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Josh Cribbs not happy with new kickoff rule

Josh Cribbs AP

We noticed during Thursday night’s preseason games that the new rule moving kickoffs to the 35-yard line resulted in a lot of touchbacks. One of the best kickoff returners in the NFL noticed, too, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Browns return man Josh Cribbs wrote on Twitter during Thursday night’s games that he was frustrated by seeing so many touchbacks and thinks the NFL will move the kickoff back to the 30-yard line soon.

“I see an immediate amendment on the kickoff rule either [before] the end of the year or beginning of next year [because] without that part of the return game it might as well be a scrimmage,” Cribbs wrote.

In all, there were 51 kickoffs on Thursday night, with 16 touchbacks and 35 returns. So it’s not like the kickoff return is a thing of the past. And San Diego’s Bryan Walters returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, so it’s not like we’re done seeing big plays on kickoff returns.

But the new rule was designed to reduce the frequency of injuries caused by collisions on kickoff returns by reducing the frequency of kickoff returns themselves. That makes players like Cribbs less valuable, and it’s no surprise that players like Cribbs aren’t happy about it.

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62 Responses to “Josh Cribbs not happy with new kickoff rule”
  1. vbe2 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:41 PM

    Not happy becasue he’s a 1 trick pony. He’s not needed without his 1 trick.

  2. capslockkey says: Aug 12, 2011 2:41 PM

    I don’t have a problem with it. Yes there are less returns, but it hasn’t totally killed them unless you are playing against a big legged kicker like Seabass. Hell we’ve only had 4 preseason games so far and already saw one brought back for a TD.

  3. tjp2033 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:42 PM

    The new rule is awful. Take it back to the 30.

  4. baned0n says: Aug 12, 2011 2:42 PM

    How quickly could it be changed back if the NFL decides it sucks? Could it potentially happen before the regular season starts? I don’t expect that it would happen…just curious if it could…

  5. ninjapleazee says: Aug 12, 2011 2:43 PM

    so he was tweeting WHILE playing the game… i’m surprised he didn’t update his facebook status while he was at it..

    but yea.. new rule blows chunks

  6. giorgiom3 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:43 PM

    One of the best returners in the game is upset that there will now be less returns? Shocking!

  7. theashleyguy says: Aug 12, 2011 2:43 PM

    It’s a little late now to be upset now. Cribbs should have gotten involved in the Collective Bargaining Process because it is something the Player Reps argued for and won. The owners wanted kickoff returns because they create fan excitement. The Player Reps wanted to reduce injuries but said throughout the process they had little input from various players.

  8. steelernationisstartingitsownleague says: Aug 12, 2011 2:44 PM

    I think this rule change is a direct attack at the Steelers. Don’t worry NFL we’ll be leaving after we get 7. We will leave and start our own league without these stupid rules. We will ascend to a place that can carry the weight of our greatness. Steeler Nation

  9. tjacks7 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:45 PM

    I agree it kind of blows. Guys like janakowski will be kicking it into the stands. Longwell will still struggle to get it to the 5 yard line. All depends on who your kicker is. Makes big leg kickers more valuable, essentially taking a part of the game away.

  10. 1buckeye76 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    Just bring it out of the endzone Cribbs, and quit your crying.

  11. qoojo says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    Kick offs and punts where a return happens are two of the most exciting events in football. A lot can happen, and now there are fewer kickoff returns.

  12. rayvens says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    Josh Cribbs not happy with new kickoff rule
    ———————–
    Only time ill agree with a Browns player.

  13. benh999 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    Good. Get rid of the return specialists and kickoff specialists so teams can have more roster room.

  14. citizenstrange says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    IMO …. the kickoff return is one of the things they just never got right on TV.

    In the stadium you can really see how it’s 22 guys running at each other. They should use a MUCH wider shot.

    I would go as far as to say that there should be a PIP on EVERY play that shows at least a third of the field.

    You could see the coverages, get a much better idea of team speed, etc.

    Half the time I can’t even tell if the tight end ran a route or stayed in to block.

  15. dcowboy77 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:46 PM

    They said some kicks were kicked short on purpose to give the coverage teams some practice so the touchback % really couldve been higher.

  16. jbeatzz says: Aug 12, 2011 2:48 PM

    i think its stupid…its taking part of the game away…its a collision sport people!

  17. baned0n says: Aug 12, 2011 2:50 PM

    @theashleyguy

    This rule change is completely seperate from the CBA.

  18. wryly1 says: Aug 12, 2011 2:52 PM

    The new kickoff rule gives fans more time to go to restrooms, concessions stands or out for a smoke at stadiums and bars – or to their own kitchens, bathrooms or backyard’s at home.

  19. steelernationtrollsarentfunnyorcreative says: Aug 12, 2011 2:56 PM

    It doesn’t matter what anyone posts because everything is always about the steelers and what I post matters. Har Har Har.

  20. jnbnet says: Aug 12, 2011 2:56 PM

    steelernationisstartingitsownleague says:
    Aug 12, 2011 2:44 PM
    I think this rule change is a direct attack at the Steelers. Don’t worry NFL we’ll be leaving after we get 7. We will leave and start our own league without these stupid rules. We will ascend to a place that can carry the weight of our greatness. Steeler Nation

    ===============================
    don’t let the door hit you in the ass

  21. trickbunny says: Aug 12, 2011 2:57 PM

    steelernationisstartingitsownleague says:
    Aug 12, 2011 2:44 PM

    I think this rule change is a direct attack at the Steelers. Don’t worry NFL we’ll be leaving after we get 7. We will leave and start our own league without these stupid rules. We will ascend to a place that can carry the weight of our greatness. Steeler Nation
    ————————————————-

    How many usernames are we up to now? 5? 6? Just curious.

  22. beastofeden says: Aug 12, 2011 2:57 PM

    Why is the NFL so hell-bent on changing on the rules? Kickoffs, overtime, reviews, tackling. This may be Premature but the NFL is slooowly ruining itself and product.

  23. ndavidmedic says: Aug 12, 2011 2:59 PM

    why don’t we just have owners play madden against each other all year. that should help cut down on injuries.

  24. gregm5s7 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:00 PM

    Increasing the odds of it being a touchback is anti-competition. Touchbacks are a null, default conclusion, where as a talented team that has spent time at developing their 3rd stringers, etc. can reap the benefits of better field position. The “1 return yesterday so there isn’t a problem” arguement is very solid. P.S. I love people taking shots at Cribbs, a talented player whom the Browns haven’t been able to use more in their offensive game planning

  25. tdk24 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:00 PM

    he’s just mad that he’ll need to learn to play WR or whatever else it is he does.

  26. pacash80 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:04 PM

    All of you Steelers trolls are so obvious that it isn’t even funny.

  27. vbe2 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:05 PM

    theashleyguy says:Aug 12, 2011 2:43 PM

    It’s a little late now to be upset now. Cribbs should have gotten involved in the Collective Bargaining Process because it is something the Player Reps argued for and won. The owners wanted kickoff returns because they create fan excitement. The Player Reps wanted to reduce injuries but said throughout the process they had little input from various players.
    ================================
    Wow, you couldn’t be more wrong on this. Where did you read that this had ANYTHING to do with the CBA and player reps?

    The Rules committee decided this. Not player reps, the owners allowed it.

  28. edawrewerb says: Aug 12, 2011 3:06 PM

    Why they can’t have the kick off team continue to start at the 35 to reduce injuries, but have the ball moved back to the 3o to reduce touch backs?

  29. leksington says: Aug 12, 2011 3:07 PM

    Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff tied the record for most touchbacks last season. How does the NFL respond? Make toucbacks even easier!

    I’m not looking forward to the squence of a score, followed by a commercial, followed by non play followed by another commercial. Is the NFL asking itself if this makes for a better viewing experience?

  30. veritas03 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:09 PM

    wryly1 says:
    Aug 12, 2011 2:52 PM
    The new kickoff rule gives fans more time to go to restrooms, concessions stands or out for a smoke at stadiums and bars – or to their own kitchens, bathrooms or backyard’s at home.

    ___________________________________

    Right, because there wasn’t enough time for that with the 3 minutes of commercials before the kickoff and then again right after.

  31. philyeagles5 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:10 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Aug 12, 2011 2:41 PM
    Not happy becasue he’s a 1 trick pony. He’s not needed without his 1 trick.
    ==========================
    even if he is, so what? kickoff returns are one of the most exciting part of the game. the NFL seems destined to destroy itself.

  32. 6ringofsteel says: Aug 12, 2011 3:11 PM

    It dosen’t matter Josh Cribbs against the Steelers you will never be able to return a kickoff. You should come to the Steelers so you can feel greatness and see the rings. 6.

  33. 3octaveFart says: Aug 12, 2011 3:16 PM

    Goodell says the rule change is to promote player safety.

    Which really means is that they figured out a way to squeeze another commercial or two into a broadcast.

  34. dirtybird2020 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:19 PM

    I smell a fine! Unless social networking rule doesnt apply for preseason games

  35. possiblecabbage says: Aug 12, 2011 3:19 PM

    If it wasn’t the case that onside kicks were very good for the game, I honestly wouldn’t mind if they just did away with the kickoff. Just start on the 20 yard line in the 1st/3rd quarter and after scores. Simple.

    But onside kicks are good for the game, so the kickoff has to stay so they might as well move it up to a point where a kicker can boot it out of the back of the endzone with ease every time. I, for one, don’t mind at all.

  36. erikinhell says: Aug 12, 2011 3:20 PM

    The Browns play Saturday.

    Cribbs is not only good at scoring on kickoffs, he has a career return average of 25.8 yards. This is huge for field position. The NFL with their new rule has taken a large part of the game away.

  37. cobibones13 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:20 PM

    People need to quit crying over this. If it really turns out to be a bad move they’ll just change it back next offseason. No big deal.

  38. vbe2 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:20 PM

    philyeagles5 says:Aug 12, 2011 3:10 PM

    even if he is, so what? kickoff returns are one of the most exciting part of the game. the NFL seems destined to destroy itself.
    ==========================

    If KO Returns are the most exciting part of games you’re watching then you should watch better games.

  39. givensr2 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:23 PM

    Cribbs should spend 1 day with Eric LeGrand and then tell us what he thinks.

    If giving up kickoffs entirely is what is needed to avoid another player being paralyzed, it is absolutely worth it.

    Very disappointed in Josh Cribbs.

  40. bleed4philly says: Aug 12, 2011 3:26 PM

    Atleast we get a fair overtime now, the coin toss will determine the winner 51% of the time like it was before they moved it to the 30 instead of the current 60%.

  41. hometeam4ever says: Aug 12, 2011 3:30 PM

    This just in: injuries occur in all phases of the game, not just special teams.

    Steeler Honk, Cribbs has already returned TD’s against your team.

    And finally, for you morons who are calling for him to be fined for tweeting during a game, they play their first pre-season game TOMORROW!

  42. daburgher says: Aug 12, 2011 3:32 PM

    Goodell = bad for the game

  43. mikebyrne1502 says: Aug 12, 2011 3:40 PM

    He’s probably mad because its only a matter of time before the Browns ask him to take a PAYCUT… Otherwise he’s going to have to learn some new tricks like, YARDS AFTER CATCH, or PROPER ROUTE RUNNING.

  44. steelcitypoonslayer says: Aug 12, 2011 4:13 PM

    Mike Wallace is faster, and more talented. Cribbs is speaking from years and years of frustration. Put Hillis on your billboards now, because like Lebron, Cribbs can no longer help you. 2 more easy wins for steelers this season

  45. possiblecabbage says: Aug 12, 2011 4:19 PM

    For anybody who wants to blame Goodell for the kickoff rule change, keep in mind that the owners voted 26-6 in favor of the rule change. I can’t find who voted which way (though odds are that the Bears and Browns voted against), but it’s honestly not just one guy. 81% of NFL owners were in favor of the change.

  46. tjacks7 says: Aug 12, 2011 4:24 PM

    @givensr2

    That has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

    LeGrand suffered a TERRIBLE injury. But, it’s on that he could have received during any phase of the game – not just a kick return.

    Collie has his brain scrambled last year trying to catch a pass from Manning, should we not allow receivers to be tackled?

    This could be said for any position. It’s a contact sport.

    I’m beginning to think flag football could cause too many injuries. Maybe we can rig Madden to play 11 on 11 and just put it on the big screen at the stadium. /sarcasm

  47. 3octaveFart says: Aug 12, 2011 4:27 PM

    trickbunny says: Aug 12, 2011 2:57 PM

    “steelernationisstartingitsownleague…
    How many usernames are we up to now? 5? 6? Just curious.”

    More than that I think, but he’s easy to spot.
    He speaks fluent retardese.

    His posts are so redundant and childish, it makes switching names unnecessary.

  48. vdaigglesfan says: Aug 12, 2011 4:29 PM

    Fuggetaboutit, Might as well make it best of 3 rock/paper/scissors and the the winner spots the ball. THAT would be more exciting than endless touchbacks.

  49. philyeagles5 says: Aug 12, 2011 4:30 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Aug 12, 2011 3:20 PM
    philyeagles5 says:Aug 12, 2011 3:10 PM

    even if he is, so what? kickoff returns are one of the most exciting part of the game. the NFL seems destined to destroy itself.
    ==========================

    If KO Returns are the most exciting part of games you’re watching then you should watch better games.
    =============================
    im pretty sure i said ONE OF THE, not THE, jackass. but you dont expect players to score on KO and when they do its exciting. it gets you pumped up. you cant sit there and tell me its not.

  50. 21slamu says: Aug 12, 2011 4:30 PM

    i like to think of it as the anti devin hester rule, now people wont punt OR Kick returnable balls to him.

  51. RussianBreadMaker says: Aug 12, 2011 4:56 PM

    Let the playes vote on rule changes.

  52. patswhatsup says: Aug 12, 2011 5:03 PM

    @3octave

    You’re totally right, 6ring shouldn’t even switch names…. It’s so obvious! It’s funny how fans of the steelers are always talking about the rings… 4 of which were won 30-40 years ago. How insecure! Whenever I need a good laugh I look for his posts!

    Btw, love your username, haha!

  53. anotherringofsteel says: Aug 12, 2011 5:08 PM

    Cribbs should be mroe concerned with the fact the plays the Steelers twice a year. It is looking good for our quest for yet another ring

  54. lowleadman says: Aug 12, 2011 5:24 PM

    Football is a 3 part game. One of them is special teams. Kickoff returns are some of the most exciting and game changing plays in the game. Why screw with it?

    And while I’m at it, this new rule of reviewing EVERY touchdown in a replay booth utter crap.
    The officials get it right 95% of the time, and when they don’t that’s what the coaching challenges are for. It’s going to really slow the game. Now, instead of keeping a cooler by the couch, I’ll have plenty of time to walk to the fridge for a brewski. The most difficult play to call with no doubts are the scrums at the goal line. Even after reviewing the play, the call will be whatever was called on the field, just slowing the game and allowing for more friggin’ commercials. Just put a microchip in the football that can detect if the ball crosses or not.

  55. axespray says: Aug 12, 2011 5:34 PM

    I don’t have a problem with the new return rules cause my team hasn’t had a kick/punt return for a touchdown for almost a decade, meanwhile our division rivals have that Devin Hester guy…. so more touchbacks that help my team win….

    All For IT! (evil giggle)

    I think they need to find out a way to speed up the “Review All Scoring Plays” rule …

  56. kairn42 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:07 PM

    It may not be exciting to have fewer kickoff returns, but I don’t think it’s going to effect the game THAT much. According to an article posted on SportingNews back in July (http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-07-15/nfl-underrated-stats-average-starting-field-position) The avg starting position from the 12 teams that had the best avg starting position after kickoffs was 24.7 yds. They do however make a valid point in that, teams that score a lot obviously kick off more, and therefore probably don’t return as many themselves, giving them a lower avg. If the number of touchbacks skyrockets this year, the main issue I personally see is the game just feeling slower and punters being used more often since few drives make it 80+ yds.

  57. macgee10 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:32 PM

    I don’t have a problem with any rule changes except this one. I think that kickoffs are an exciting part of the game. Just kicking touchbacks all the time is gonna be boring.

  58. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 12, 2011 6:48 PM

    Proof that NFL is going soft. I wonder if they’ll change the rules when ratings and attendance drop to MLB standards??? This is football. People watch football because it requires toughness, great athletic ability, strength, and teamwork to succeed. People also watch football because its a game of collisions. If you try to eliminate the contact from the contact sport, people will lose interest.

  59. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 12, 2011 6:50 PM

    Anyone remember when the opening kickoff was one of the most exciting anticipated parts of a football game?

  60. jake6879 says: Aug 12, 2011 7:26 PM

    Am I the only one on Earth who remembers that kicks were at the 35 for years and year? The ball was moved to the 30 in the mid 90′s specifically for the purpose of creating more exciting returns and that’s what they got.. I mean guys were occasionally kick the ball through the uprights which will happen again.. do you want safe football or exciting football? This is an entertainment business, never underestimate the cost of making it less entertaining…

  61. seabreezes51 says: Aug 12, 2011 7:28 PM

    He is right.
    Screwing with a part of the game that brings as much as a kickoff return does was a damn bad idea

  62. cardmagnet says: Aug 12, 2011 7:36 PM

    The NFL kills kickoff returns, yet runs commercials across all networks featuring kickoff returns.

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