Jump to content

RedRamage

Get rid of kick offs?

Recommended Posts

Found this interesting video: 

 

Okay, it's a little cheesy at times, but in a nutshell, here's the tl;dw (too long; didn't watch) version:

  1. Kickoffs almost always end up somewhere between 20 and 30 yards out.
  2. Outside of the very rare 80+ yard return, the benefit of a few more yards in starting position is negligible.
  3. Kickoffs are inherently dangerous... more so than any other play in football.

The video creator argues that kicks offs are just too dangerous for the very little benefit even a good (not great) return gives.  He also argues that they are bad football for various reason that I don't 100% agree with, but the other arguments are pretty compelling.

He suggests the Schiano Proposal: Instead of kicking off, a team that just scored is given the ball at their 30 yard line and put in a "4th and 15" position.  The idea with this is that a team will generally elect to punt the ball.  The creator argues that punts are inherently safer than kick offs (with the exception of the return man, all defenders are at the line of scrimmage).

Also, because it's "4th down" the possessing team can elect to try for a first down... taking the place of the onsides kick attempt.

Frankly, I think it's an interested idea.  I don't like the idea of removing kick offs as there is the potential for a TD return.  I also don't like the idea of removing the onside kick as it can be very important to a game.  The Schiano plan does a decent job in my opinion of retaining the the return and the remote chance a team can regain the ball on offense.

Thoughts?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a fan of the idea.  Not a fan of trying to work around it either.  Have them or get rid of them and simply start on the 20 or 30 yard line.

Collisions...the NFL needs to cut down on collisions.  Having a team run full blast down the field trying to demolish a guy who is looking into the sky the entire time is dangerous...go figure.  There is no good work around for the kick off IMO.  Nothing that makes a lot of sense to me anyway.  

The biggest single issue the NFL has regarding the concussions etc is the way tackling is handled.  Get rid of the missile tackle.  Get rid of the guy just diving at a guy to knock him down.  Institute rugby style tackling...eventually you can get rid of the brain bucket that is the biggest problem.  No manner of technology is going to prevent the brain from getting knocked around inside your skull when you are in a collision....get rid of the collision.  You HAVE to pull your opponent down.  You are still going to have activity in the skull when the head hits the ground, but it will be MUCH less than if you are plowed into by a guy running 20 MPH trying to take you down with a 10lb helmet covering his head.

There is a league out there that does not use pads, but they still have crazy spear type tackles and does not look safer.   

Basically they need rugby with NFL style play and rules.  No more facemasks, no more horse collars, no more accidental head to head contact.  Less flags, more play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of curiosity, are you against it because you don't like the replacement idea, or do you just think the replacement idea doesn't go far enough?

An on a side note: If you just went to a "start at x-yardline" idea, do you get rid of any on-side kick option then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, RedRamage said:

Just out of curiosity, are you against it because you don't like the replacement idea, or do you just think the replacement idea doesn't go far enough?

An on a side note: If you just went to a "start at x-yardline" idea, do you get rid of any on-side kick option then?

I just do not want to see some weird new way to handle kick offs really.  Either keep it or just get rid of the idea of kicking to the other team altogether and just have them start on a yard line.  I hate the idea of giving the team that just scored the ball back with some random associated issue.

Keep it or get rid of it...either way for me personally.  If you keep it they know it is coming..which they do now anyway, getting rid of it will have coaches thinking of other ways to try and get the ball back quickly or managing the game differently..other than 'we will try to score and then go onside kick'...they will have to think the game out a little better and manage the clock better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the schiano idea. I would even consider a rule change that makes every punt a fair catch to cut down on those returns. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 4th and 15 from the 30 would have a quite radical effect on late-game comeback attempts. I'd have to think that converting on 4th and 15 is a way higher percentage than converting an onside kick. Although this article says 26% of onside kicks in the NFL are successful (20% if other team is expecting it), which seems really high to me. I'd have guessed around 5-10%.

http://archive.advancedfootballanalytics.com/2009/09/onside-kicks.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, lordstanley said:

The 4th and 15 from the 30 would have a quite radical effect on late-game comeback attempts. I'd have to think that converting on 4th and 15 is a way higher percentage than converting an onside kick. Although this article says 26% of onside kicks in the NFL are successful (20% if other team is expecting it), which seems really high to me. I'd have guessed around 5-10%.

http://archive.advancedfootballanalytics.com/2009/09/onside-kicks.html

 

Yeah can you imagine being down by 14 late, scoring a TD then getting the ball back in your hands to try that 4th down?  I would think the 4th and 15 is easier than the recovery like you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not hugely knowledgeable about rugby, but it seems like on their equivalent of punting they always kick it out of bounds. Not sure because of a rule to do so or because of strategy. The kicks don't travel as far as our football punts but there are never runbacks. Ball is placed at the point the ball crossed the sideline in the air.  Some discussion about the pros and cons of applying that strategy in the NFL here:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=445713

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, lordstanley said:

The 4th and 15 from the 30 would have a quite radical effect on late-game comeback attempts. I'd have to think that converting on 4th and 15 is a way higher percentage than converting an onside kick. Although this article says 26% of onside kicks in the NFL are successful (20% if other team is expecting it), which seems really high to me. I'd have guessed around 5-10%.

http://archive.advancedfootballanalytics.com/2009/09/onside-kicks.html

 

Yeah, 4th and 15 seemed high to me too... the video author actually recommended making it 4th and 10 (yikes!) but he did say he likes to see lots of offense.

I'd say make it 4th and 20 personally, but that's a relatively easy thing to adjust if the rule was changed.  If too many teams are going for it and being successful on 4th and 15, make it 4th and 20... if not enough, change the rule to 4th and 10.  That would be easy enough to tweak if the bigger hurdle of change the rule was ever done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Shelton said:

I like the schiano idea. I would even consider a rule change that makes every punt a fair catch to cut down on those returns. 

That might be really, really interesting... just kick it and a return guy stands back there to field it.  If he catches it, that's were the ball is placed.  If he doesn't, it's placed where it stops rolling, unless it goes into the EZ, then it's a touchback... maybe add a penalty rule that if it goes out of bound (on the fly or on a roll/bounce) before going into the EZ the ball gets placed 10 yards up from where it went out of bounds.

That would make it really interesting for the returner to try and guess what's happening with the ball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

That might be really, really interesting... just kick it and a return guy stands back there to field it.  If he catches it, that's were the ball is placed.  If he doesn't, it's placed where it stops rolling, unless it goes into the EZ, then it's a touchback... maybe add a penalty rule that if it goes out of bound (on the fly or on a roll/bounce) before going into the EZ the ball gets placed 10 yards up from where it went out of bounds.

That would make it really interesting for the returner to try and guess what's happening with the ball.

I wouldn’t penalize out of bounds. Leave it up to the return team how they want to defend it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shelton said:

I wouldn’t penalize out of bounds. Leave it up to the return team how they want to defend it. 

Well, it's a smallish penalty... only 10 yards, and the idea I guess is if we're limiting what the receiving team can do (no returns), we'll also limit (a bit) what the kicking team can do.

Of course, part of the reason a team kicks towards one side or the other is to try and limit the return options.  Given no returns, then no reason to do this, but a team still might try to do a slight angle to have more room for the ball to land and for the defenders to get there to try and stop it before rolling into the EZ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've decided I don't like this idea, due to the relative entertainment value of kickoff returns and punt returns compared to the entertainment value of the extra play from scrimmage that will fill the 7 or so seconds of time saved. If safety is a huge issue, I'd be willing to drop the returns, but recognizing that the trade-off is a dip in entertainment value. 

And while I'm prepared to look at the data which I haven't really done yet, I'm not yet prepared to accept the view that the difference between starting on the 20 yard line versus starting on the 30 yard line is negligible. That's an extra first down. It almost would be like saying that since most 1st down plays gain between 2-4 yards, let's start each set of downs at 2nd and 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, lordstanley said:

I've decided I don't like this idea, due to the relative entertainment value of kickoff returns and punt returns compared to the entertainment value of the extra play from scrimmage that will fill the 7 or so seconds of time saved. If safety is a huge issue, I'd be willing to drop the returns, but recognizing that the trade-off is a dip in entertainment value. 

And while I'm prepared to look at the data which I haven't really done yet, I'm not yet prepared to accept the view that the difference between starting on the 20 yard line versus starting on the 30 yard line is negligible. That's an extra first down. It almost would be like saying that since most 1st down plays gain between 2-4 yards, let's start each set of downs at 2nd and 7.

I think the negligible aspect of 20vs30 is in the fact that most drives don’t end due to a lack of 10 yards of field position, but rather because the teams runs out of downs. 

Of course, there will be some drives that stall at 10 yard line, but it’s not as easy as saying that they would have scored a touchdown if they started 10 yards closer. Maybe it costs you a field goal every once in a while. But not every time. There will be a lot of three and outs. There are a lot of drives that will stall between the goal line and the 30. 

And even in those cases where you are forced to punt instead of being able to attempt a field goal, it’s not a big difference if you can manage to pin the other team deep. You often end up getting the ball back in better field position than from where you punted (and with a fresh set of downs).

Starting at the 30 instead of the 20 is obviously preferable, but it isn’t that big of a deal from the data I have seen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, lordstanley said:

I'm not hugely knowledgeable about rugby, but it seems like on their equivalent of punting they always kick it out of bounds. Not sure because of a rule to do so or because of strategy. The kicks don't travel as far as our football punts but there are never runbacks. Ball is placed at the point the ball crossed the sideline in the air.  Some discussion about the pros and cons of applying that strategy in the NFL here:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=445713

It won't always be kicked out of bounds. That's *a* play - particularly when you have a penalty kick as you then get to control the following line-out - which means that generally you'll win the ball - but there are plenty of times when the ball will be kicked in bounds. This might be a shorter, higher kick though, which both teams can control, or a kick into space etc... It will usually be done from open play though.

The more important point is probably the way that (in theory) rugby players tackle - i.e. you *have* to wrap the opponent using your arms. You cannot (in theory) throw your body at them, but must use your arms. There is an argument that this is safer and that it's more effective tackling. Certainly the running TD the Bears scored on Sunday in the corner where the running back jumped over, if the defender had wrapped the player properly they might have stopped them scoring. I think I saw the same thing in the Western Final this weekend as well? Wrapping, using arms, is better tackling and safer for the tackler and the player being tackled.

I seem to recall one NFL team trying to train their players to tackle in a rugby style in the last season or so. Seattle? Or Pittsburgh maybe?

I say in theory because increasingly I'm seeing rugby players tackle just using their bodies - i.e. no attempt to wrap - which should be a penalty offence. Unfortunately it seems to be becoming more prevalent and is being let go by referees far too often as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

It won't always be kicked out of bounds. That's *a* play - particularly when you have a penalty kick as you then get to control the following line-out - which means that generally you'll win the ball - but there are plenty of times when the ball will be kicked in bounds. This might be a shorter, higher kick though, which both teams can control, or a kick into space etc... It will usually be done from open play though.

 

Ahh, that's right. I watch just enough rugby to be dangerous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, lordstanley said:

Ahh, that's right. I watch just enough rugby to be dangerous!

I assumed we weren't talking about rugby league which is a whole different ball game. And involves whippets, obviously...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...