The Lions coach wasn’t happy with the new NFL starting rule, and he didn’t back down from it.
This week, the NFL adopted a new kickoff rule that allows teams to claim fair catches on kickoffs even if they are caught before the end zone. The teams will then be awarded the ball at their own 25-yard line or wherever a fair catch is made, whichever is farther down the field. The idea behind the rule change is that it will increase player safety by essentially reducing the amount of returns—which the NFL claims is the most dangerous game in football.
By many reports, this was a very unpopular rule suggestion among coaches. In fact, NFL Network’s Tom Bellisero reports that Special teams coaches unanimous They were against changing the rule.
Regardless, the owners pushed through the proposal this week, and Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell wasn’t happy about it. When asked about the new rule change on Thursday, Campbell got angry in a way we don’t usually see from an energetic coach.
“I am very frustrated. It is very frustrating,” Campbell Saadi said. “But look, I don’t make the rules. This is the new rule and then we’ll live by the new rule. We’ll find a way to adapt and adapt, and still get what we want. That’s what you have to do. But I’d hate for us to keep getting away from the game.”
Campbell’s concern appears to be that this rule change dilutes the nature of the game of football. He warned that if the NFL continues down this path, we may not know the game in a few years.
“It’s what really worries me,” Campbell said, “that we just, well, keep bleeding this (dry) league.” “If we are not careful, it will not be renewed at some point.”
Interestingly, Special Teams Coordinator Dave Webb downplayed the rule change, saying he didn’t think it would change the starting lineup much.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to change the game much, so I’m different from some of those people,” said Vibe. “I think what the numbers say is that the shorter the kick or the farther it is for the returning team – like the 10-yard line. If the ball is kicked to the 10, I think the data says you have to return it. So I think we’re still seeing a lot of returns.”
Vibe also had a very different view from Campbell about the future of the league. He dismissed the idea that the NFL was trying to get special teams out.
“I really don’t believe it,” said Fib. “I don’t think that’s what they’re trying to do, I think they’re trying to make the game safer.
Fib even went so far as to say he thinks the league is heading downhill better road.
“I think over the last few years, the league has been great about (safety),” said Vipp. “They’ve done a great job making the game safer for players. I think it’s a better game than it was. It’s definitely different, but I think for the most part they’ve done a great job and I trust what they’re doing.”
The rule change is a one-year trial, so we’ll see how that goes and the league will decide next year if it’s successful or if there’s something else to do.