Even kickers think the NFL is getting soft

AP

Complaints from NFL players that the league is trying to take the toughness out of football have been widespread over the last year. But most of those complaints have come from defensive players who were responding to drawing penalty flags or getting their paychecks docked.

Now we have a player who rarely hits anyone making a complaint about the direction NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking the league in: Cowboys kicker David Buehler.

“I think they’re changing the rules too much,” Buehler said on the Ben and Skin Show, via ESPN.com. “Football is getting kind of soft with Goodell making all the rule changes and everything like that. Just leave it the way it is.”

Most of the recent rules changes designed to protect players — banning launching at opponents, protecting quarterbacks and defenseless receivers — don’t affect kickers. But one change that has a major affect on Buehler is the decision to move kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35. Buehler isn’t happy about that one.

“Kickoffs are one of the most exciting plays in football, so I don’t know why they pushed it up to the 35,” Buehler said. “I understand the safety reasons but a lot of fans want to see the returns. It gets kind of boring just seeing touchbacks all the time. I obviously want that but the ideal fan doesn’t want that. They want to see the run out, the big collisions and everything like that.”

And as a guy who’s not just a player but also a fan, that’s what Buehler wants to see, too.

48 responses to “Even kickers think the NFL is getting soft

  1. Buehler … Buehler 😉

    Are the rule changes designed to protect players? Or are the rule changes designed to convince Congress the NFL is gung-ho to protect players in order to avoid government oversight? With Goodell, it’s always more about perception than reality.

  2. All this outrage over the kick off sport being moved!!! Guess no one watched football in the 80s and early 90s when it was at the 35! Or in the 70s when it was at the 40. Fck’s sake man

  3. I have to agree. It’s getting pretty boring watching these touchbacks. Obviously Buehler cares because he’s about to be out of a job because he can’t kick field goals well, but he can kick touchbacks from the 30 and tackle.

  4. “Most of the recent rules changes designed to protect players — banning launching at opponents, protecting quarterbacks and defenseless receivers — don’t affect kickers.”

    Should read: “Most of the recent rules changes designed to protect THE LEAGUE FROM LAWSUITS — banning launching at opponents, protecting quarterbacks and defenseless receivers — don’t affect kickers.”

    If they cared about player safety we would be seeing offensive players like Adrian Peterson or Rashard Mendenhall getting fined and penalized for putting their heads down and using their helmets like a weapon. I have yet to see an offensive player get fined for doing the same damn things the defensive players are being fined for.

  5. As a Dallas fan, I like Buehler, but his reasoning should be taken with a grain of salt. He’s been inaccurate at times with his fg’s, and part of the reason they overlooked that last year was in part because he has a big leg to boom kickoffs. Now that part of his game is less valuable and as a result will probably put him out of a job in two weeks.

  6. Deb says:
    Aug 25, 2011 3:07 PM
    Buehler … Buehler

    Are the rule changes designed to protect players? Or are the rule changes designed to convince Congress the NFL is gung-ho to protect players in order to avoid government oversight? With Goodell, it’s always more about perception than reality.
    __________

    Quit stealing my bit. And I thought you were all for government oversight over everything.

  7. maybe to make Bueller happy the league will allow defenses to cream the kicker on all FG’s and extra points

  8. If they don’t move it back, they can just eliminate the kickoff. Won’t happen…commercial, kickoff, touchback, commercial. With no kickoffs they would just get one commercial.

    Owners don’t want to pay injured players and lose superstars to injury, so get use to this rule and more to come. We will still get our big hits, players will just lose more salary delivering them.

  9. Buehler is definetely worried about the rule change costing him his job. He’s been a little shakey as a kicker, but he’s built like a safety. Don’t discount his ability to lay somebody out. He’s fast too. I remember his rookie year he basically got a rookie cb cut when he beat him in an “after practice” 40 yard dash.

  10. buehler, the only kicker i have respect for beside janikowski and lechler from my raiders..

    this kicker runs a 4.5 and can bench press more then
    some defensive players. hes not a normal kicker dude is an athlete.

    this must mean the nfl is getting soft

  11. David Buehler stopped so many kick returners from getting touchdowns last year I think he led the team in special team tackles.

  12. thephantomstranger says: Aug 25, 2011 3:23 PM

    Deb says:
    Aug 25, 2011 3:07 PM
    Buehler … Buehler

    Are the rule changes designed to protect players? Or are the rule changes designed to convince Congress the NFL is gung-ho to protect players in order to avoid government oversight? With Goodell, it’s always more about perception than reality.
    __________
    Quit stealing my bit. And I thought you were all for government oversight over everything.
    ———————–
    Yeah like government oversight means anything; it’s a joke especially in sports. They laugh at “oversight”.

  13. I respect Beuhler’s right to opine– but he really needs to direct his feelings towards his boss, one Stephen Jones, who is on the committee that makes the rules. Goodell may be a warden, but he did not propose or approve the rule. I don’t think he would go to either Mr. Jones and gripe to them directly. If he did he would probably be an unemployed kicker.

  14. Lifelong die hard football fan here. Love to play it, love to watch it, love fantasy football, Madden is the only game I play, I’m on every football site multiple times everyday and I think Roger Goodell should be canned! I’m not even trying to me a macho guy but this guy should be commissioner of a flag football league. Yes there is physical risk that comes with playing the sport, if players don’t like then go find a regular job, if owners don’t like it sell your team to a rich guy who loves football for what it WAS. You are ruining my favourite thing after family, football is my passion, big hits are the best part of the game and you are trying to take them away, why? Safety? Like I said this is football whoever has a problem with the hard AND EXCITING hits can find a regular job or sell their team. FIRE GOODELL HE IS RUINING OUR GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Just remove the kicking game from football. There is nothing more frustrating to watch a football game and a soccer match breaks out.

  16. @americankris

    He’s a beast but not much of a kicker.

    He’ll be out of Dallas in short order now that Shane Graham has been picked up by the Cowboys.

  17. Men and women in the army die and are injured far more severely for far less pay so suck it the f up wimps. Lads still play football and rugby for no pay and love the punishment think they are concerned about their safety? NFL rule changes are making rugby players look 1,000,000 times tougher – sort it Goodell you suck!

  18. Let’s not forget., Rodger does not make the rules. That is done by a committee of owners . Rodger only enforces them .

  19. As an aside from this, I hate to see Ben and Skin get national attention like this.

    They’re a pair of davenport chimps with nothing to add to the airwaves aside from their crappy interstitial songs.

    They always land the B list talent like Buheler and Marty Bennett just so they can ride their jocks to get some “insider” information.

    Barf.

  20. Instead of all the complaining, why don’t teams have their kickers work on increasing hang time so that kickoffs are more like punts? The fans still get to see a return, and the team kicking off has a chance of pinning their opponent inside the 20.

  21. why the hate for Buehler? he just made a comment that he thinks the league is getting soft.. isnt that what most people think with all these new rules to “protect” players?

    i for one, dont want to see touchbacks.. i prefer kick returns, big hits and the opportunity to run one back for a TD.

    whats the big deal with his comment?

  22. Buehler is not some pansy kicker. This guy is probably stronger than most of Philly’s linebackers.

  23. i think if the kicker get hit it through the uprights on the kickoffs they should get 1 point

  24. “I think they’re changing the rules too much,” Buehler said on the Ben and Skin Show, via ESPN.com. “Football is getting kind of soft with Goodell making all the rule changes and everything like that. Just leave it the way it is.”

    This is to protect themselves from you and your teammates 20 years from now so you don’t come back and sue them for health care.

  25. cakemixa says: Aug 25, 2011 2:59 PM

    STFU, kicker.
    ——————————————————

    please tell sebastian janikowski that he is soft and to stfu. and please let me be there to see it.the only raider violence id love to record.the only kicker ive ever seen get penalized for unnecessary roughness.

  26. Man, Smith botched it on this report (here’s an excerpt from a bleacherreport story written by Phil Brennan about Buehler):

    “During preseason’s week one game against the Raiders, Buehler nailed a 39-yard field goal, had a touchback, and registered a tackle on his own kickoff.

    His latest feat had him beating Cowboy defensive back and fellow rookie DeAngelo Smith in a 50-yard foot race after practice.

    And it wasn’t even close.

    It really shouldn’t come as a surprise. At 6’2”, 227 lbs., Buehler was known as a great athlete coming out of USC. In fact, his 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine was faster than the times of his Trojan linebacker teammates Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga. He also bested all three USC linebackers (Cushing, Maualuga, and Clay Matthews) in the bench press, posting 25 reps.” “

  27. Buehler is one of the only kickers who will give 100% to spear the kick returner. I dont remember what game it was, but I do remember during his first season he speared the hell out of the return man. Probably the best hit I have seen a kicker put on a player. So please keep in mind, this is no ordinary kicker. But yes, the rule implementations need to STOP!

  28. @thephantomstranger …

    Your “bit” wasn’t up when I posted. And I didn’t realize you scripted Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

    Here’s what I’m against …

    Goodell having the authority to play god and revamping the game without any data to demonstrate he’s improving player safety.

    People who assume they know how others feel on every issue based on an arbitrary label.

    People who keep injecting politics into football discussions.

  29. You all have obviously never seen Buehler on a kick off return. He goes looking for people after the kick. I wish he was a line backer. If he doesn’t make the cut at kicker. I’d keep him just for ST and a back up. The guy is awesome.

  30. STFU, kicker.

    ———————-

    Says the guy who’s probably never stepped on a football field in his life.

    And anybody that actually believes Goodell’s line about protecting players is an idiot. You don’t see him outlawing the use of helmets as weapons as far as offensive players are concerned. Guys like Marion Barber can still spear defenders with their helmet whenever they want. Same with tight ends, fullbacks, or the tougher receivers.

  31. “And as a guy who’s not just a player but also a fan, that’s what Buehler wants to see, too.”

    He’s the Cowboys kicker – that means he’ll be just a fan in two years.

  32. @the phantom stranger …

    By saying Goodell is concerned about Congressional oversight of football? Grow up.

  33. why don’t they just let each team automatically start at the 20 yard line after a score! it would save time and no one would stub a toe or run out of breath! Definate saftey there.
    WAIT!!! What if we let the players wear colorful little flags that tear-away! Then they wouldn’t have to tackle each other! Oh! Oh!..and what if we used a football made out of SPONGE! We could call it the “Nerf” ball. Wow! this is great! The Nerf Football League! Hey! (NFL) that works too! ya know?..I should be the commisioner.

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