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Bears ignored new kickoff rule, twice

Robbie Gould AP

One of the most controversial new rules of the 2011 season relates to the placement of the kickoff.  With the NFL realizing that the kick-return play is one of the most dangerous in the game, the league has essentially tried to take bullets out of the gun, moving the kickoff point up five yards in order to engineer more touchbacks — and thus fewer returns.

The Bears opposed the move, and on Saturday night they ignored it.  Twice.

According to Mike Pereira of FOX Sports, the Bears lined up their first and second kickoffs from Robbie Gould at the 30, not the 35.  Per Pereira, NFL V.P. of officiating Carl Johnson (Pereira’s successor) called Soldier Field and “put a stop to it.”

He shouldn’t have had to.  The officials running the game should have known where to line up the ball.  Even if, as Pereira explains it, the Bears wanted to be able to practice kick coverage against the Bills and weren’t simply rebelling against the rule, the Bears should have been required to line up at the 35 when kicking the ball off.

After two kicks from the 30, they were.

Of course, if they really wanted to kick off from the 30 that badly, all they had to do was commit a five-yard penalty.

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65 Responses to “Bears ignored new kickoff rule, twice”
  1. lildon96 says: Aug 13, 2011 10:53 PM

    Fight the power!

  2. bearsrulepackdrool says: Aug 13, 2011 10:54 PM

    What rules?! Chicago Bears don’t follow no stinkin’ rules LOOK AT OUR FIELD!

  3. jutts says: Aug 13, 2011 10:54 PM

    It was a drill for the best special teams in the league.. Maybe that’s why they did it. Its called practice.

  4. bearsrulepackdrool says: Aug 13, 2011 10:55 PM

    Haven’t you figured out by now. We can do whatever we want on and TO our football field.
    Even the refs got so distracted by it they couldn’t tell where the 35 was.

  5. ninjapleazee says: Aug 13, 2011 10:55 PM

    and in other news.. Bears gave up 9 sacks

  6. kom2k10 says: Aug 13, 2011 10:56 PM

    The refs during the game should have definately caught this. I’ve watched a couple of pre-season games so far and I have to say the officiating has already been dismal…

  7. stinkfingers says: Aug 13, 2011 10:56 PM

    Crybabies.

  8. FinFan68 says: Aug 13, 2011 10:58 PM

    OK, just wait until the ref throws a flag for delay of game. That’s 5 yards and no more controversy.

  9. giorgiom3 says: Aug 13, 2011 10:59 PM

    It’s a dumb rule and if anything, it probably let the Bills have a 5 yard advantage. Breaking rules yet getting screwed over is kinda funny if you ask me..

  10. aosplayo says: Aug 13, 2011 10:59 PM

    Good for the Bears, that rule sucks……

  11. hammockbananas says: Aug 13, 2011 11:00 PM

    I’m surprised Gould didn’t hurt his knee and sit out the 2nd half like a little b*tch…oh wait, only Bear’s quarterbacks do that

  12. freedomispopular says: Aug 13, 2011 11:01 PM

    It makes me feel really good knowing that all the officials are on the same page when it comes to the rules.

  13. beastson says: Aug 13, 2011 11:02 PM

    They should practice not giving 9 sacks to Bills.

  14. wherezwaldo says: Aug 13, 2011 11:03 PM

    blame the field

  15. TheDPR says: Aug 13, 2011 11:03 PM

    It is entirely possible that the Bears didn’t know about the new rule. This is, after all, the same team that gift-wrapped millions of dollars and a starting WR gig for Roy “not Mike” Williams and instead of sending Devin Hester back to returning kicks and playing defense, they bench their top WR from last year, and the one with the most promise and upside.

    This is also the team who seems unable to grow a rectangular patch of grass successfully.

    I can imagine Lovie in his best Tommy Flanagan impersonation: “Um, we were protesting the new rule. Yeah, that’s the ticket. It was my wife’s idea. You know, Morgan Fairchild.”

  16. scudbot says: Aug 13, 2011 11:04 PM

    Da Bears. Amateur hour.

  17. chwtom says: Aug 13, 2011 11:05 PM

    The announcers during the game said that teams have the option of kicking from the 30 or 35.

  18. lumas101 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:06 PM

    To be fair, they did take a five-yard penalty on their second kickoff.

    …and then kicked from the 25.

  19. wwwfella says: Aug 13, 2011 11:07 PM

    y not just eliminate the kick off all together instead of forcing fans to watch boring touch backs?

  20. claymath52 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:08 PM

    Thumbs up if you believe the Bears did this on accident because they didn’t remember to rule, not in protest of the rule.

  21. spartytime says: Aug 13, 2011 11:14 PM

    say what you want, but Toub knows what he’s doing. Bears have the best ST in the league hands down. No one is even close

  22. spartytime says: Aug 13, 2011 11:15 PM

    And Our Oline was horrible again. Garza looked lost. While Chris Spence actually looked pretty good. I dont know who’s more stubborn. Lovie or Martz SMH

  23. 4evrnyt says: Aug 13, 2011 11:15 PM

    Why would the kicking team want to put it farther back, it’s the receiving team that doesn’t benefit from the new rule. The kicking team should want to put the ball on the 35 so there is less chance of a run back so why they would intentionally want to put it at the 30 is a bit strang.

  24. laxer37 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:22 PM

    In defense of the officials, it’s hard to tell what yardline you’re on when there’s no grass on the field or any visible yardlines.

  25. supersuckers3 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:26 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    Aug 13, 2011 10:58 PM
    OK, just wait until the ref throws a flag for delay of game. That’s 5 yards and no more controversy.
    ——————–

    As an average joe fan I would just decline the penalty.

  26. Patskrieg dot com says: Aug 13, 2011 11:26 PM

    From starting Rex Grossman, to trading for Jay Cutler without any receivers, to trying to start an offensive line full of 7th rounders… the Lovie Smith era Bears have never let reality stand in their way.

  27. 1buckeye76 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:27 PM

    …and let me tell you this. the older you get, the more rules they’re going to try to get you to follow. but you just gotta keep playin’ man. p-l-a-y-i-n

  28. daburgher says: Aug 13, 2011 11:28 PM

    this is such a terrible rule change.. not surprised your in favor of it

  29. dgforreal says: Aug 13, 2011 11:28 PM

    Of course, if they really wanted to kick off from the 30 that badly, all they had to do was commit a five-yard penalty.

    You heard it here first, this becomes the latest league fade joining old favorites such calling a timeout right before the FG attempt.

  30. macgee10 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:31 PM

    Like I said before this isn’t the greatest rule change the NFL has ever made. I mean it’s good they are trying to make the game safer but they are also taking the excitment out the game as well. Kickoffs were a big part of the game.

  31. daburgher says: Aug 13, 2011 11:32 PM

    the only reason they dont get rid of the kickoff all together is that they would lose all those commercial breaks…. the nfl LOVES commercial breaks

  32. thetooloftools says: Aug 13, 2011 11:35 PM

    Hey! Logic here. How about NO running starts on kickoffs. The kicking team lines up at the 35 and cannot cross the line until the ball is kicked.
    PERIOD.
    This slows the momentum of the kicking team while at the same time brings the on side kick into play more then ever.
    Someone in the league office is NOT thinking this through.
    Why start running on the kickoff… get rid of it and make the players use their skills to avoid being blocked while trying to get in position to make a tackle from a standing start.
    Problem solved.

  33. ICDogg says: Aug 13, 2011 11:41 PM

    Just go for the onside kick

  34. mimitaroo says: Aug 13, 2011 11:43 PM

    Maybe the grass was bad around the 35 line… just saying..

  35. b1rdbath says: Aug 13, 2011 11:43 PM

    Good for you Bears. NFL is turning into a joke. Why not just get rid of pads and helmets and use flags.

    Soon you will start seeing more tampon commercials then beer commercials, Martha Stewart will be doing color commentary and Harvey Firestein will be coaching the Steelers.

    I thought football was back?

  36. polishkingski says: Aug 13, 2011 11:45 PM

    hey bears fans, relax….it was us, the bills. that should tell you nine sacks is just a preseason anomoly. no need to worry. trust me.

  37. txhc says: Aug 13, 2011 11:46 PM

    “4evrnyt says:
    Aug 13, 2011 11:15 PM
    Why would the kicking team want to put it farther back, it’s the receiving team that doesn’t benefit from the new rule. The kicking team should want to put the ball on the 35 so there is less chance of a run back so why they would intentionally want to put it at the 30 is a bit strang.”

    Probably because it’s the preseason and they wanted to get a good look at their special teams unit in action so they can actually be able to make decisions on who to cut and who to keep.

  38. joejoe81 says: Aug 13, 2011 11:50 PM

    The new rule does suck….lets eliminate kick offs all together….

    What about the old XFL (anyone remember that) rule….Have the fastest guy from each team sprint for the ball at the 50 yard line. Whoever wins get the ball.

  39. hammockbananas says: Aug 13, 2011 11:53 PM

    @tooloftools

    Are you a moron? They are still gonna be running full speed by the time they get to the ball carrier!

    Plus, they are already not allowed to cross the line until the ball is kicked.

    Do you even watch football? Or do you only watch the bears?

  40. mrvikingsfan11 says: Aug 14, 2011 12:26 AM

    Lol hahahaha, now that’s awesome and funny, good for you Bears, this new kick off rule blows. Again awesome!!!!!!!!

  41. dennis2488 says: Aug 14, 2011 12:28 AM

    they wanted to make a point. committing a penalty wouldnt have done anything.

  42. mwcarolina says: Aug 14, 2011 12:44 AM

    the bigger news was the offensive line was giving up way too many sacks in that game.

  43. jrmbadger says: Aug 14, 2011 1:30 AM

    9 Sacks against Buffalo?

    Maybe the team chefs forgot to feed the offensive lineman all camp?

  44. andyreidisfat says: Aug 14, 2011 1:52 AM

    I think people are blowing this new rule on kick offs up way to big. In fact I am willing to be we have the same amount of kick offs returned for TDs this year as we did last year.

    The time i think this rule could really affect anything is teams who play the raiders because Janikowski can kick it out of the end zone everytime. But for the most part i think it just means guys will have to take a lil bit more of a risk coming out of the end zone.

    Does anyone really think Cribbs or Hester is going to take a knee because the ball is 5 yrds futher in the endzone ?? Really ? No, these guys are still going to return kicks and still make crazy plays. Do i like it ?? No. Is it that big of a deal ?? no its not.

  45. pondbridge says: Aug 14, 2011 2:17 AM

    Bad rule. The littlebrains in the NFL office got it wrong. Abandon it.

    Let’s see– a Commish who gets booed and a league office trying to rekindle enthusiasm after thoroughly bothching the labor negotiations (except for rookie scale) now figure that they’ll try to eliminate one of the most exciting plays in football– the kickoff return.

    Shrewd.

  46. bullethead527 says: Aug 14, 2011 2:28 AM

    Thanks for Olsen, 3 rec for 58 yards and a TD, looks like Chud is going to use him alot, shockey and olsen going to tear up bears D, I wanna see Olsen quite the crowd like Peppers did last year, when we play yall in october!!!!!! I like the bears though, that O line needs to be replaced!!!! 9 sacks !!!

  47. senordickhaus says: Aug 14, 2011 2:51 AM

    I’m more excited at the idea that the Bears might actually give up 100 sacks this year. That offensive line is… well, you know.

  48. asublimeday says: Aug 14, 2011 3:47 AM

    Good. That new rule is garbage.

  49. nofunleaguechildplease says: Aug 14, 2011 5:38 AM

    You have to remember your watching the No-Fun-League.

  50. footballfanatical says: Aug 14, 2011 7:33 AM

    I’m with the Bears. Return the kickoffs to the 30.
    With the lockout behind us, the greatest threat to the game has become owners meddling like this that is destroying the essence of the game.

  51. bweavs says: Aug 14, 2011 7:42 AM

    Its pre-season for the refs too huh!? How do you not see where the ball is set up to be kicked from?

  52. voiceofrealism says: Aug 14, 2011 7:46 AM

    dennis2488 says: Aug 14, 2011 12:28 AM

    they wanted to make a point. committing a penalty wouldnt have done anything.
    —————————
    They failed. What was their point, that as a team they don’t have to follow the rules? Great. The Bears are the immature street punk of the NFL, and they’re about to be chewed up and spit out like so much trash. But at least they have a decent special teams. Yeah they’re special… short bus special.

  53. chizzle20 says: Aug 14, 2011 8:15 AM

    They ignored the trade they agreed to with the Ravens on draft day, what makes you think they won’t ignore other things?

  54. bluvayner says: Aug 14, 2011 8:16 AM

    If you really want to practice kick coverage that badly, why not simply tell the kicker not to kick the ball into the endzone. I’m sure that he’s capable of doing that.

  55. jsbake7 says: Aug 14, 2011 8:28 AM

    Actually, this was coordinated with ahead of time with the bills. The bears wanted to work their coverage team and the bills OK’d it in the spirit of pre-season football being meaningless.

  56. laeaglefan says: Aug 14, 2011 8:37 AM

    One overlooked element of the rule change is that all existing kickoff return records will now have to have an asterisk beside them to indicate that they came under the old rules.

  57. tatum064 says: Aug 14, 2011 8:49 AM

    lildon96 says:
    Aug 13, 2011 10:53 PM
    Fight the power!
    ===============================
    LOL, Amen!

    Dumb a$% rule change to begin with. More teams should ignore it. And players should ran it out and two had KOR for TD’s (San Diego, New Orleans)

  58. jiggerdave says: Aug 14, 2011 8:51 AM

    Do over!!!

  59. comeonnowguys says: Aug 14, 2011 9:03 AM

    Yeah, this all seems like needlessly stirring the pot.

    They’ve had limited padwork this summer, and touchbacks don’t exactly let you practice kickoff coverage.

  60. polegojim says: Aug 14, 2011 9:10 AM

    Lovie and company seem like a good group of guys who love the game… they’re just not the sharpest knives in the drawer… and prove it on numerous occassions annually.

  61. scudbot says: Aug 14, 2011 10:34 AM

    laeaglefan says: “One overlooked element of the rule change is that all existing kickoff return records will now have to have an asterisk beside them to indicate that they came under the old rules.” Uh, which ones? 1941-1973, 40 yd line, 1974-1993 35 yd line, 1994-2010 30 yd line, 2011-???? 35 yd line.

  62. gergie1957 says: Aug 14, 2011 11:17 AM

    You won’t see them doing that during the regular season. If they do it will cost them games, and even Da Bears aren’t that stupid.

  63. cornersss says: Aug 14, 2011 12:32 PM

    “Of course, if they really wanted to kick off from the 30 that badly, all they had to do was commit a five-yard penalty.”

    Ha, i love it

  64. Deb says: Aug 14, 2011 3:08 PM

    This is typical of what we see in the league each year … refs who clearly have no idea what the rules are or an entire squad of officials who together can’t manage to notice a blatant rules violation. Instead of worrying about appeasing female viewers by integrating females into the officiating corps, Goodell should worry more about preserving the integrity of the game by installing the NCAA’s booth review system and hiring people who know what they’re doing.

  65. stanleyhalas says: Aug 14, 2011 5:20 PM

    They failed. What was their point, that as a team they don’t have to follow the rules? Great. The Bears are the immature street punk of the NFL, and they’re about to be chewed up and spit out like so much trash. But at least they have a decent special teams. Yeah they’re special… short bus special.

    ____________

    Mr. Commisioner? is that you? dammit roger no messageboards or blogs.

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