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Smith Not Happy About the Moving of Kickoffs to the 35

The Bears can’t be happy today about the NFL’s decision to move kickoffs from the 30 to the 35, meaning that Devin Hester will get less chances to return kicks. Lovie Smith made his voice be known about it in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Bears coach Lovie Smith made it clear he is against the kickoff rules-change proposal that NFL owners will vote on Tuesday. “I can’t believe we’re even talking about that,” Smith said Tuesday during a breakfast with the media at the NFL meetings. “It’s the most exciting play in the game. We’re totally against the rule. We don’t even get into the conversation. How do we get to this point?”

Smith indicated he could be swayed if the league makes an amendment to the proposal that would eliminate the two-man wedge and force kickoff coverage members to line up five yards behind the kickoff. What he’s not OK with is having the kickoff moved up to the 35-yard line. “I know we’re talking about players’ safety, but I don’t know that it’s making it safer,” he said. “You can say that about every pass play.” Smith said over the last two years, the Bears have had only one injury on kickoff returns and kickoff coverage: a sprained ankle.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. deron

    March 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    The new rules will drastically change the game, as they did in 1994. It doesn’t necessarily ensure fewer kickoff collisions than there would be without it.

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