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Old 08-24-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default The New Kickoff Rule, discussion

So, I think after two pre-season games at sea level and altitude and everywhere in between what we can safely assume is that the kickoff return TD is going to be extremely rare if ever.

Touchbacks will seem to skyrocket, and those foolish enough to bring it out may not even make it to the 20 with the opposition starting 5 yards closer and all.

So basically, we are looking at a very high percentage (Id conservatively guess about 80% and liberally guess closer to 95%) of all kickoffs ending in touchbacks and thus all offensive drives resulting from a kick off starting at the 20.

During either our game or another game, one of the announcers mentioned that drives starting at the 20 result in a TD only 12.5% of the time (or something like that, it was a very low number).

If the league is all about increasing excitement and scoring, then this new kickoff rule flies in the face of every other offensively slanted rule they have made in the last 25 years. This one seems to be about player safety though but, IMO, in one fell swoop, they are reducing the excitement and possibility of scores dramatically in every single game.

Do you guys think there is some modification of this that would satisfy both player safety AND keep the excitement of the kick return game in tact? I like the part about players no longer able to take 10-15 yard running starts on kickoffs, they are limited to 5 yards behind the ball, but I greatly dislike the idea of effectively eliminating the kickoff return. Granted, we have been burned by it several times in the past but some of these kick returns have been electrifying to watch.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
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next year they need to either get rid of the kickoff entirely or move it back to the 35 to make it a relevant play.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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I hate the new rule. Kickoff returns are going to be a thing of the past. Eliminating the running start makes absolutely no sense at all to me. Trying to keep players from 'full speed'? They're at full speed what, in 5-10 yards? How does that change anything? By the time they hit the 50 they're moving as fast as they did when they had the running start. Pointless, IMO.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:08 AM   #4
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We have sucked on special teams coverage most years. The new rule is good for this team.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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The league clearly wants to reduce the number of live kick returns in the name of player safety... also tackling and anything that remotely resembles a hit on marquee quarterbacks.

Whatever.

If you are going to basically guarantee a touchback on kickoffs, why not just place the ball on the 20 and spare the kicker from potentially injuring his leg?

All joking aside, I think touchbacks on kickoffs should be placed on the offensive 30 yard line. That seems like a fair compromise to me.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:11 AM   #6
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I dislike the rule. If you're going to do this, just eliminate the kickoff all together and start the offense at the 20.

Oh wait, can't do that. Commercial breaks after scoring/before kickoff, and after kickoff return/before new drive. My bad.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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I'll enjoy it when we are up 14-0 and don't have to give up the inevitable 60 yard KO return that will switch momentum and eventually bury us?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
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Plus, i think this preseason only 30 percent or something were touchbacks? Maybe im getting that stat wrong
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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FYI:

The ONLY reason they didn't eliminate kick offs completely was because it would eliminate the potential for the on-sides kick and they felt that was too big a part of the game to remove.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Broncenstein View Post
The league clearly wants to reduce the number of live kick returns in the name of player safety... also tackling and anything that remotely resembles a hit on marquee quarterbacks.

Whatever.

If you are going to basically guarantee a touchback on kickoffs, why not just place the ball on the 20 and spare the kicker from potentially injuring his leg?

All joking aside, I think touchbacks on kickoffs should be placed on the offensive 30 yard line. That seems like a fair compromise to me.
I thought about moving it to the 30, im not sure. Id like to see the stats from drives starting at the 30 that result in scores. Im not promoting that offenses have an easy time scoring but I do think I'd like to see more than 12.5% of drives end in scores (on average).
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:13 AM   #11
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"worst rule ever"
When I heard they were planing to move the kickoff spot 5 yards, I was super happy, never occurred to me they will move it forward. There were too many touchback (especially in Denver) as it is.

And to make things even worse, get ready for lots of this BS:
TD, extra point, Commercial break (3-4 minutes), and we're back. Kick off, touchback, Commercial break (3-4 minutes)...
We're looking at 7-10 minutes breaks with zero action.
They really force you to DVR the game and watch it with 30-60minute delay.

As a side note, I think it's time to penalize team for punting out-of-bounds.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:13 AM   #12
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Hmm, good thread. It's made kickoffs a thing of the past (that would suck if we had ever invested in a good kick returner like some teams have), but the way injuries were going, it's probably a good move.

To keep kickoffs relevant but make them less violent, they'd have to either: slow the players down or make more room.
There's no way to slow them down that I can think of, short of what they've already done to the running start.
To make more more room you can't make the field bigger, the only way would be to put less players on the field. 9 or 10 man special teams units? Seems like blasphemy to change up the number of players on the field, but now I'm curious.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReverend View Post
FYI:

The ONLY reason they didn't eliminate kick offs completely was because it would eliminate the potential for the on-sides kick and they felt that was too big a part of the game to remove.
This is a good point and in that regard I think they made the right decision. Onsides kicks, while not hugely successful, can ultimately change a game's outcome and give a team that was down a fighting chance at tying or winning outright.

But you have eliminated the squib kick and all the craziness that can happen on those by doing this.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Chalk View Post
This is a good point and in that regard I think they made the right decision. Onsides kicks, while not hugely successful, can ultimately change a game's outcome and give a team that was down a fighting chance at tying or winning outright.

But you have eliminated the squib kick and all the craziness that can happen on those by doing this.
Have they?

A guy can still take it from the back of the end zone when they're down to take a shot AND most teams will be really rusty covering kick offs...

A lot of teams have been kicking it short intentionally this PS just to get their coverage units some practice.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:18 AM   #15
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I think it will only be an issue for indoor stadiums.....there will still be plenty of returns in outdoor stadiums and especially in cold weather games
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeuceOfClub View Post
"worst rule ever"
When I heard they were planing to move the kickoff spot 5 yards, I was super happy, never occurred to me they will move it forward. There were too many touchback (especially in Denver) as it is.

And to make things even worse, get ready for lots of this BS:
TD, extra point, Commercial break (3-4 minutes), and we're back. Kick off, touchback, Commercial break (3-4 minutes)...
We're looking at 7-10 minutes breaks with zero action.
They really force you to DVR the game and watch it with 30-60minute delay.

As a side note, I think it's time to penalize team for punting out-of-bounds.
Penalizing for punting out of bounds...thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard.


As for the kick off issues, I think the longer we get into the season the more coaches will tell kickers to pop it up and angle it and play with the kickoff so that they become returnable. Thus the return of kick off specialists. If a kid wants to get a niche in the league thats what I would teach. Dude learn to KO from the 35 either angle it to one side and pop it up in the air to land inbetween the 10 and 5 yards deep in the endzone.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Chalk View Post
I thought about moving it to the 30, im not sure. Id like to see the stats from drives starting at the 30 that result in scores. Im not promoting that offenses have an easy time scoring but I do think I'd like to see more than 12.5% of drives end in scores (on average).
Kicking the ball out of bounds starts on the 40. Kicking it routinely out of the back of the end zone starts on the 20. Everyone is going to be upset with routine touchbacks, so putting the ball on the 30 sounds like a decent compromise to me.

Really, I'd just like to see some GD football. Part of the reason I like to watch football is precisely why it is so dangerous.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:22 AM   #18
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This is my thoughts on the new kick-off rule:

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Old 08-24-2011, 09:24 AM   #19
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Penalizing for punting out of bounds...thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
....
Dumbest ever? You must be new here...
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #20
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I think if they are going to move the ball up 5 yards to kick it off, than touchbacks should come out to the 25. I understand the safety concerns but most of these kickers can boom it through the endzone no problem. Give the offense a little better field position as a result.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #21
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The Chargers like this.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #22
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If the NFL is so concerned about safety, why don't they make the players wear appropriate padding?
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #23
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Not to mention, once the weather starts getting colder, you'll see less and less touchbacks. We're used to touchbacks in Denver anyway, from a pure fan standpoint, i dont like the rule. From a BRONCOS fan standpoint I love it because we always suck at returning them and could never cover them for ****.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #24
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If the NFL is so concerned about safety, why don't they make the players wear appropriate padding?
I think they are really just concerned about head injuries.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
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I think they are really just concerned about head injuries.
I really don't think it even goes that far. They are worried about the impending litigation regarding head injuries.
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