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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Comments

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

The kickoff is the most boring play in football except for the rare long return and the rarer successful onside kick.  The only thing more boring than a football kickoff is the basketball jump ball which has been eliminated except for the traditional opening tip.

You must be an arena football fanatic or something. I, for one, think many of the football kickoffs are exciting. If your opponents' special team unit is weak, there is a bigger chance for a TD, or at the least, a long return and good field position. 

And the field goal attempt is the second most boring play in football except when the game is on the line in the last seconds.

That is total insanity ! A field goal is a major scoring play ! there is no guarantee it will be successful. It can be blocked, faked, or have a mishandled snap !

If you are that bored with the NFL, go watch basketball. Or, are you going to say that free throws are too boring, so they should be eliminated ?





Since: Mar 29, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 3:12 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




Since: Dec 26, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Whats next?   Maybe limit size of a football player?  Maybe if their return guy is only 180 lbs then the other team could only put guys of 180 lbs out there to forgo injuries.  Maybe it should be just fast walking instead of actually running with the football.  CAN WE GET REAL MEN TO MAKE DECISIONS ON LEAVING FOOTBALL TO MEN AND NOT MAKING IT FOR LITTLE BABIES.  Maybe we should use paint guns in time of war so no one actually dies.  The grils league hits harder than some of these guys do.  Maybe all QBs should be female cause we all know you dont hit a female.  What if one team in the nfl was all female would they win every game and the superbowl?  Hell anybody want to get a team of all females with me. 



Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

And the biggest problem?????  The players want to play football.  It Is A Joke!!!



Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:52 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Their predessors did kickoffs, Butkus used to kick butt.  They had off season jobs and made minimal money yet put there careers on the line playing in the NFL.  Now you can't dance, touch anyone on the sideline, hit anyone hard, put your finger on a QB's helmet, can't block below the waist, can't hit a wide reciever after 5 yds, can't do the wedge or kickoffs anymore, Can't head slap and the now get paid more than I will make in a lifetime for playing this game for 1 year.  What has this pussy league done with our game???  Let them play football.



Since: Jan 28, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

it's football... players get hurt... that's what they get paid the big $$$ for...

bunch of nancyboys...



Since: Apr 25, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

You'll never see another music city miracle if they do that, or any other big return to set up a late FG for a tie or something like that.  while we at it lets just make all punts automatic fair catches too....  what a joke, these clowns running the show are about as useful as sprinkles on dog sh*t



Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I guess the NFL really did like the XFL b/c thats what its becoming.....whats next, flag football??  They will keep messing with the game until its not recognizable



Since: Jul 18, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

Are you ready for some dodgeball?

Oh. wait, its been eliminated because its too dangerous.


Was Joe Theisman injured on a kickoff?  Was Daryl Stingley?     What about Frank Gifford? 

Someone mentioned the NFL being a cash cow.  Why fool with the most popular game in America?  If the games become boring, I've got 133 Law And Orders recorded.  See ya whileago. 



Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Belichick: NFL wants to squash kickoffs

I have to agree with all the people saying that all these safety changes are making this game less enjoyable to watch. I understand why they are making the changes, but the reason we watch football is because of the HARD hits, long kickoff returns and seeing who's team is tougher. The rules with the quarterback are still the worse of them all. I understand that they are usually the face of the team and franchise and they have to protect their investment. But you cant dicipline the Defense for making a play and getting to the QB and hitting him "To Hard" or "In the wrong spot". He has a helmet and pads on, just like everyone else. Its going to get to the point where the football is going to HAVE to switch back to the old rules, becuase us fans will stop watching due to lack of excitement and entertainment. Hopefully they get the hint before it's to late and they lose their fan base.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com