The next question is - Why?

So a team finds a way to get an advantage. Good for them. Other teams need to find a way to insure that there are no fourth and inches situations and the problem will take care of itself. The NFL says that the intent of the game is to highlight the physical ability of the players. I think a mass of humans fighting over a matter of inches is impressive…and if highlighting athletic skills is an intent, why to 95% of kickoffs go out of the end zone so that we can see the athleticism as the returners wave their arms to keep people from going for the ball?

Philly has the personal and training to make these “gimme” plays. Let them keep doing it. It’s something the other coaches will need to game plan against;.

This is one of my favorite movie scenes, but maybe this is what the Eagles locker room sounds like.

In regards to kickoff returns, the NFL moved up from where the ball is kicked off a few years ago.

The idea was to reduce the number of kickoff returns, and therefore the number of traumatic injuries that occur on a play in which high-speed collisions occur regularly.

But that goes against “highlighting their athletic skills”. It’s actually more exciting to watch a mass of humans fight for an inch that it is to watch a kickoff bounce out of the end zone.

I remember that. I also have read where some have floated the idea of getting rid of the kick-off entirely. For a case of where a team wanted to onside-kick, instead, the team would be given a the option of having the ball spotted deep in its territory and given one play to gain fifteen yards. If the team was successful, it would keep the ball. If not, it would go over to the other team at that spot. I think that is a dumb idea.

If the NFL really wanted to reduce the number of kick-off returns, it could give the kicking team a choice of (1) giving the receiving the team the ball at the twenty yard line, or (2) kicking off with the stipulation that provided the receiving team maintained possession, it would get the ball as far as it advanced it but no worse than the twenty yard line. Under these rules the only time a team would elect to kick off would be if it wanted to try an onside kick. Otherwise there would be absolutely no reason to do so.

This reminds me of many years ago when the Minnesota Vikings had perfected the technique of having players pile on top of one another in an attempt to block a field goal attempt. The NFL made that illegal. In both cases the question is whether that type of play is appropriate or not. The answer is in the eye of the beholder.

For what it is worth, this same type of play in a noted college football game was illegal at the time but was not called. The NCAA later changed the rule to make it legal there.

What about the XFL rule for kickoffs? That seems like it could improve safety and allow for a bit more fun on the kickoffs. AS it is, they ought to just spot the ball on the 25 yard line since that’s where it starts 90% of the time