By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 at 9:44 am in Oakland Raiders.
Assuming there’s a 2011 football season, there will be fewer attempts at kickoff returns for Jacoby Ford and more touchbacks for Sebastian Janikowski.
The NFL passed a rule change allowing or kickoffs from the 35-yard line, with touchbacks to remain at the 20 rather than start at the 25.
Hopefully for the Raiders, Ford is spending time fielding punts during the offseason. Former coach Tom Cable said before his contract wasn’t renewed that Ford could conceivably be the Raiders’ punt return specialist this year to go along with his duties returning kickoffs and playing wide receiver.
With opponents kicking off from the 35, the number of kickoffs that are either out of the end zone or too deep into the end zone to field will result in Ford not having as many chances as he would normally.