of mostly backups and scrubs who are hanging on for dear life for their roster spot. At times, a team will have a starting WR, S or CB handle returns. It's a mismatch when you put an elite athlete (returner) in there against scrubs, and give the returner extra room and extra time to get a long return or even a TD. Field goal units and punting units are staffed with more starters, not like the scrubs on the kickoff squad. No problem there.

In a close game, I want to see the top players decide the game, not the scrubs. I want to see a QB make a great throw against a CB in tight coverage. I want to see the O-line blow open a hole for a RB. I want to see a DE sack the QB. I want to see a Safety make a game-winning INT in crunch time. I don't want to see the game decided by guys who are not generally good enough to start on offense or defense, and reside at the bottoms of the depth charts.



Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:18 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Ok, It's a article where Belichick is referenced.. so cue the a-hole fans from the Steelers , Jets, etc.. "Belicheat, Cheatriots etc..." Cmon guys, I know you want to.
Part of the reason I read the comments was to laugh at the haters that say those ridiculous things.



Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:00 am
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

How does the competition committee think this shortens the field?  If you ask me, the field just became longer when the majority of kickoffs result in touchbacks.


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