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Bears likely will vote against moving the kickoff to the 35

TedPhillipsAP AP

All recommendations of the NFL’s Competition Committee must be approved with a vote of 24 of 32 teams.

To little surprise, one of the teams most dramatically impacted in the short term by a proposed shifting of the kickoff point from the 30 to the 35 likely won’t be voting in favor of it.

Bears president Ted Phillips tells Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune that the defending NFC North champions are inclined not to agree with the move.

“I don’t want to say anything definitively before we have gotten in the meetings,” Phillips said.  “So I would say that we’ll listen to the arguments, but we’re a little surprised by the proposal and we’ll probably be against it.  With our return game being such a big part of our offense, I would tend to think we would vote against it.  There are some aspects to the proposal, including the elimination of the two-man wedge and having all the players except the kicker no more than 5 yards behind the ball, that would be more acceptable than moving the kickoff to the 35.”

It makes plenty of sense.  The Bears have Devin Hester, who already holds the NFL record for combined punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Phillips also said that the Bears won’t be tearing up the the torn-up brown cement of Soldier Field and replacing it with a synthetic surface.  “We won’t do that,” Phillips said.  “We’ve had great success at Soldier Field in December and January.  The grass field there will never be top-notch late in the season, but it’s more of a perception issue than a real negative issue.  The players know how to play on it, and frankly, it’s been part of our home-field advantage.”

He’s right, but that doesn’t mean the league should tolerate it.  We’ve long said that every NFL city in a cold climate should be required to install FieldTurf or a similar product.  It’s a safety issue, and with the league supposedly having heightened interest in player safety, the safest and most consistent surfaces should be used at all times.

If the Bears don’t want to promote safety via a changing of the kickoff point, they should at least be willing to provide the players from both teams with the safest surface possible.

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25 Responses to “Bears likely will vote against moving the kickoff to the 35”
  1. thetobygrizwold says: Mar 20, 2011 11:11 PM

    You can never have too many changes.

  2. peester15 says: Mar 20, 2011 11:11 PM

    I would feel the same way if Cutler was my QB.

  3. ilpackerbacker says: Mar 20, 2011 11:15 PM

    I like how the Bears are the “defending NFC North Champions”. I hope those hats and shirts still look nice, LOL.

    The Bears have home field advantage? When? Boy, that sure worked out great. Caleb Hanie, meet B.J. Raji.

  4. rovibe says: Mar 20, 2011 11:16 PM

    For my money, the most exciting play in football is a kickoff return for a touchdown.

    Why mess with a good thing?

  5. jamoe17 says: Mar 20, 2011 11:19 PM

    Let’s not be so quick to claim bad weather fields with natural grass as ‘unsafe’ because you don’t like how it looks or that the games are sloppier…not after seeing the crap field turf, or similar alternative that played like concrete, they had on the field for the Super Bowl.

  6. Canyonero says: Mar 20, 2011 11:21 PM

    The Devin Hester Rule.

    And the NFL stepped in to make it happen. It should be called the Devin Hester Commandment, given the top-down lightning crashing vibe to all this.

  7. duanethomas says: Mar 20, 2011 11:28 PM

    You don’t say!?!…and Khdafi if he had a seat on the U.N. Security Council would have voted against a no fly zone.

  8. duanethomas says: Mar 20, 2011 11:31 PM

    You don’t say!?!…and Gadhafi if he had a seat on the U.N. Security Council would have voted against a no fly zone.

  9. duanethomas says: Mar 20, 2011 11:32 PM

    Post the one that his spelled correctly. I think it funny. Goodnight. See ya tomorrow.

  10. im4cincy says: Mar 20, 2011 11:56 PM

    because grass is so dangerous…

  11. p4ck3r5 says: Mar 21, 2011 12:07 AM

    even though it’ll prob help teams with bad special teams (packers being one of them), I dont want it change, leave it alone. If they move it this year, what makes u think they wont try in the future

  12. timegambit says: Mar 21, 2011 12:32 AM

    Right, and the Vikings will be voting for making it illegal to have 9 defensive players in the box.

    It promotes a dangerous atmosphere for AP.

  13. cavredleg15 says: Mar 21, 2011 12:33 AM

    How is having field turf safer than a natural field? What is the increase of concussions on an artificial surface as compared to natural grass? I’d like to see the NFL and/or the NFLPA* release a study showing the raw numbers. Field Turf looks green all year long but it’s just not right-

  14. sportsjustice says: Mar 21, 2011 12:38 AM

    We only need 8 more teams to defeat this ridiculous rule change. What a bleeping joke. What is football? Football is a game of field position. That 5 yards is everything. Vote NO.

  15. phillybirds says: Mar 21, 2011 12:45 AM

    Does this deserve an article? Yes. We know the Bears have Devin Hester. Yes he’s great at kick returns.

  16. possiblecabbage says: Mar 21, 2011 12:47 AM

    The fact that the Bears will vote against it is likely why the Vikings, Lions, and Packers will vote for it.

  17. beefbus says: Mar 21, 2011 1:45 AM

    “We’ve long said that every NFL city in a cold climate should be required to install FieldTurf or a similar product. It’s a safety issue, and with the league supposedly having heightened interest in player safety, the safest and most consistent surfaces should be used at all times.”

    Um, no. Their field is actually proven to be more safe than synthetic turfs. They did studies on it, and I’m almost positive you posted a story about it.

  18. ilpackerbacker says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 AM

    You don’t need rule changes to stop Devin Hester. You need a good punter who shows up when things are on the line. Tim Masthay and the cover team rendered Hester as useless in the season finale and the NFC title game. Hester can change a game with one play.

    Masthay stopped it from happening and that was HUGE in the Packers winning both games. He was the game MVP both times – no question.

  19. ursushorribilis says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 AM

    The other teams are crybabies!

    Sure, your special teams coverage sucks……but, that is on you….

    Catch Hester….if you can!

  20. mashoaf says: Mar 21, 2011 3:05 AM

    The NFL could do to the Bears what they did to the Patriots. Which was make them put in artificial turf instead of grass.

  21. vahawker says: Mar 21, 2011 6:51 AM

    Why not eliminate the kickoff all together and let the offense start at the 25 yard line? That would certainly promote player safety. (/sarcasm)

  22. sakatak says: Mar 21, 2011 7:06 AM

    @ilpackerbacker

    Good Morning Tim

  23. jersey73 says: Mar 21, 2011 7:09 AM

    Not sure how I feel about this rule change…but the Bears position is very short-sighted.

    The goal of the rule is to increase player safety. If the Bears vote no because they don’t think it will, then fine. But this smells of voting no because right now they have a dangerous return man.

  24. souldogdave says: Mar 21, 2011 8:36 AM

    The rule change is another terrible idea. They are diluting the game with that, and also the 18 game season.

  25. jftreshj76 says: Mar 21, 2011 12:38 PM

    I hate the idea. The kick-off (especially at the beginning of the game!) is one of the most exciting plays in the game! What the hell is the matter with these people? They’re ruining the game.

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