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: Jan 25, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:48 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Works for me............just have each drive start on your own 20. Plus, they could then move to the NCAA version of overtime instead of the silly process they currently have for deciidng overtime games.




Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

The kickoff is important because it establishes field position.  If you take that away from people you're whitewashing the leage and making it all vanilla.  Having a good special teams is a key component to any football game.  Adding 5 yards to the kickoff just makes sure that each kickoff will now result in a touchback...  (or will it?)  



Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

So you're OK with 53 being the life expectancy of NFL players?



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

To BlakngoldPosse-Stop drinking the hatorade. It clouds your judgement and lowers your iQ by 25 and trust me,you cannot afford that. Seriously. Plenty of coaches have admitted to cheating in various forms,some much worse than Bill B. You say Bill B, suffered no reprocussions eh? What about losing a first round draft pick, what about paying 500k from his pocket? (I think it was about 10% of his salary).  What about the fact that your moronic post has zero to do with the article? I should admit you did get one thing right in your retarded drivel, NO ONE GETS IT......your post that is. Now shoo,go away!




Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Keep in mind that the life expectancy of NFL players is 25-30 less than the average fan who is critical of rule changes for the sake of player safety.  100 years ago every play resembled a kickoff with players getting a 10 yard sprint before smashing into each other.  About 10 college players died per season, so they changed the rules to have a line of scrimmage.  That rule change saved about a 1000 lives. If the kickoff is the most dangerous play, then just let everyone start at their 20 yard line.



Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Like every other new rules, it takes some time for the teams and fans to get use to it and before the season ends, most of us won't even be talking or commenting about this anymore. It does take away the fun and drama of a great kick return plays as it can change the score in a few seconds but knowing how athletics players are these days, I'm sure some players and teams will come up with a blocking scheme that will still bring excitement back to returning kicks, I hope.

Go Colts !!!



Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Read articles carefully before you post comments that attack the wrong people.



Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Hey badsnap, have you ever played American football in your life?

Let me type this really slllooowww for you, I don't want you to get lost! 

Second question, what is the average starting field position for a team after receiving a kickoff? I know you don't know it, so here is the answer. The average starting field position after a kickoff is the 27yrd line. Which means, a team has to travel 73 yards to the endzone to score a TD. You see badsnap, an American football field is 100 yards long(not counting the endzone). 100yrds(field) - 27yrds(avg starting position) = 73 yards(team must travel) to score, are you still with me badsnap? If a team kicks off from the 35 yard line, resulting in an almost guaranteed touchback, the starting field position for the receiving team will be the 20 yard line. Which in turn, would make the receiving team have to travel 80 yards for a TD. Hence, the field is not shortened but in fact longer by moving the kicks forward. 

Yes, the field is shortened for the kicker to reach the endzone but longer for the receiving team that is trying to score. I watch football for the scoring, big plays & big hits, not to cheer on a kickers to get a touchback. Football has pretty much eliminated the big hits and now they are cutting into the big plays. Returns are exciting and can change the course of a game in the matter of seconds. Ask a Giants fan from last years loss to the Eagles. Ask a Bears fan how exciting those plays are, it cost Denny Green his job! Arizona had the Bears on the ropes and in a blink of an eye, Devin Hester was gone! 

The best teams at pinning a team deep during a kickoff were: Atl 22.2yrd line, Balt 23.7yrd line, Redskins 23.7yrd line, Brown 24.1yrd line, Seattle 24.6 yrd line......Philly was 9th letting their opponent start at the 25yrd line, in fact, only 3 teams in the top 10 made the playoffs. The Patriots(22nd), Steelers(24th) and the Packers(31st) all ranked in the bottom half of the league. If you score more, you kick off more, which means the coverage team will get tired, sloppy and not maintain their assignments which allows a team team get better returns. This is why you see teams that are at the bottom of the league in scoring doing a better job at pinning their oppenents deep. They are fresh and don't kick off as much. I think this will only seperate the better teams as almost everyone will start at the 20 yard line after each score. If the bad teams had problems moving the ball 73 yards on average, how will they get better and drive 80 yards now that they'll be starting on the 20?



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Maybe because he has no one to return it.... im a packers fan but lets say you were a bears fan and Devin hester couldnt run one back or even the rocket. OK LETS BAN IDIOT COACHS WHO WEAR HOODIES GIVE IT A BREAKSurprised




This is too funny. You are calling Belichick and idiot because you thin he was promoting this new rule about kickoffs. Try and learn to read and understand an article before letting your moronic mouth run wild. He actually gave his opinion on what the NFL was trying to do with the new rule. He in no way said he agreed with it, he in no way supported it. In fact if you read the article it appears by the way he quickly interppted the question and stated that the NFL is trying to squash kickoffs he if anything disapporved of it. I mean Inderstand you probably hate him like alot of people but seriously, stop making an aZZ of yourself and learn to read.




Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

give it a year or 2 and they will move it back to the 30. This may reduce some of the returns but if teams really want to return the kickoff they will run it out of th endzone.


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