Blog Entry

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

Posted on: August 13, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 10:09 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

You've certainly heard about the NFL's new rule on kickoffs: they're happening from the 35-yard-line now. Not the 30.

Maybe the Chicago Bears missed the memo?

Because they spent their first preseason game on Saturday night (as you can see from the photo to your right) kicking off from the 30-yard-line.

Per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, the press box official at Soldier Field has been screaming at the Bears -- "They cannot kickoff from the 30!" -- in vain. (It's very far away from the field, as you might guess.)

For whatever reason, Chicago's simply refusing to kick from the 35-yard-line.

"The team is simply evaluating our kickoff coverage unit," a Bears spokesman told

So then it's not anything to do with the fac that three teams truly got hosed by the NFL's decision to change things up: the Bears, the Seahawks and the Browns. The latter two recently extended return specialists (Leon Washington and Josh Cribbs, respectively) and the Bears rely on Devin Hester to be a gamechanger on special teams.

That's good. Although Mike Pereira, former VP of Officiating at the NFL, tweeted that "Carl Johnson called and put a stop to it." So clearly someone at the NFL wasn't too thrilled that the Bears were using the preseason to practice kickoff coverage by sacrificing safety.

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Since: Aug 7, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:59 pm

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

If the rule change is supposed to result in more touchbacks, then I don't like the rule change. What's the use of even kicking off then? Why not begin each possession after a score on the 20 yard line? I believe in player safety, and if the statistics are accurate that more players are injured during kick-offs, we might come to that. I'm conflicted. On the one hand, it would be a shame to lose the excitement of a run back. On the other, players do get injured. What do you guys think?

Since: Jun 26, 2009
Posted on: August 14, 2011 11:23 am

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

I dont like the rule much either, but as far as the Bears go, the only way this will hurt them is if the ball gets kicked out of the endzone. If Hester is that good, and he IS that good, than what is 5 yards going to do? Just take it out of the endzone and get an even longer TD.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: August 13, 2011 10:46 pm

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

and if the officials don't let them anymore just take a 5 yard offside penalty each KO and they can do it leagally!

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: August 13, 2011 10:41 pm

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

I don't care for the Bears, but I really like this.  The Bears truly get hosed by this rule, so it's a good method of protesting it.  I hope they continue to do it.

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