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Bring back kick returns

Posted by John Reed on

I have an article condemning uncompetitive football plays because they are boring. By uncompetitive, I mean at least one team is not trying to do anything. Sounds like a soccer penalty kick.
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One of my suggestions was adopted in the NFL. I wanted the ball moved back to the 25 for a kicked 1-point PAT. Leave it at the two for 2-pt. PATs. Did they adopt that because of me. I doubt it.
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But I wrote the article before they did that.
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The result was what I predicted. PAT kicks stopped being automatic, a.k.a. uncompetitive and boring. The decision on whether to go for two changed and became more difficult and less predictable
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The problem is they got worse on the OTHER plays I complained about.
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The problem is the false hype that the NFL did not care about CONCUSSIONS, complete with a feature, anti-factual propaganda film.
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This has caused the scaredy cat NFL leaders, who fell for another fraud that husbands beat their wives during the SuperBowl, decided to eliminate the kick return, one of the most exciting plays in football.
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1. It’s called football.
2. Does the data really show more concussions on kick returns? I do not recall them when I coached. They were rare and generally happened on regular plays where the tackler was a tough guy and had a good run at the ball carrier. They also happen a lot in soccer, cheerleading, flag football, basketball, bicycle riding, and, I’m told, skate boarding. We had some football players out for games not because of football injuries. Rather, they got hurt skateboarding.
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So they got the bright idea to make kickoffs and punts more likely to be fair caught or touchbacks.
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3. If you hate kick returns, end them. Don’t make them rare. Just adopt a rule that each offensive possession after a score starts on the team’s own 25 or wherever. Each change of possession not after a score, moves the ball 35-yards or so from the 4th down position of the offensive who does not GO for it fourth down and fail to get it.
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Fire all the punters and kickers. Change the game to no-concussionball.
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4. Stop making kick returns rare. Make them MANDATORY. No touchbacks. If you kick out of bounds or into the end zone, five-yard penalty and you have to kick over.
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My high school and youth teams used to always make the kicking team move back five yards and kick over when they kicked out of bounds. We had practiced our kick return too much to not be allowed to use it.
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Some teams who scouted us were afraid of our kick return. Tough. We’re doing it.
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GRENADA high school where the head guy used to be my assistant was terrified of my kicks and in one game, I think he had to re-kickoff five times, each time from five yards farther back. Against another team, we made them kickoff over and returned that kick to the other team’s one-yard line.
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On punts that are in bounds and not free caught, the ball can be recovered by either team after it hits the ground. No more of the return team not putting anyone back or letting it bounce.
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Might even make sense to say that if either team falls on it instead of picking it up and running with it, that is also their first-down play. Their possession starts with 2nd and 10. Failure to advance the ball when you could have costs you a down. If you refuse to play football in a football game, you get penalized. Don’t change our rules, Go play soccer.
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That would be a more lively, exciting game. More athletic. More opportunities for lead changes.

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