I want to start off by saying that while I was around when the kickoff rule was first changed, I really couldn’t comprehend the rule change. But when I am thinking about the new rule am I the only one that thinks kickoffs might be more dangerous?
Right now the rule committee is assuming that if the kickoff is moved up to the 35 yard line that kickers will always kick it into the end zone for a touchback. Well touchbacks are going to be moved up to the 25 yard line, which means the offensive is just that much closer to scoring.
What is to stop the kickers from pooch kicking the ball to inside the 5 or 10 yard line and make the receiving team return it? The kicking team is 5 yards closer so they will get down faster making the tackle. Kick offs will essentially be like punting. Kickers will learn how to kick the ball higher so the return team can get down in time to down it inside the 20. Knowing this is the strategy the return team will either 1. Stop the kicking team from downing the ball or 2. Get better at returning the ball.
So if the rules committee is trying to make kick offs safer just get rid of them, however then you wouldn’t have onside kicks… or Devin Hester returns.
I would like to say that I hate this proposed rule change. Kickoffs are some of the most exciting plays of the game (Colts vs Bears Super bowl?) . Plus I hate this hypocrisy that owners want to make players safer… but want to go to an 18 game season.
What do you think? Rule change… good or bad idea?