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The Lounge>NFL will crowdsource ideas to change the punt
Stinger 10:08 AM 12-05-2018
The NFL wants to implement changes to the punt after making plenty of changes to the kickoff

by Sean Wagner-McGough @seanjwagner

It's not just kickoffs that are in a period of change in today's NFL. After enacting a number of rule changes in recent years to make the kickoff safer, the NFL will now focus on the punt as it aims to decrease injuries and penalties, league officials told ESPN on Tuesday. Changes could be coming as soon as next season.

According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, the league will "crowdsource ideas from the analytics community" as "part of the 1st and Future project, an innovation competition that culminates in a Feb. 2 presentation in Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII." However, the league did not promise to use any of the ideas brought to them.

So why is the NFL planning on changing the punt? NFL executive vice president of health and safety initiatives Jeff Miller said that punts cause twice as many concussions than normal plays. Meanwhile, penalties most frequently occur during punts, Seifert reported, which is easy to believe after seeing holding and illegal-block-in-the-back penalties get flagged on what seems like every other punt -- if not more.

"We know our fans are not big fans of every play ending in a penalty, and that's one thing we definitely want to look at," Rich McKay, the head of the competition committee, said.

None of this should come as a huge surprise after all of the rules we've seen the NFL modify in an attempt to make the kickoff less dangerous. The NFL decreased the number of kickoff returns by moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line in addition to moving the touchback from the 20 to the 25-yard line. More recently, they eliminated wedge blocking techniques by the return team and running starts for the kicking team.

Punts appear to be the NFL's next target. While complaints will undoubtedly be made whenever the NFL does make changes to the punt, it's easy to understand why the NFL is trying to make a special teams play safer and less likely to end in a penalty. Hopefully, the changes won't prohibit the Devin Hesters and Johnny Hekkers of the NFL from making the kind of plays that can make the punt exciting, but even if that happens and the end result is a safer sport, it'll be tough to criticize the league for doing so.

Many critics have bemoaned the changes made to the kickoff in recent years, but those changes have hardly impacted the quality of football in today's NFL while the league says injuries have been reduced to the point where the kickoff won't have to be eliminated entirely, which was mentioned as a possible outcome as recently as March. Next up? The punt.
The Franchise 02:56 PM 12-05-2018
Originally Posted by Fish:
For punts, all players on the field must wear inflatable bubble outfits...

BWillie 03:41 PM 12-05-2018
Stop roughing the punter penalties unless a defender makes no play at the ball. I think its ridiculous if you tip the ball you can crunch the punter but if you baaaaarely miss and the punter falls on you....FIRST DOWN! Its infuriating
Stinger 03:48 PM 12-05-2018
Originally Posted by NinerDoug:
So, any ideas about the specifics?
Only thing I could find right now:

The NFL Competition Committee is aiming to make some changes to the punt play this offseason and is crowdsourcing the creative process, Falcons president Rich McKay told reporters Tuesday.

"This is a play we think is ready and ripe to be modernized," McKay, the chairman of the competition committee, said during a conference call with reporters, per The Washington Post.

McKay said, per The Post, that the competition committee will consider changes both from player-safety and competitive standpoints

McKay's comments came in conjunction with the announcement of "1st and Future", a competition held during Super Bowl week designed to "spur innovation in athlete safety and performance." The event will be hosted at Georgia Tech on Feb. 2.

One of the categories of competition is entitled "NFL Punt Analytics Competition". Appliciants to the competition will be given exclusive NFL data sets to inform submissions about possible rule changes designed to "reduce player injury during punt plays." The creators of the winning submissions will be awarded $20,000 each.

"Leveraging available data to analyze the game is an increasingly essential way to improve our rules and look to make the game safer," NFL executive vice president of health and safety initiatives Jeff Miller explained in a press release. "This is a groundbreaking new effort to ask the public to analyze our rules and make recommendations. We are excited to tap into the innovative thinking of data scientists and entrepreneurs."

McKay said, per The Post, the league will take any suggestions made from the competition in consideration this offseason as the committee looks to change how the punt play is orchestrated and officiated.

This crowdsourced initiative comes less than a year after the league changed rules related to the kickoff in order to limit full-speed collisions. Among the changes were the elimination of a five-yard running start and the wedge block.
Dayze 03:53 PM 12-05-2018
bowener 03:57 PM 12-05-2018
Originally Posted by Pitt Gorilla:
Not sure the QB would have the room to punt. How deep are you lining him up?
That's for every team to figure out and orchestrate. I'm really starting to dig my idea. Think about a jet sweep or reverse. PM pitches to Tyreek on a Jet sweep, which already puts Reek pretty far behind the line. If he sees there isn't a chance to make the corner then he pooch punts it to the best of his ability. More than likely the safeties will have come up to stop the run so the ball hopefully rolls for a bit.

Better yet, have some shit head like Taysom Hill and run a reverse to him. Now you've got a guy that can run, throw, or boot it. He might be the best example of the player you could replace a punter with, actually. Punts may not be big booming beautiful things anymore, but the play design around the new system would be a lot of fun to see in the game.


The opposite of this could also be implemented if the NFL decides that punts will essentially become a skill play and do something lame like all Punts will not be returnable but if the ball stops in the field of play it is moved 10 yards further down filed automatically. If the ball is punted out of bounds the ball is placed where it went out. This would encourage coffin corner kicks so at least the position would still require some skill. We would also get to see some stupidly long punts to flip field position.
Rain Man 04:54 PM 12-05-2018
The problems to solve are that blocking causes a lot of penalties, and downfield collisions between blockers and defenders cause more concussions. So the solution is simple: do away with blockers.

Suggestion #10 - All players on the kicking team must punt, so 11 balls are punted simultaneously. The receiving team must field all balls and return them. The line of scrimmage is where the shortest return ended, including spots for balls that went out bounds. However, five yards are added for every returner who ran their ball into the end zone, and five yards are added for every ball that went out of bounds. If any balls are fumbled and recovered by the kicking team, ten yards are subtracted. For every returner who carries two or more balls into the end zone, ten yards are added instead of five.
stevieray 05:26 PM 12-05-2018
Prolly should just eliminate the forward pass, so WR's don't have to sustain contact.

Goodell is the worst thing to ever happen to the NFL.
HemiEd 05:55 PM 12-05-2018
Originally Posted by stevieray:
Prolly should just eliminate the forward pass, so WR's don't have to sustain contact.

Goodell is the worst thing to ever happen to the NFL.
I could not agree with you more.
kccrow 10:23 PM 12-05-2018
My opinion:

*Neither team may have more than two men, in the aggregate, more than 1 yard outside of the end men and those players must be on the LOS.
-Note: This uses current terminology (end man) and basically limits the punt team from having more than 2 gunners split wide and also limits the return team from having more than one blocker on a gunner.
*Neither team may have more than 4 players off the LOS and only 1 of those players may be more than 5 yards off (beyond for return/behind for punting)the LOS.
-Note: This encourages use of the college-style shield blocking formation, or a similar adaptation, and reduces the number of players with running head starts, including the distance to which they may get a head start. Basically, the only players that can be more than 5 yards off the LOS is the Punter and the Returner.
*The current rule that no ineligible receivers may advance beyond the LOS prior to the ball being kicked remains intact.

Overall, should see a punt formation similar to this...




mr. tegu 12:47 AM 12-06-2018
I assume that itís the longer punts that lead to the most issues. So to counter that on the punt the receiving team has two returners. One of them is placed at a line that is say 40 - 50 yards from the line of scrimmage. This returner cannot go backwards to get the ball but has basically all of the options of a regular returner now such as fair catch or trying to return it.

Behind him is the second returner. This player cannot return the ball but can make a fair catch or let it bounce. That way he still has the option of catching it at the 10 yard line or hoping it bounces to the end zone with the kicking team still getting their chance to make a play to down it inside the 10 yard line.

So if a team is punting from their own 30 yard line, the first returner stands at his own 30 yard line but cannot go backwards at all and can return the kick as normal, call a fair catch, or let it bounce as long as it lands in front of him. The second returner has only the option of making a fair catch or letting it bounce but he can run wherever he wants to catch it, including into the other returnerís area.

You still have a chance for a big play from either side but you eliminate the amount of collisions that occur.
Chargem 01:31 AM 12-06-2018
I've fixed this:

Have two Xboxes, one on each side line and then switch over to Madden for the punt play only. The real ball would be placed at the same yard line where the Madden play ended.

You would then expand the rosters to 54 so you can carry a Madden specialist who is fully subject to the CBA.
BigRedChief 07:55 AM 12-06-2018
You can chose to either move the ball forward 40 yards or at the 20 yard line if not enough room to move it 40 yards.

If you chose to return the punt and don't make it past that 40 yard line you were given or the 20 yard line, you have to take the ball at the 2 yard line.

In practice, its a football version of baseballs intentional walk.
King_Chief_Fan 08:05 AM 12-06-2018
Eliminate punt.
notorious 08:06 AM 12-06-2018
Don’t mess with it. It’s one of the most exciting, game-swaying plays in football.
ottawa_chiefs_fan 11:56 AM 12-06-2018
Originally Posted by notorious:
Donít mess with it. Itís one of the most exciting, brain-swaying plays in football.
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