Mar 23, 2011
Could it be? Actual news about what happens on the field? YES! Okay, so it is just a couple of rules changes, but if it allows us to refrain from the legalese we will take it.
Owners vote to change kickoff, replay rules … at meetings that took place in New Orleans over the last few days. The competition committee has discussed proposals for changes in kickoffs recently, mostly as a way to make the game safer. The modified proposal, which was passed by the owners on a 26-6 vote, will move kickoff back to the 35-yard line after it had been at the 30 since the 1994 season. Kickoff returners from around the league expressed their displeasure with the new rule, which will almost definitely hurt what receiving teams will be able to do in terms of improving field position. Brown KR Josh Cribbs was on a media tour talking about the changes and was in complete disagreement with the new rule because it continues to make special teams a smaller part of the game, which can hurt teams like his Cleveland Browns, who depend on Cribbs to give them an advantage with his returns. Seahawk KR Leon Washington wasn’t happy either, saying, “I don’t like the rule…It’s part of the game that’s really exciting.” To help illustrate Washington’s point, we pass along this stat from ProFootballFocus: In 2010, only Raven PK Billy Cundiff averaged deeper than the goal line on his kickoffs. Adjusting for the new rules, 19 PKs would average deeper than the goal line. In addition to the kickoff change, the owners voted 30-2 to allow all scoring plays to be reviewable by the official in the replay booth, much like all plays are reviewable in the final two minutes of each half.
Kevin Kolb is a hot commodity … as evidenced by the offers the Eagles have gotten for him, including a report that the Eagles have a deal to get a 1st-round pick in exchange for the current backup to Michael Vick. Team President Joe Banner said the market for Kolb has been “more aggressive” than it was for Donovan McNabb, who was traded to the Redskins last year for a 2010 2nd-round pick and 2011 4th-round pick. Eagle HC Andy Reid is pumping up Kolb’s value by calling the player “a championship-caliber quarterback.” Teams rumored to be in the mix to get Kolb included the 49ers, Cardinals, Browns, Vikings, Seahawks, and Titans, some of which were interested in Kolb last year. With the lockout still in place and no CBA agreement, Kolb cannot be traded, although a deal could be made quickly, especially if there’s any resolution to the labor strife before the draft, which takes place April 28-30.
- WR Julio Jones had an impressive showing at his pro day at University of Georgia, although it couldn’t be watched in person by any pro personnel attending due to odd rules surrounding the use of University of Montana QB Justin Roper.
- Commissioner Roger Goodell revealed that five teams, including the Miami Dolphins, have already been fined or are being investigated for violating rules related to off-season player contact.
- We’re not sure how this happens to an NFL player, but Cowboy WR Dez Bryant was apparently ejected and subsequently banned from a local mall for multiple incidents, the latest being an issue with him and his friends wearing their pants too low. Bryant and his adviser are denying a criminal trespass warning was issued. This is what NFL news has come down to during lockout times.