New kickoff start would benefit Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff
As reported, “NFL kickoffs will take place at the 35-yard-– not the 30 – under a modified proposal passed by team owners Tuesday at the league’s annual meeting. However, touchbacks will remain at the 20, and teams still will be allowed to use the two-man blocking wedge.”
Will New Kickoff Start Alter The Game?
One of the most exciting plays on Sunday is watching a kick return for a TD. The idea behind the proposed kickoff change revolves around player safety. Would this new rule alter the game? Field position is critical and there would be more touchbacks with kickoffs from the 35 yard line. This rule change will most likely limit opportunities for the premier kick returners in the game.
Former NFL safety Matt Bowen, National Football Post, discussed the rule change when it was being proposed. “…let’s discuss the possible rule change of kicking the ball off from the 35-yard line. A major phase of the game that teams rely on for field position that could be minimized. The simple question: is it worth it?”
Bowen goes on to say, “I applaud the league for trying to limit the amount of injuries we see, but don’t make a rule change that impacts the overall quality of the game. You know what you signed up for as a player when you line up on kickoff coverage. It isn’t pretty, but it is part of the game.”