NFL Thinking of Getting Rid of Kick Offs
December 6, 2012 7:28 PM Subscribe
The NFL is again thinking of getting rid of kick offs
posted by theichibun (84 comments total)
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. Recently kickoffs were moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line in an effort to create more touch backs (and thus fewer returns of kicks) and reduce injuries.
Now they're considering getting rid of kick offs altogether.Players don't seem to be a fan of the idea
. Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano (of "Rush the kneeling offense because the game isn't over" fame) wants to get rid of kick offs altogether
You can't blame the rule changes for 100% of the slower return game in today's NFL. The touch back rate of kick offs had basically increased every year from 2001-2010
The biggest impact will be felt by players like Eric Weems
of the Chicago Bears. Officially listed as a receiver, Weems never really had much action on the offensive side of the ball. In his 4 years in Atlanta Weems only had 27 passes thrown to him, with 14 of those coming in one season. Where he makes his living is in the return game.
After having 77 punt returns and 113 kick off returns in 4 years Weems is pretty much nonexistent this season. Part of that is certainly due to being on the same team as Devin Hester
, but you also have to consider why Atlanta let him go in the first place. Namely, that the new kick off rules greatly reduced his effectiveness and they couldn't justify using a roster spot on someone whose only job was going to be returning kicks that are only being returned about 50% of the time over the past two seasons. Just for comparison, from 2001-2010 the return rate was never below 80%.
A Few Notes to End On:
- From what I read it seems that the majority of coaches who are in favor of a less violent kick off situation are coaches who have had a player seriously injured on a kick off play.
- Yes, it's a lot of ESPN. Deal with it.