NFL will assess new touchback rule after four weeks of the regular season

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Amid signs that the NFL’s experiment regarding the touchback rule may go roughly as smoothly as Peter Brady’s volcano, the league won’t declare failure or success until after Week Four of the regular season, at the earliest.

In his first officiating video of the year, NFL V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino explains that the league regards four weeks as a sufficient sample size for developing opinions regarding the impact of a rule change. He also said that, as to whether the touchback adjustment will decrease kickoff returns (which is the desired effect), the rate of returns in the preseason is irrelevant, because coaches want to evaluate their coverage and return units.

Blandino acknowledged, however, that more kickoffs are coming down in the field of play in lieu of the end zone, and that more kicks are being returned from the field of play.

PFT previously has reported that the NFL most likely won’t change the rule during the season. Still, with plenty of coaches making clear their intent to attempt to prevent the opposing team from getting a free extra five yards of field position by taking a knee and starting at the 25, it won’t be a stretch if the facts after four weeks scream out to the league, “I told you so.”

35 responses to “NFL will assess new touchback rule after four weeks of the regular season

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if we do see an increase in the number of returns this season, but an actual decrease in the number of injuries?

    Might make their widdle heads explode.

  2. The head of officiating was never an official. The head of the nfl was never a lawyer or a CEO (ny jets intern). Every committee is made up of the same tired old man’s club (mara, rooney, hunt, Richardson etc) Yup… this league is in fine hands. It’s like watching a Saturday mechanic trying to fix his car. He’s always tinkering with it, but it just gets worse and worse. Yup… this league is in fine hands for sure.

  3. Just put the ball on the 25 after a touchdown and eliminate the return game completely if that’s what you want. All this jacking around with the rules is amateurish.

  4. just another example of the sissification of football and of our country. how pathetic is it that guys who makes millions of dollars are so affraid of gettin there bell rung that theyd rather sit in the endzone and take a knee then fight like warriors like guys used to do back in the day.

    funny how first the league decides its fine with guys taking knees in the end zone and soon enough colon kappernick thinks its fine too take a knee during the natiional anthem. almost as if the nfl is enabling him…

  5. They need four weeks to evaluate the new kickoff rule? That’s a big enough sample size? You mean like the four weeks they just had of preseason to evaluate this rule?

  6. steves11 says:
    Sep 2, 2016 4:46 PM

    If the NFL doesn’t want kickoff returns, then eliminate the kickoff…period!
    __________________________________ Say your team just scored a TD and is still down a score with under 2 mins to play and no timeouts.How do you intend to get the ball back with no onside kicks??

  7. indycolt45 says:
    Sep 2, 2016 4:51 PM
    Just put the ball on the 25 after a touchdown and eliminate the return game completely if that’s what you want. All this jacking around with the rules is amateurish.
    ———————–

    So a best 2 of 3 coin flip in lieu of an onside kick would somehow be less amateurish? Agree all the rules changes in recent years are fixing something that isn’t broken and they are ‘fixing’ something by further breaking it when it comes to the kickoff in particular but eliminating the kickoff is not a viable option.

  8. Its not unintended consequences – they said this may happen all along thats why its a 1 yr rule for now.

  9. returntoexcellence says:
    Sep 2, 2016 4:59 PM
    They need four weeks to evaluate the new kickoff rule? That’s a big enough sample size? You mean like the four weeks they just had of preseason to evaluate this rule?

    Reading comprehension zero.

  10. realtruthteller100 says:

    “just another example of the sissification of football and of our country. how pathetic is it that guys who makes millions of dollars are so affraid of gettin there bell rung that theyd rather sit in the endzone and take a knee then fight like warriors like guys used to do back in the day.”

    Since when did the players make the rules?

  11. The 2016 season starts in 6 days.

    It’s time for the NFL to publically release the PSI information that was collected during the 2015 season so that everyone can see the see what happens to the PSI in footballs when they are taken outside and used in cold / rainy weather.

    For those that don’t want to wait for the NFL to show integrity — you can find a couple of videos online on the popular online video site:

    “TAKING THE MEASURE OF DEFLATEGATE”

    “Deflate Gate & Why Science Says the Patriots Did Not Tamper With Footballs “.

  12. Is Roger Goodell the same person as Brian France? Have the 2 ever been seen together?

    They are ruining 2 sports that used to be good and fun to watch

  13. I just give up.
    Why the NFL still allows the kicking team to get running starts defies logic. They don’t want big collisions (or do they) and let the kicking team get a huge head of steam before the ball is even kicked.
    WHY?
    Why do they let lineman get down in a three point stance and bang heads instead of making both O & D start in the upright position?
    They talk concern, but show little.

  14. thetooloftools says:
    Sep 2, 2016 6:54 PM

    I just give up.
    Why the NFL still allows the kicking team to get running starts defies logic. They don’t want big collisions (or do they) and let the kicking team get a huge head of steam before the ball is even kicked.
    WHY?
    ———————–

    Running start? Big head of steam?

    Have you ever watched a kickoff? They can’t go past where the ball is until it is kicked.

    Some of you folks have the strangest notions of the dynamics of a kickoff.

  15. I love how there were never any problems with the game on the field until these 2 idiots became in charge.

    Great idea lets let 2 morons who never played football at any high level decide what happens in NFL games.

    Rob Manfred is doing the same crap in MLB.

    This is exactly why stupid people should never be in charge of making these types of decisions

  16. There are teams who are practicing directional kickoffs. The intention is to kick the ball so it hits around the 10 yd line towards a corner. Hopefully you can pin them down provided the kicker gives it hang time. Now wouldn’t that completely screw with the intention of the rule??
    But of course Roger and staff are supreme rule. They know what they’re doing.

  17. What was the other rule they did the same way. So players that got hurt in the 4 weeks will get what 10 million (because the lowest paid players are special team) then a job for life. All the missed touchbacks that are missed , kickers losing there jobs. When do we fans get together and stop buying concessions, Jerseys BC etc. That’s all they know.

    What was the rule the fudged with then changed back

  18. Another fallacy of the rule: teams will no longer be so inclined to retain special teams talent, which will lead to poorer kickoff coverages and more kickoff returns once it is realized how much the coverage sucks.

  19. mauijim805 said … How about instituting a rule that if your part of the NFL you STAND for the National Anthem as the NBA does…

    I say …
    How about instituting a rule that if you wish to say something legal by doing something legal you can.
    Oh wait a minute that rule is already out there … It’s called the 2nd Amendment.

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