Part of the Bay Area News Group

Kickoff rule helps Seabass, hurts Ford

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 10:57 am in Oakland Raiders.

The Chicago Bears aren’t the only team which isn’t happy about the proposal to move kickoffs to the 35-yard line and touchbacks to the 25.

The Raiders have remained underground for much of the off-season, other than coach Hue Jackson speaking at the scouting combine and again later after being honored at the University of the Pacific.

When and if Jackson comes up for air, go ahead and assume he won’t be on board with any proposal which will limit game-breaking skill of Jacoby Ford, who set a club record by returning three kickoffs for touchdowns a year ago.

Then again, the Raiders were 1-2 in games during which Ford had kickoff returns for touchdowns _ a 101-yard score against Miami and a 99-yard return against Indianapolis _ both came in losses after the rookie had given Oakland a 7-0 lead.

The flip side of, of course is kicker Sebastian Janikowski would likely end up with a career high in touchbacks. As it was, Janikowski had a career-high 29 touchbacks in 2010 and opponents averaged 23.1 yards per return with one touchdown.

From an excitement perspective, it’s clear watching Ford return kickoffs is more compelling theater than seeing Janikowski kick it out of the end zone.

The NFL competition committee is meeting today to discuss the possible rule change, aimed at reducing the amount of violent collisions that occur during kickoffs.

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  • http://www.raiders.com/ r8eray

    1st

  • toec

    I hate the proposed change. Let them play football. Who wants more touchbacks?

    Sure, let’s just skip the kicking game and have teams automatically start at the 20 or 25. We can skip punts, too, and award the other team the ball 40 yards downfield. Feh!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    The Realist Dirty Raccoon Says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 11:09 am
    Random thoughts:
    The news sucks without the NFL!
    We get to watch “non- racist” asain rant by a nice piece of azz!
    Charlie Sheen plays an awesome Rich Burnout, and Fried Victim.
    Really a 9.0 Quake??
    Major Tsumani. Is this the earths way of self cleansing?

    Al Davis is still every bit in charge of the NFL as he was in the 60’s

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    More proof that when the Raiders do something really well, the NFL will make a rule to try and take it away!

    Remember the “stiff arm” rule, right after we drafted McFaddy? Best stiff arm RB in years!

    It must be cause Al Davis has Tiger Blood… Nay he has Raider blood!

  • http://straightcashhomey.net/post/20310438/eddie-jones-los-angeles-lakers-you-probably Dakota

    The continued puzzification of football.

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    If there’s a lesson in the Raiders’ recent struggles, it’s simply that sentimentality is an inevitable impediment to success.

    Nostalgia is the mother of fanaticism. In adulthood as in youth, in lean years as in fat—we root for the home team because rooting for the home team is what we’ve always done, and because what we’ve always done is the essence of who we’ve always been. The catch, alas, is that heroes in the rearview mirror are rarely as mighty as they appear. Lifelong Raider lovers will argue that Davis is responsible for the organization’s historical grandeur. I’d counter that he’s no less culpable for its contemporary gloom.

    Decline is bad.

    Stagnation is worse.

  • http://build-a-bully 909RaiderLifer

    According to Lincoln Kennedy, it’s the Grey Goose that helps Seabass kick better during games…

    Want to solve all the hard hits? Just go ahead and put skirts and flags on ‘em already..

    btw.. Welcome back Jerry.. In case nobody’s told you yet, Corkran broke your blog…

  • raidertay

    Not sure about this rule change. I love seeing them return the kicks, but anyone who has played football know that besides the trenches, ST is where the most violent collisions occur. Having two men run into each other at full speed with 40 yards to gain speed is crazy.

    In college I would run full speed kamikazi into some guy on Kickoff break thru the block, but had a hard time tackling because I was seeing doubles from the collision.

  • GoodOle00

    5. and 7. AMEN!

  • http://straightcashhomey.net/post/20310438/eddie-jones-los-angeles-lakers-you-probably Dakota

    raidertay Says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    Not sure about this rule change. I love seeing them return the kicks, but anyone who has played football know that besides the trenches, ST is where the most violent collisions occur. Having two men run into each other at full speed with 40 yards to gain speed is crazy.
    ________________

    And it is also why we watch…the NFL should keep that in mind. And if the players have a problem with it, then quit and go work in a library or something if you can’t handle it.

    Trnung the game into flag football is going to turn off a lot of fans.

    WE WANT VIOLENT HITS!!!!!!!!

  • MissouriRaiderfan

    What we have here is a need for a FAN UNION! WE PAY THE BILLS!!! It’s OUR Money that goes into the NFL owners pocket.

    We don’t like the rules STRIKE! Don’t go to games…which a good portion of Raider Nation doesn’t do any way. but let them see a united Fan front they have to listen. Just saying….

  • Silverandblack666

    Talk of replacement players on PFT!!!!!

    I want this to happen so bad I would support any thing that does not involve greedy overpaid todays “ME” athlete that does a sack dance even if his team is behind by 30 points.

    Please please please bring in the replacements!

  • http://straightcashhomey.net/post/20310438/eddie-jones-los-angeles-lakers-you-probably Dakota

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    Talk of replacement players on PFT!!!!!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Cool…I call QB for the Raiders!

  • Al Davis MachoMachoSupremo

    6.KoolKell Says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    If there’s a lesson in the Raiders’ recent struggles, it’s simply that sentimentality is an inevitable impediment to success.

    Nostalgia is the mother of fanaticism. In adulthood as in youth, in lean years as in fat—we root for the home team because rooting for the home team is what we’ve always done, and because what we’ve always done is the essence of who we’ve always been. The catch, alas, is that heroes in the rearview mirror are rarely as mighty as they appear. Lifelong Raider lovers will argue that Davis is responsible for the organization’s historical grandeur. I’d counter that he’s no less culpable for its contemporary gloom.

    Decline is bad.

    Stagnation is worse.

    —————–

    I’d counter that he’s had to battle a constant barrage of conspiracies from the NFL and other unforseen forces to keep him down, with the lock out being the most recent attempt, why you can’t see that I can only wonder.

    Will you give Coach Davis his due when he’s handed the Lombardi next super bowl? Hard to imagine with all the criticism you’ve bestowed on him that you would.

  • GoodOle00

    This follows the American tradition of taking something perfectly fine and tweaking it to the point of ruination.

  • Essex

    If teams downgrade their kick coverage units because of a rule change, then the teams with high end return games may actually benefit. Also at the margin it will influence which depth defenders and skill players are retained.

  • MikieG

    As a former Kicker, Punter, Kickoff Returner, Punt Returner I have to say that those plays are the single funnest plays in football, if they do this in order to avoid “Collisions” it will be a travesty.
    What are they going to do next? Flip the coin and put the ball on the 30 and blow the whistle for the offense to come out? This is getting freakin absurd.

  • Carl Weathers

    They might as well eliminate the O & D lines while they’re at it.

  • souldogdave

    They want to set it up like it was before 1994, when they moved it back 5 yards.

  • volkan0624