nfl.com is now reporting that NFL owners have voted for a rule change on Kickoffs. The kicking team will now kickoff from the 35 yard line, but touchbacks shall remain at the 20 yard line (article here). The original proposal was to move the kickoff line to the 35 and the touchback to the 25, but the owners voted otherwise. The extra 5 yards is incredibly significant. I want to open this thread up so we can all discuss how this affects the game, the league, and specifically our Steelers.
On the one hand, I think this is great for the Steelers. Our kickoff coverage has been spotty at best the past few years, and we haven't had a Kicker who can consistently get touchbacks since before Jeff Reed. Getting the extra 5 yards will help our coverage units get to the return man faster, not to mention the added touchbacks. Also, this is a huge advantage for the defense. Moving touchbacks to the 25 would have somewhat counteracted the kickoffs, but now the average starting position for offenses will be much farther back. For a team like ours with a dominant defense, this is huge.
On the other hand, I think this is a huge mistake for the league and it will be a detriment to the game in general. Special teams is an exciting part of the game, and this change will take opportunities away from those units. Players like Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, etc. will become much less valuable because there will simply not be enough opportunities for them to make an impact on the game. Anyone who makes their mark on Special teams (coaches included) will lose a lot of money because teams aren't going to want to pay them with that aspect of the game losing value.
What do you all think?
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