Kickoffs have been effectively neutered in recent years as the NFL focused on limiting the number of players involved in the play in the hopes of limiting the number of head injuries stemming from kickoffs. Most of the time, a kicker steps up, blasts a kickoff deep in the end zone and there’s a touchback.
The Redskins proposed a fantastic new rule designed to make the kickoff a little spicier.
One of the two rules Washington proposed for the upcoming owners meetings --is expected -- is a proposal to benefit accurate kickers with big legs.
Rules proposal No. 6 proposes the league “moves the line of scrimmage to the 20-yard line for any touchback where the free kick travels through the uprights.”
Currently the NFL places touchbacks on kickoffs at the 25-yard line . And there’s not, as far as we know, any actual data about what kickers are sending kickoffs through the uprights.
But clearly this rule would benefit kickers with big legs who are able to blast the ball down a long line and through the uprights. By doing so, the kicker would generate an extra five yards of field position for his defense every time he kicked the ball through the uprights.
Over the course of a game, that makes a big difference. Over the course of a season, the difference could be enormous.
We’re guessing the NFL won’t want to implement a bunch of procedures to monitor which kickoffs go through the uprights. But it would be a cool thing to see happen, and kickers would probably appreciate it as well, since it would put more emphasis on their position after the league has taken some of the emphasis off them in recent years.
Next up? Rock n’ jock style field goals.