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Old 03-22-2011   #1
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Default NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

....and is met with harsh criticism from......everybody.

LINK

Quote:
NFL owners approved a modification in the kickoff rules on Tuesday, but a less drastic change than the plan the competition committee had proposed last week.

Owners gave their OK to move the kickoff line from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line. But they made no change to the spot of the ball on touchbacks, which the competition committee originally proposed moving from the 20-yard line to the 25.

The move should benefit kickoff teams and could penalize kick-return teams. The extra five yards will make it easier for kickers to register touchbacks.

Competition committee chairman Rich McKay said he expects the percentage of touchbacks to increase anywhere from 5%-15% next season.

For prolific returners such as the New York Jets' Brad Smith and the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester -- who spoke out against the change earlier this week -- the new rule could limit their effectiveness.

No change was made to the wedge rule, which will allow teams to have two men line up in wedges for blocking on kick returns.

But the NFL will now mandate that members of the kickoff team line up no more than five yards behind the 35-yard line. That eliminates the running start many kickoff team members could get in the past.

McKay said he considered that the most significant change, in the interest of player safety.

"When you shorten that run ... hopefully that changes the (injury) numbers," he said. "We think it will."

Other rules issues the owners considered on Tuesday:

Replay: All scoring plays will trigger automatic replay review from the booth now. Coaches will not need to throw their challenge flags on such plays.

"The ball will be held by umpire until he gets signal that play is confirmed," McKay said.

Guidelines will be given to replay officials, who will be expected to confirm the play quickly or ask the referee to review.

Turf color: The league banned any changes to the color of teams' stadium turf. All turf must be a shade of green, and any changes -- to a Boise State-like blue, for example -- would have to be approved by the NFL.

Player safety: Owners declined to act on a competition committee recommendation to expand the definition of defenseless player. They may consider the issue at their May meetings.

/end of article
This could change how some roster spots are evaluated. I'm all for safety, but this is shooting the wrong fish in the barrel. JMO.
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Old 03-22-2011   #2
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

Returners just became a lot less valuable. Touchbacks will become very prevalent, making special teams fairly boring.
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Old 03-22-2011   #3
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

Quote:
"When you shorten that run ... hopefully that changes the (injury) numbers," he said. "We think it will."
Do they think it takes an NFL player 50 yds to 'get up to speed'?

Prepare for touchback land...zzzzzzz
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Old 03-22-2011   #4
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

I'm waiting for the league to figure out that the most effective way to decrease injuries by half is to make each quarter 7.5 minutes..........and have twice as much revenues come through twice as many filler commercials........KaChing!!!
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Old 03-22-2011   #5
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

WOW!!

This is such BS!!! Anyone over 30 years old remembers when they used to kick-off from the 35. HS was the 40.... Some people *cough* BSPN *cough* take things way too seriously!!!

Unbelievable!!!
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Old 03-22-2011   #6
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

Booo! Even Chad Ochocinco could kick touchbacks from the 35!

Boring!
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Old 03-22-2011   #7
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
WOW!!

This is such BS!!! Anyone over 30 years old remembers when they used to kick-off from the 35. HS was the 40.... Some people *cough* BSPN *cough* take things way too seriously!!!

Unbelievable!!!
.......and they shortened the height of the tee to try to keep the ball on the ground and in play. Here's an interesting 1999 SI article about changing the touchback rules.
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Old 03-22-2011   #8
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

This may encourage kickers to shorten the kicks some. Drop the ball around the 5 yd line and then when the 5 yard headstart, pin the other team inside the 20.
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Old 03-22-2011   #9
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

Kickoffs were from the 35 for friggin 50yrs and noone knew the difference. The players are just bitching about this just to be bitching. If you are a badass you should be able to run it back no matter where they kick the ball.
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Old 03-22-2011   #10
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

You want to make the return game more exciting?.........take the touch back to the 15 yd line.
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Old 03-22-2011   #11
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Default

Well it is better than vista isn't it. Maybe it will make the kicker more valuable
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Old 03-22-2011   #12
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

they should look into banning tackling...guys are getting hurt.
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Old 03-22-2011   #13
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
.......and they shortened the height of the tee to try to keep the ball on the ground and in play. Here's an interesting 1999 SI article about changing the touchback rules.
That was a good read, Doc!! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-22-2011   #14
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

This is a good change, and the thing that no one seems to be touching upon is how this ties into the overtime rules changes. I have been against the OT rules changes because it just continues down the path of runaway offense and catering to the offense. Not so much that the offense has to score more in OT now, but the acceptance that the offense should somehow be entitled to touch the ball, or that it should even matter. If the NFL truly wanted a sport where both sides of the ball were important, they'd maintain that balance. Instead, they've steadily let offenses creep ahead since the late '70s. The OT rule was just another step along that paradigm, IMO.

However, this rule is a step back in the right direction. When we had the discussion about the new OT rules, this statistical analysis was linked, which had some interesting facts within. One of them:

Quote:
Interestingly, the cumulative data hide the effect of a rule change that occurred in 1994, when kickoffs were moved back 5 yards to the 30-yard line. Since 1994, nearly one-third of overtime games have been won on the first possession by the team that received the ball first. In the first 20 seasons, under the old rule, slightly more than one-quarter of the games were won in this fashion.

A recent analysis by economist Richard E. Hawkins of Pennsylvania State University in DuBois confirms that these differences are statistically significant.

"The analysis finds with 99.99 % certainty that the [coin] flip has made a difference in the outcome of the game over the last 10 years," he concludes. "But for the period prior to those 10 years, the coin flip cannot be shown to be important."
So basically, they're undoing the rule change which really necessitated the OT rule change. But we're still getting stuck with the OT rule change. The logical change to the OT problem would have been to roll back this kickoff position change of 1994, but instead they implemented the OT rule we now have. And now they've changed the kickoff position back to pre-1994 placement. Go figure.
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Old 03-23-2011   #15
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

My guy Kerley from TCU might lose some stock since he is a really nice slot WR but also a top KR/PR. Sucks for him. I hate this. The return game is a big part of the game. Touchbacks will be plentiful now. As an ex-kicker I know most guys can get it to the endzone. 5 yards puts you deeper in and less likely to run out obviously. The only thing I can see teams maybe doing is employing the kicker to angle more towards the corner to force their hand. We did this in High School but they also didn't have rules that brought out so far so angling had no real penalty.
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Old 03-23-2011   #16
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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Originally Posted by HoustonFrog View Post
I hate this. The return game is a big part of the game. Touchbacks will be plentiful now.
Some of the best kick returners came before the 1994 rule that changed things - Eric Metcalf, Brian Mitchell (still holds a couple records, I believe), Mel Gray, Gale Sayers, and let's not forget our favorite of all time: Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.

The return game will be fine. This is just a rule change putting things back to the way they were. I'm pretty sure if Devin Hester had been around before 1994, he still would have been awesome at returning kicks.
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Old 03-23-2011   #17
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Some of the best kick returners came before the 1994 rule that changed things - Eric Metcalf, Brian Mitchell (still holds a couple records, I believe), Mel Gray, Gale Sayers, and let's not forget our favorite of all time: Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.

The return game will be fine. This is just a rule change putting things back to the way they were. I'm pretty sure if Devin Hester had been around before 1994, he still would have been awesome at returning kicks.
True but I also think kickers have bigger legs now..we are in a time of specialists where you have a guy that is accurate for FGs and a guy who can rip it through the end zone. Back then many kickers were still little guys who weren't working out and who were more FG specialists. I think it is a large difference.
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Old 03-23-2011   #18
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

So does this rule do away with the two man wedge or something like that which was changed a few years back?
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Old 03-23-2011   #19
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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True but I also think kickers have bigger legs now..we are in a time of specialists where you have a guy that is accurate for FGs and a guy who can rip it through the end zone. Back then many kickers were still little guys who weren't working out and who were more FG specialists. I think it is a large difference.
Returners are no longer really just that 5th WR or CB that can't get on the field, either. They're faster, have greater access to fitness techniques and nutrition, and the philosophy of the team has changed to recognize that a returner is an integral part of the game plan. I think it's a wash.

The wedge rule has a far greater impact on kick returns, IMO.
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Old 03-23-2011   #20
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Default Re: NFL moves kickoff line from 30-yard line to 35

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So does this rule do away with the two man wedge or something like that which was changed a few years back?
Nope the TWO-man wedge is still allowed.
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