Bill Belichick had an excuse for skipping breakfast with the media on Tuesday.
“Sorry I missed you this morning. Alarm clock just didn’t go off,” he joked via ESPN Boston.com.
But what about missing breakfast?
“Do I look under nourished?” Belichick answered.
With the deadpan jokes out of the way, Belichick spoke with the media about the rule changes that took place. After speaking out against the initial kickoff changes on Monday, Belichick said he supported the modified proposal Tuesday that ultimately passed.
The final proposal didn’t mess with touchbacks and didn’t eliminate the two-man wedge.
“I think this is a lot simpler. It’s clean,” he said.
Belichick believed eliminating the two-man wedge was problematic. He also didn’t like he touchback coming out to the 25-yard line. In the end, Belichick doesn’t think there will be that many more touchbacks than before.
“Based on the numbers, you’re still probably looking at at least two-thirds of the kicks being returned, maybe three-quarters,” Belichick said. “At the end of the year it goes down anyway . . . The ball just doesn’t carry as far in the cold.”
(For reference, 80% of kicks were returned in 2010.)
The NFL used to have kickoffs at the 35-yard line, so the rule change is more of a return to an old rule than a completely new endeavor. The biggest difference is that kickers have stronger legs now.
“It’s fine. It’s not that big of a deal. We have a good kicker, it’s all right,” Belichick said.