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penalties on kick returns - out of control


dave mcbride
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It's not even worth returning anymore unless you absolutely have to. 

On kickoffs, better to just get the touchback. On punts, better to fair catch if you aren't putting the team in abysmal position or also get the touchback.

 

Anything else just results in a flag & being set further back somehow. Maybe on kick returns they should just have 1 ref on each side, and make all the others cover their eyes. Anything blatant enough to be caught by the only 2 guys out there is fine 😄

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3 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

I swear to god that I think the NFL is trying to legislate returns out of the game. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that between 33 and 50 percent of all kick returns (inclusive of punts) result in a holding penalty on the returning team. I can't imagine that STs are more likely to hold than, say, interior offensive linemen, but they definitely get called at a way higher rate. The hold on the kick return for a TD didn't bother me because I expect it to happen, but at the same time, even though he held a bit, it was nowhere near the play and the guy being held had not a snowball's chance in hell of getting within 5 yards of McKenzie. Anyway, ST returns are difficult to watch. I also think the Bills were kicking it short deliberately because they figured they had a 50/50 chance of a hold call that'd push TN back to the 10. Happened at least once and maybe twice (can't recall specifically). 

 

Anyway, it's bad for the game because it's bad entertainment. 

 

Couldn't agree more, especially the bolded. 

 

Penalties and instant replay have involuntarily changed the way I watch the game. After every play, instead of enjoying or agonizing over the outcome I'm looking for the yellow indicator that there was a flag or wondering if the play will go to review to find out whether I should be happy or sad. The inconsistency of the the refs and booth officials just adds to the problem. 

 

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4 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

I swear to god that I think the NFL is trying to legislate returns out of the game. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that between 33 and 50 percent of all kick returns (inclusive of punts) result in a holding penalty on the returning team. I can't imagine that STs are more likely to hold than, say, interior offensive linemen, but they definitely get called at a way higher rate. The hold on the kick return for a TD didn't bother me because I expect it to happen, but at the same time, even though he held a bit, it was nowhere near the play and the guy being held had not a snowball's chance in hell of getting within 5 yards of McKenzie. Anyway, ST returns are difficult to watch. I also think the Bills were kicking it short deliberately because they figured they had a 50/50 chance of a hold call that'd push TN back to the 10. Happened at least once and maybe twice (can't recall specifically). 

 

Anyway, it's bad for the game because it's bad entertainment. 

Definitely could be right and it's kind of funny because holding is totally cool on just your regular running play apparently 

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I do wonder with practice time getting more and more limited by CBA, when you factor in how many kickers can kick it out of end zone when desired for touch backs, are teams practicing kick off returns less, hence more penalties??

 

Is it harder to practice returning kicks without more risk of injury as it's just hard without going full speed, then potential more injuries in practice??

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5 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

I swear to god that I think the NFL is trying to legislate returns out of the game. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that between 33 and 50 percent of all kick returns (inclusive of punts) result in a holding penalty on the returning team. I can't imagine that STs are more likely to hold than, say, interior offensive linemen, but they definitely get called at a way higher rate. The hold on the kick return for a TD didn't bother me because I expect it to happen, but at the same time, even though he held a bit, it was nowhere near the play and the guy being held had not a snowball's chance in hell of getting within 5 yards of McKenzie. Anyway, ST returns are difficult to watch. I also think the Bills were kicking it short deliberately because they figured they had a 50/50 chance of a hold call that'd push TN back to the 10. Happened at least once and maybe twice (can't recall specifically). 

 

Anyway, it's bad for the game because it's bad entertainment. 

Flagged for holding on the McK TD return but no flag on the 2 holds during D. Henry TD run. 

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The issues are two fold. As many have pointed out punt and kickoff coverage is unlike any other plays.  The blockers in many cases are running stride for stride with the tacklers. That doesn't happen on regular offensive plays.  

 

Two issues really piss me off.   McD and Beane put so much emphasis on ST's players on the roster and they still suck.  But even worse, games are significantly affected by the worst players on the roster and the refs.  Smith holding some scrub on Tenn that then resulted in a flag significantly affected the outcome of that game.  That is not what the NFL or any of us want.  

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8 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

I swear to god that I think the NFL is trying to legislate returns out of the game. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that between 33 and 50 percent of all kick returns (inclusive of punts) result in a holding penalty on the returning team. I can't imagine that STs are more likely to hold than, say, interior offensive linemen, but they definitely get called at a way higher rate. The hold on the kick return for a TD didn't bother me because I expect it to happen, but at the same time, even though he held a bit, it was nowhere near the play and the guy being held had not a snowball's chance in hell of getting within 5 yards of McKenzie. Anyway, ST returns are difficult to watch. I also think the Bills were kicking it short deliberately because they figured they had a 50/50 chance of a hold call that'd push TN back to the 10. Happened at least once and maybe twice (can't recall specifically). 

 

Anyway, it's bad for the game because it's bad entertainment. 

 

 

I am all for taking kickoffs and punts out of the game entirely.   Mostly a waste of time.   Just give the team the ball at the 25 after a score and instead of punts allow the team to flip the field 35 yards from inside their own 40 and half the distance from thereafter.   Get to midfield,  the best a "punt choice" gets you is giving the opponent the ball at their 25.

 

As for the holding........the NFL is obviously on a mission to reverse the narrative that they didn't throw any holding penalties last year.   The game was better last year with less holding calls.

 

 

Edited by BADOLBILZ
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2 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

As for the holding........the NFL is obviously on a mission to reverse the narrative that they didn't throw any holding penalties last year.   The game was better last year with less holding calls.

 

 

They definitely made a conscious decision to call holding less often last year. I have to think in empty stadiums it was an attempt to avoid sucking yet more energy out of the games by calling back big plays on holding calls. 

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9 hours ago, JayBaller10 said:

The hold (and tackle) on Poyer as Henry ran past him for 76 yards was more egregious. If not for the hold, Poyer would’ve been in position to make the tackle. I don’t think the same can be said for the Titans’ special teamer. He wouldn’t have made the tackle anyway, too far and flat footed.

Poyer was in physical contact with Henry when he was held; the Titans’ number 15 literally peeled him off of Henry.

Edited by mannc
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5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

They definitely made a conscious decision to call holding less often last year. I have to think in empty stadiums it was an attempt to avoid sucking yet more energy out of the games by calling back big plays on holding calls. 

 

 

Sadly, the reality is that the penalties add drama and nothing bonds fans to their team quite like the injustice of being penalized..........so there isn't any motivation for the league to work to reduce penalties in front of packed, energized venues.    They are at least taking steps to streamline the penalizing process though with the sky judge stuff.   That actually also serves to create more drama because then fans can't blame a specific official which makes them feel even more wronged.  

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8 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

I am all for taking kickoffs and punts out of the game entirely.   Mostly a waste of time.   Just give the team the ball at the 25 after a score and instead of punts allow the team to flip the field 35 yards from inside their own 40 and half the distance from thereafter.   Get to midfield,  the best a "punt choice" gets you is giving the opponent the ball at their 25.

 

As for the holding........the NFL is obviously on a mission to reverse the narrative that they didn't throw any holding penalties last year.   The game was better last year with less holding calls.

 

 

I agree, however the average net in the league is 41, so a flip of 40 would be probably be more accurate than 35.  Suspect this would lead to more long FG attempts as well, which are more exciting than penalties on kick returns.

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10 minutes ago, BearNorth said:

I agree, however the average net in the league is 41, so a flip of 40 would be probably be more accurate than 35.  Suspect this would lead to more long FG attempts as well, which are more exciting than penalties on kick returns.

 

I think the objective should be to disincentivize the punt option.........giving the team the average net punt result would appeal very much to the Dick Jauron's of the world who endeavor to take the excitement out of the game.   I'm also not sure if punts from deep in your end tend to average 40 yards net.  Hence my thoughts about a less appealing 35 yard flip from within the 50.   Definitely make playing aggressive in your own end more important.....a lousy team can't lean on having the better undrafted free agent punter to help them flip the field back in their favor.   Also gets punters out of the game in general.   Who could possibly miss punters? :thumbsup:

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9 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

I am all for taking kickoffs and punts out of the game entirely.   Mostly a waste of time.   Just give the team the ball at the 25 after a score and instead of punts allow the team to flip the field 35 yards from inside their own 40 and half the distance from thereafter.   Get to midfield,  the best a "punt choice" gets you is giving the opponent the ball at their 25.

 

As for the holding........the NFL is obviously on a mission to reverse the narrative that they didn't throw any holding penalties last year.   The game was better last year with less holding calls.

 

 

I like it.  And if NFL keeps trying to add more regular season games, it makes even more sense.  Instead of wasting 53 man roster spots on guys who only play on punt and kick coverage, you can carry more guys who actually play on offense or defense.  And a lot of injuries happen on punt and kick coverage plays.  

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During my work for the Edmunds Report, I replayed the 35 yard KR that set up the Titians last TD drive.  There was a blatant hold against Smith Jr. that was a carbon copy of his hold on the McKittrick KR TD that was called back. We got jobbed on holding calls in this game.  There were three on the Henry TD run, but no one cares about that now, it's been deemed a "great play".  :wallbash:

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15 hours ago, Solomon Grundy said:

The penalties are sickening  when they keep being called on the same person…cough Andre Smith

 

This was my biggest observation regarding penalties on punts. Andre Smith trying to get himself cut from the team.

 

Dont block in the back. Dont hold. Would rather have our returner tackled at the spot than lose another 10 yards.

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12 hours ago, Sheneneh Jenkins said:

Flagged for holding on the McK TD return but no flag on the 2 holds during D. Henry TD run. 

 

There were 3 holds, Poyer, Taron Johnson, and Tre'.

17 hours ago, dave mcbride said:

Yeah, it all probably averaged out to about the 25 at the end of the day. The first four didn't make the 25 and one was at the 10 because of a penalty.

 

Remember when they creamed the guy in KC on the KR, caused a fumble and recovered it?  They were trying to do that again.  It worked out until the last KR, which was helped by a non-call for a blatant hold on Smith, Jr.

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16 minutes ago, BuffaloRebound said:

I like it.  And if NFL keeps trying to add more regular season games, it makes even more sense.  Instead of wasting 53 man roster spots on guys who only play on punt and kick coverage, you can carry more guys who actually play on offense or defense.  And a lot of injuries happen on punt and kick coverage plays.  

If you eliminate punters, who would hold on FG's and EP's? 

Could the regular center snap on FG's and EP's?

With the ubiquity of shotgun, most Centers are proficient at a 7 yard snap, but is it fast and accurate enough for FG's and EP's. 

Taiwan Jones who is our "core" special teamer has played 108 snaps this year in 6 games. Reggie Gilliam has more at 136.

 

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My kid's highschool football team played without punts and kickoffs. Punts were 25 yards. Of course for pros it'd have to be more. Sure. you get used to it. But I much prefer how it is now.  You guys really want to take this out of the game? It's called FOOTball for a reason...

 

 

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