NFL Players and Coaches Hate New Rule

The NFL’s new kickoff fair catch rule has sparked a lot of controversy among coaches and players who think it will have negative consequences for the game. The rule, which was approved for the 2023 season, allows the receiving team to call for a fair catch anywhere between the 25-yard line and the goal line on a free kick (kickoff and safety kick) and get the ball at the 25-yard line, as if it was a touchback.

The rule is intended to reduce the number of kickoff returns, which have a higher rate of concussions than other plays, according to the NFL. However, some coaches and players argue that the rule will not have the desired effect on player safety, and that it will take away an exciting and strategic element of the game.

One of the critics of the rule is Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who called it “absolutely stupid” in a recent interview. He said that the rule will encourage more onside kicks, which are more dangerous than regular kickoffs, and that it will eliminate the opportunity for big plays on returns.

“My thing is, where does it stop, right?” Chiefs coach Reid said. “We’ll see how this goes. You don’t want to take too many pieces away and you’ll be playing flag football.”

Another opponent of the rule is Vikings special teams coordinator Ryan Ficken, who said that the rule will affect his team’s strategy and decision-making. He said that the Vikings have a strong return game with players like K.J. Osborn and Dede Westbrook, and that they would rather take their chances on returning the ball than settling for a fair catch.

The new rule is similar to the one used in college football since 2018, which has resulted in a significant decrease in kickoff returns. However, some experts say that the NFL and college football are different in terms of talent level and kick accuracy, and that the rule may not have the same impact in the professional league.

The NFL says that the rule is only changed for 2023, and that it will monitor its effects and make adjustments if needed. The league also says that it is open to feedback from coaches and players, and that it is committed to improving player safety while preserving the integrity of the game.


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