Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Kickoff proposal under scrutiny

Post by Eric Williams on March 22, 2011 at 8:49 am with 19 Comments »
March 22, 2011 8:49 am
Seattle Seahawks running back Leon Washington looks for a hole (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia).

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated takes a closer look at the league’s new kickoff proposal that came under scrutiny by NFL coaches during the owners’ meeting in New Orleans.

Banks said a possible compromise that might arise is keeping touchbacks coming out to the 20-yard line, but moving kickoffs back up to the 35-yard line (the previous spot until 1994), disallowing any wedge blocks and not allowing any cover man to line up more than five yards past the kickoff line in the name of player safety.

The league feels fewer kickoff returns and more touchbacks would drop the injury rate

Initially, the proposal included moving touchbacks to the 25-yard-line in order to limit the number of kickoffs because the league is concerned with the number of heavy collisions that take place during the play. The committee also considered eliminated kickoffs all together, which rankled several coaches.

Committee chairman Rick McKay, Atlanta Falcons team president, expects a vote on the proposal to take place some time today.

With Seattle re-signing explosive returner Leon Washington over the offseason, the Seahawks are likely in favor of keeping the rule as it is.

The league offers the transcript of the competition committee discussing the new proposal here.

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer says TCU’s Andy Dalton would be a good fit for Seattle in this draft preview video.

Clare Farnsworth of writes that kicker Norm Johnson has been selected to Seattle’s 35th anniversary team.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer provides more information on the Kevin Kolb trade speculation, talking with Eagles president Joe Banner, who says even more teams are interested in Kolb this year. Seattle and Cleveland reportedly made offers for Kolb last year but were rebuffed by the Eagles.

Les Bowman of the Philadelphia Daily News suggests the Eagles could have a deal in place in case the lockout is lifted so they are ready to act quickly.

According to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said the team would consider Kolb as part of the solution to the quarterback issue if he becomes available, but ideally Minnesota would like to draft and develop a quarterback.

Bengals head man Mike Brown reiterates that he has no plans of trading Carson Palmer.

Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for, now has Seattle selecting Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey in his latest mock draft.

Vote for the Seahawks 12th Man to be on the next cover of Madden here.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. A season ending injury to the 12th man would be disastrous. I’m voting for Hines Ward.

    Also, lolseattle for being the only team w/o a player. Sigh.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Eliminating the wedge altogether will make it more difficult for the coverage team to locate the ball and man blocking is more difficult for the coverage unit to prepare for, there is no need to further penalize the defense by spotting it at the 25. That’s a joke. Moving the ball back up to the 35 is fine, but leave it at that. Why encourage touchbacks? Safety my ass.

    And how is no one talking more about the proposed rule to make the QB while throwing the ball a defenseless player? Better gently lower him to the ground or you’re looking at 15 yard personal foul.

    Yes, Seattle not having a player to vote on is embarrassing. Not that I want any of them on the cover, but why not Earl Thomas or Heater? If Carols Dunlop is the Bengals guy, Thomas can certainly be the ‘Hawks. Oh well…

  3. The 2009 draft was a bad one for Aarons. Aaron Curry, Aaron Maybin, Aaron Brown (6th round RB for Detroit). At least our Aaron makes a few plays.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Looks like the kickoff revision passed, with amendments. Kickoffs to be moved back up to the 35, but the spot on touchbacks will remain the 20 (thank god) and the 2-man wedge remains.

  5. How about get rid of kick-offs after scoring or at least after field goals…but keep it to kick off the 1st and 2nd halves of the game?

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Why eliminate kickoffs (or reduce them)? Such a vital part in the fabric of the game, IMO.

  7. The kick-offs are the most boring part of the game to me besides the point after attempt…

    While they’re at it, I wish they would find a way to make the point after more exciting…like moving it back to the 30-yard-line, so it’s not so much of a sure thing every time.

  8. LOL Duke…seriously though. If watching those two kick off runs is boring, find a new sport to watch

  9. Dukeshire says:

    Hey, I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but it is interesting to me what different things in the game people find exciting. I’m really into defense, for example. But most would rather go to the dentist than see a defensive, low-scoring slugfest. Kick returns are an absolute gas in my book. But hey, different strokes…

    (But really, those kicks didn’t get the blood pumping? lol)

  10. Sorry, wasn’t trying to pick on him. But i agree, kick offs are a fun part of the game (especially when a player for the Hawks runs one back), and i’d hate to see them go away. Luckily this is a moot point now that they are here to stay

  11. Dukeshire says:

    I know. Just wanted to throw that out there.

  12. They’re great when somebody breaks one…like Leon did twice last year. But, tor every great kick-off, there are 50 boring ones. The whole set-up for the kick-off is the long boring part. Touchbacks are a waste of time.

  13. KO stuff seems like good news, if we can get Mare back.

    Mare’s KO average distance was 65.0 yds in ’10. That extra 5 yds should put his last year’s avg right down on top of the goalline. His TB% was 27.8% last season and if he can keep his average diatance at 65 yds, his TB% probably goes to about 50% in ’11. Doesn’t help much that AZ’s Feely’s avg KO distance = Mare’s, that SF’s Nedney (when healthy) kicks it 65.4 yds, and STL’s JB’s avg = 66.7 yds. It helps some that with Mare’s KOs, the avg return was 21.8 yds, while JB’s avg returns were 23.7, Feely’s were 24.2, and Nedney’s were only 21.0.

    Not placing TBs at the 25 means LW’s abilities haven’t been totally neutralized, that’s good.

  14. And LW ran 3 KOs back for TDs.

  15. If it wasn’t for kick offs, we probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year.

  16. With kickoffs moved to the 35 yard line, Olindo Mare’s value just crashed and burned. Mare was unique only in his ability to consistently kick off into the endzone. Now that everyone can do that, Mare will not get a contract close to what he had last year.

    Too bad for Mare, but I expect the main result of this new rule is that all teams will now save a bunch of money by cutting big-leg kickers and generally lowering kicker salaries.

    For the owners, its always about the money.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    It seems like the kickoff specialists that some teams like the Giants tinker with, are the ones whose value just tanked. If one can make FGs consistently from distance, as Mare has shown, they will always have value in the league. (Olindo’s value may plummet due to the fact he’s nearly 40, as much as anything else.)

    But no question, it’s always about money for the owners.

  18. Yes, absolutely the KR guys are losing big-time with this rule change. Leon Washington was on the radio here yesterday bitching about the new rule. He didn’t say it, but he knows it hurts his value.

    As for Mare, most of his premium value was his 70-yard kickoffs, I think. Mare is a below-average FG kicker over 40 yards. He’s an accurate short-range field goal kicker, but long field goals are not his strength. His kick-offs are why he was paid franchise money. Was. Now, any kicker can KO to the goal line, and most are better at FGs over 40 yards than Mare. I hope he saved his money.

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