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: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

if they don't want any boo-boo's just make it two hand touch.  freaking sissies



Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

It doesn't shock me that the NFL (non football league) is trying to phase out returns.  Ever since they have been on this safety kick they have consistantly gone away from real football.  We will be watching touch/flag in a few years the way this is going.  You can barely touch the qb's and wr's now you can't use your kick return game to your advantage.  Imagine the Bears down by 3 in the fourth quarter with 1:45 left in the game and GreenBay has just scored and is kicking off.  You waiting to see what Hester is going to do.  He watches the ball sale out of the endzone.  How exciting is that?  This is definately the NFL (no fun league).  You are making football boring and killing my fantasy defense in the process.Cool



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

My post earlier:  "can't name" and "some others" for the error police. And there could be more but I don't type all day. I have a real job that I have to get to.

But back to the story. Good goal by NFL to reduce number of kickoffs. It seems like half have a flag and have to be redone or don't count. And all the efforts to reduce the flags have failed.

That is in addition to injury count on kickoff returns seems to be higher than on punt returns. I do not have stats on that but it's my impression. Smaller wedge groups makes the kickoff return more like a punt return.

This is a good move for the NFL to clean up a problem that slows the game much more often than giving a highlight play. It would be great if they could start a game without a flag on the opening kickoff. If that becomes a touchback, (when kickers are fresh) then maybe no flag.

And if it cuts down on injuries for the players who have a short earning window, (most S/T players have much shorter careers than other players) so much the better.



Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I dont know about other football fans but me personally i enjoy the excitement of the kickoff return , its part of the game and to limit the amount of kickoff returns is to limit the amount  of fans that continue to watch the game.  Its bad enough that you rarely see a punt return because of the fair catch rule , the competition commitee is making the game boring , even though i understand player safety is important the NFL needs to find ways to make the game safe but not limit the excitement.




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:29 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

"Plenty of coaches have admitted to cheating in various forms,some much worse than Bill B."

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.

You can even name 1 NFL coach cheating anything near Belichick's Pats and yet reality still do not hit home for you. Pats cheated. Fact. Caught. Period. You can't change the facts by saying "move on".

I do understand that do anything to win effort and like that Belichick spent no time trying to claim that he was not caught. Only that it was normal and everyone did tha same. Clear he feels that it cn't be undone and he would not care to anyway.

Odd thing about Belichick is when he get away from players status and game planning, he can express some very clear and honest thoughts about the league. you almost get the feeling he hides behinf all the bland statements disinformation to keep from telling a lot more that he would think safe.

This is an honest claim by Belichick of what he was told and how he understands what was said. But as we all know, he understands rules and policy in a different manner than so others do.



Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:02 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

And I misspelled "Belichick." Ha ha ha.



Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

When I was a kid, kickoffs were from the 40 yard line. Then it became the 35, then the 30. Now they are readjusting it back to 35. Fifteen feet is not going to ruin the game. And if it goes back to the 40 yard line, maybe onside kicks will become commonplace during the game, since it will at least make the opponent drive 50 yards or more if you fail.
Belicheck and his Patriots have a really good thing going, and any changes can weaken their position. If I was the coach of a team like his, I would rebel against any changes too.
By the way, Katzowitz misspelled "kickoffs" in his last paragraph.



Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

@6591rhj: Wow, man, the NCAA version of overtime just TOTALLY sucks!!  They need to just let the tie stand instead of using that stupid system.  The NFL system is far better, and now that they finally got my memo to allow both teams a possession if the receiving team kicks a FG, it's damn near perfect!



Since: Feb 27, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Go Spongerob! You beat me to the punch while I replied...I apologize to the rest for the apparent "me too" pile on.



Since: Feb 27, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Let me type really slow for you. A kickoff from the 30 has to travel 70 yards to enter the opposite end zone. A kickoff from the 35 has to travel 65 yards to enter the opposite end zone. Are you still with me? In my world, 65 is less than 70 ... hence a shortened field. Most times when a kickoff is fielded in the end zone it is downed.There will be a lot less kicks fielded inside the 10 so the field is overall shorter.

So try and read this slowly and you might get it. No one refers to shortening the field for the kicking game, particularly kickoffs, they are talking about the distance the OFFENSE has to travel to get into scoring position. TAKE YOUR TIME and understand this concept. Got it now? OK, so if the average starting field position after a score and subsequent kickoff moves from last year's average of the 27 yard line BACK any number of yards because there are more touchbacks, again, read this slowly, the field is lengthened.

You might want to stick to soccer.


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