NFL New Rules “Sissy Up” The Game a Bit More
March 23, 2011 | Sports
Many of the changes made to the rules in the NFL last year went towards protecting the players. The same players that have hundreds of dollars worth of protective equipment on and are paid millions of dollars to play a game. The newest rule to protect our players is the kickoffs will take place at the 35-yard line rather than the 30-yard line. This decision was agreed upon by the team owners Tuesday at the leagues annual meeting in New Orleans, LA.
Disadvantage of the new rule:
Diminish what teams can accomplish with special teams- Devin Hester has a career because of being willing to take the big hit on special teams and on occasion can return a kickoff for a touchdown. A skill that earned him a starting role as a wide receiver with the Chicago Bears.
Removes an exciting feature of the game- Fans love to see the kickoff return and now most will end up in the end zone. Fans live for their team to return that kickoff for a touchdown and get their team back in the game. Not only does it provide positive points to a close game but it’s a huge momentum changer for the team.
Scoring will decrease – Because of the new rule causing more touchbacks will cut down on the amount of scoring drives. Most of these drives will need to be 80 yards.
Advantages of the new rule change:
More touchbacks – this is an advantage for the players in the way that we don’t have the young players that are working for a position to take a kickoff and sprint hard up field and get hit hard. Causing the personal injury to the NFL player.
Make kickoffs Safe
Touchbacks will continue to be at the 20 yard line, and two-man blocking wedge will still be allowed. The league’s committee initially concsidered moving touchbacks up to the 25 yard line, eliminating the blocking wedge and limiting coverage players from long run-ups, leading to harder hits and injury. The league reduced the number of players in a blocking wedge to two in 2009.
Clearly some teams were not in favor of this new rule. Obviously, if you have a team that returned kickoffs for touchdowns this year you were not in favor of this new ‘safety rule’. “If there are 10% less returns we will be protecting players”, said many coaches. “Players safety is the most important consideration”
Player safety is a huge concern but if we continue to protect these players that are paid for the danger of getting hit hard and possibly injured then I’m not sure the salary is continuing to make sense with the protection being delivered to the players. Until fans stop watching because the game has too many protective elements the players salaries will continue to grow as they negotiate with the NFL
This article was written by: Steve Kramer