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NFL Owners Approve Kickoff Rule Changes For 2018

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  • Earl Campbell, and just about any RB or FB of note is now legislated out of the league. I assume this applies to runners as well as tacklers.
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  • "Contact was clearly avoidable; player delivering the blow had other options."

    This is BS.
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  • “Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said on twitter that more than 40,000 plays were reviewed from last season through the lens of the new ‘use of helmet rule,’ and only three ejections were identified.”

    Let’s hope that holds true in practical, game use.
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  • "Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."

    I'm reading this as the kicking team can now sprint unabated to the returner until the catch is made. With a hang time of 4.5 seconds, that puts most of the kick coverage team at the 25 yard line with a full head of steam before the receiving team can initiate contact. That doesn't seem like much of an opportunity for a return. If a kicker can buy more hang time with a shorter kick to the 5-10 yard line, this could mean fair catches on kickoffs. Anyone else seeing it this way?
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  • Man, cant wait to see this in action.
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  • New rule, just in....

    “A defensive player may not knock the ball carrier down in an attempt to remove the ball carrier’s flag.”


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  • SoCalSeahawk wrote:"Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."

    I'm reading this as the kicking team can now sprint unabated to the returner until the catch is made. With a hang time of 4.5 seconds, that puts most of the kick coverage team at the 25 yard line with a full head of steam before the receiving team can initiate contact. That doesn't seem like much of an opportunity for a return. If a kicker can buy more hang time with a shorter kick to the 5-10 yard line, this could mean fair catches on kickoffs. Anyone else seeing it this way?
    I'm not sure how to see it, I hope the refs can eliminate the gray area I see, but the way it reads is that (in what equates to a 10 v 10 play) the refs are supposed to ascertain between "blocking" (illegal) and "pushing or pulling" (legal) to stop a player in either direction. On top of this they need to count players in their new legal "zones" pre-snap, and recognize said players various new blocking and movement rules post-snap.

    Sounds like a new (maybe even worse) version of the overly complicated catch rule.
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  • SoCalSeahawk wrote:"Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."

    I'm reading this as the kicking team can now sprint unabated to the returner until the catch is made. With a hang time of 4.5 seconds, that puts most of the kick coverage team at the 25 yard line with a full head of steam before the receiving team can initiate contact. That doesn't seem like much of an opportunity for a return. If a kicker can buy more hang time with a shorter kick to the 5-10 yard line, this could mean fair catches on kickoffs. Anyone else seeing it this way?

    The article on seahawks.com is poorly written. The actual rule states that there is no blocking in the "setup zone" until the ball hits the ground or is caught. The setup zone is the 15-yard area from the 35 yardline to the 50. This article explains it better and has a video for those who like visual aids: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2357 ... -ejections
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  • tooshort wrote:
    SoCalSeahawk wrote:"Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."

    I'm reading this as the kicking team can now sprint unabated to the returner until the catch is made. With a hang time of 4.5 seconds, that puts most of the kick coverage team at the 25 yard line with a full head of steam before the receiving team can initiate contact. That doesn't seem like much of an opportunity for a return. If a kicker can buy more hang time with a shorter kick to the 5-10 yard line, this could mean fair catches on kickoffs. Anyone else seeing it this way?
    I'm not sure how to see it, I hope the refs can eliminate the gray area I see, but the way it reads is that (in what equates to a 10 v 10 play) the refs are supposed to ascertain between "blocking" (illegal) and "pushing or pulling" (legal) to stop a player in either direction. On top of this they need to count players in their new legal "zones" pre-snap, and recognize said players various new blocking and movement rules post-snap.

    Sounds like a new (maybe even worse) version of the overly complicated catch rule.


    How the heck would an onside kick work then?
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  • SeatownJay wrote:
    SoCalSeahawk wrote:"Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."

    I'm reading this as the kicking team can now sprint unabated to the returner until the catch is made. With a hang time of 4.5 seconds, that puts most of the kick coverage team at the 25 yard line with a full head of steam before the receiving team can initiate contact. That doesn't seem like much of an opportunity for a return. If a kicker can buy more hang time with a shorter kick to the 5-10 yard line, this could mean fair catches on kickoffs. Anyone else seeing it this way?

    The article on seahawks.com is poorly written. The actual rule states that there is no blocking in the "setup zone" until the ball hits the ground or is caught. The setup zone is the 15-yard area from the 35 yardline to the 50. This article explains it better and has a video for those who like visual aids: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2357 ... -ejections


    Yes, this does explain it better. Thank you.

    To answer my own question, the kicking team can only run the first 15 yards unabated.
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  • Nice ESPN presentation of the rule changes. :2thumbs:

    To add ....
    Seahawks special teams coach Brian Schneider anticipates there could be more single blocking if the spacing is right. It also means smaller players on each side of the ball.

    Last year the Seahawks used backup offensive linemen Matt Tobin and Jordan Roos on the kickoff return teams. No more. You won’t see offensive linemen or defensive linemen on kickoff. They will be replaced by defensive backs, linebackers, receivers or maybe tight ends.

    If you are wondering what it will be like on kickoff returns for the Seahawks, it shouldn’t be too bad. Even though he’s now 40 and was hurt last year, Sebastian Janikowski is pretty good on kickoffs. Two years ago, the Raiders were the fourth best for the lowest drive starts after kickoffs. He usually has about 50 percent of his kicks returned.


    Source >>> http://sports.mynorthwest.com/457450/clayton-nfls-new-kickoff-rules-are-a-positive-for-the-seahawks/
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  • "Also, the receiving team can no longer initiate blocks before the ball is caught or hits the ground."


    So you squib kick, ball hits the ground fast and is bouncing all over towards the end zone and you can actually down it for possession, guys can block almost right away and the return team is scrambling for the ball.
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