The NFL is constantly electing guidelines and measures to make the sport safer. This offseason they made an adjustment to kickoffs, which mainly stops simply in need of eliminating runbacks.
Returners at the moment are eligible to elect for a good catch on kicks that don’t attain the tip zone, successfully stopping play and putting the ball on the 25 yard-line.
The rule, submitted and permitted by the Competitors Committee:
Impact: For one 12 months solely, places the ball in play on the receiving workforce’s 25-yard line if there’s a honest catch on a free kick (kickoff and security kick) behind the receiving workforce’s 25-yard line.
Purpose: Participant Security
New York Giants particular groups coordinator Thomas McGaughey was grilled about how he was coping with the brand new rule and didn’t seem like in favor of it.
“The rule itself is simply one thing we’ll simply must get used to. It’s like another rule change,” McGaughey advised reporters at this week’s OTAs. “You simply make the changes and simply maintain shifting ahead. I’m going to maintain teaching the blokes the identical method. It’s not going to vary. We’re going to educate up the basics and the methods, the schematics would be the identical, and we’ll simply go from there. You simply make the changes and see what occurs.”
McGaughey was requested if he thought the brand new rule would enhance participant security.
“What I believe doesn’t matter,” he mentioned. “It’s what it’s. In the event that they assume it’s to extend security, then that’s what it’s.”
The Giants’ particular groups have been one of many simpler within the league below McGaughey. Final 12 months, the Giants had been seventh within the league in kickoff returns with 25.6 yards per try. When it got here to defending kickoffs, the Giants had been in the midst of the pack.
Mcgaughey was requested if the brand new rule was a step in the direction of eliminating the kickoff from the sport, one thing that has been mentioned prior to now.
“I’d by no means say that, as a result of that’s my livelihood,” he mentioned. “Nobody desires to lose part of what you’re used to doing as part of your job, to type of go away. You need to have the ability to type of coach the best way you’ve been teaching and have the identical type of affect within the recreation that you just wish to have, however once more, you simply make the changes and simply maintain shifting.”
The Giants added a number of gamers to their roster this offseason who had returner expertise. Now, that characteristic — which might decide roster spots — might not consider any longer.