Raiders use a holder on kickoffs to improve hang time, after an NFL rule clarification

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
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The Raiders are using a holder on kickoffs tonight against the Rams, leading to several fans asking on social media: Why use a holder when the ball is being placed in a tee, and the game is indoors so wind isn’t a factor?

The answer is that the Raiders’ holder isn’t placing the ball in the tee but on the tee, which improves hang time on kickoffs.

Raiders coach Josh McDaniels explained on Monday that the Raiders got the bright idea to have the ball placed on the top of the tee, rather than inside the tee, which puts the ball slightly higher off the ground and gives kicker Daniel Carlson the opportunity to get under the ball better and get more hang time on his kickoffs. McDaniels said the Raiders first got clarification from the NFL that a holder is allowed to hold the ball on the top of the tee, and the league confirmed that it’s legal.

“They clarified a rule a couple weeks ago, that you’re permitted to hold the ball on the top of the tee now, so we’ve got a good kicker, you can add hang time to the kick, and I think you saw Daniel use that to our advantage,” McDaniels said. “As long as you don’t kick it into the end zone, extra hang time, put it at the goal line, we’re further down there, it gives the coverage team a better opportunity to make tackles inside the 25-yard line.”

McDaniels said nothing in the rules requires the ball to be placed in the tee, and the Raiders made sure what they were doing was permitted.

“That’s the rules. They clarified it a couple weeks ago. If it helps us gain some type of advantage, we’ll try to do that,” McDaniels said.

It’s a smart innovation from the Raiders, and one we’re likely to see more of around the NFL if the Raiders continue to have success with it.

8 responses to “Raiders use a holder on kickoffs to improve hang time, after an NFL rule clarification

  1. If the Pats did this, it would be framed as cheating.

    McDaniels called in fear of being cheated.

    NE did this on the substitution rule thing in January 2015 vs Baltmore, which created more jealousy and of course had owners forcing Goodell to frame Brady for the Ideal Gas Law.

    And now we learn Goodell was complicit trying to cover for Snyder with the NFL refusing to turn over up to 40,000 documents to the oversight committee.

    Gee, I wonder if Goodell can be trusted?

  2. This rule interpretation undermines everything the NFL has done to discourage runbacks on kickoffs. Gotta love it.

  3. I been telling everyone for years that McDaniels is a genius.
    The real brains all those years in Boston.

  4. Wonder what holding it hard pressed to the TEE would do for an on-side type kick? Might get some weird spin or movement.

  5. Hey coach, you might want to focus on your sorry underperforming team a little bit more and a little less time hanging out with the kicker to get a few tenths of a second hang time off of kickoffs. I mean come on, it’s not like the Raiders strong suit is scoring points since you took the head coaching job.

  6. Imagine focusing on kick-off hang time when you have a QB that just threw for 11 yards in the second half of a game you led the whole time….until the end that is lol

  7. With the NFL, If you try the Bart Simpson system of asking for forgiveness it ends up in hefty fines.

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