D’wayne Eskridge and new Kickoff rules

seabowl

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Just looking at the new kickoff rule, it’s apparent that the kick returner is going to be an important position once again. I would think Seattle likely has penciled Eskridge in for this role and in my opinion, he could play an important part as long as he stays healthy. Yes I know “healthy”
 

WmHBonney

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Since the rules committee felt compelled to change the version which was submitted by the Special Teams coordinators/coaches, I think this will be a "fail" when it comes to actual returns. The original version submitted would give the receiving team the ball at their 35 yd line if the kicking team just booted it out of the endzone. That would incentivize the kicking team to put the ball in play in the "landing zone". The fools on the rules committee changed that because they could. I suppose they had to let everyone know that they are in charge. Now, in the event of a touchback, the receiving team starts five yards back, on their 30. I think that most teams will just boot the ball out of the endzone now instead of risking a good return. It may not sound like much of a difference, (5 yards) but I think their goal of increasing the actual number of kickoff returns is kaput.
 
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seabowl

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Since the rules committee felt compelled to change the version which was submitted by the Special Teams coordinators/coaches, I think this will be a "fail" when it comes to actual returns. The original version submitted would give the receiving team the ball at their 35 yd line if the kicking team just booted it out of the endzone. That would incentivize the kicking team to put the ball in play in the "landing zone". The fools on the rules committee changed that because they could. I suppose they had to let everyone know that they are in charge. Now, in the event of a touchback, the receiving team starts five yards back, on their 30. I think that most teams will just boot the ball out of the endzone now instead of risking a good return. It may not sound like much of a difference, (5 yards) but I think their goal of increasing the actual number of kickoff returns is kaput.
I don’t agree. I think you are going to see many kick offs actually returned with these rules.
 

xray

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No player in the NFL , regardless of net worth ; should ever have to submit his/herself to be physically or mentally damaged .
 

jammerhawk

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Just looking at the new kickoff rule, it’s apparent that the kick returner is going to be an important position once again. I would think Seattle likely has penciled Eskridge in for this role and in my opinion, he could play an important part as long as he stays healthy. Yes I know “healthy”
Thing is he never has stayed healthy, so living in hope that we will ever see value from this player who was drafted in the 2nd rd. seems fanciful.

i sound like a hater but I’m just being a realist, he’s certainly never remotely justified his draft position. The only reason he’s here is he was drafted early and has significant potential ‘if healthy’. Sadly he’s never been able to he healthy. his whole career has been on IR save for a game here or there and after three years truly is unlikely to change much.

The new kickoff rules could give him a shot at some success but the first hard tackle will end that from happening. He has been a draft pick who has never played much and who seemingly was significantly overdrafted.
 
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Maelstrom787

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Since the rules committee felt compelled to change the version which was submitted by the Special Teams coordinators/coaches, I think this will be a "fail" when it comes to actual returns. The original version submitted would give the receiving team the ball at their 35 yd line if the kicking team just booted it out of the endzone. That would incentivize the kicking team to put the ball in play in the "landing zone". The fools on the rules committee changed that because they could. I suppose they had to let everyone know that they are in charge. Now, in the event of a touchback, the receiving team starts five yards back, on their 30. I think that most teams will just boot the ball out of the endzone now instead of risking a good return. It may not sound like much of a difference, (5 yards) but I think their goal of increasing the actual number of kickoff returns is kaput.
This has already, in essence, been tested in the XFL. The XFL averaged almost 9 return attempts per game while the NFL averaged 2.2. The XFL average return was 21.3 yards vs. the NFLs 23.0.

No one, and I do mean no one, is going to give up almost 9 yards per drive on average just to prevent the very unlikely possibility of a return touchdown, or even a long return.

There are going to be more returns. There's absolutely no question about it. There is no incentive to booting it out of the endzone anymore. At all.
 

AgentDib

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The other thing to remember is the human factor, as booting the ball through the endzone is now taking a loss on every play.

Even if that is the best strategy in the big picture, the special teams coordinator is being employed to add value and the kickoff is a huge part of the job description. Management will look at other teams successfully kicking into the landing zone, ask why that can't be achieved at their team, and consider whether they need a better special teams coordinator.
 

DarkVictory23

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It gets a lot worse than a solid top-10 yards per return, to be fair.
He was one of the better returners in the league (both punt and kickoff), I don't know why those posts pop up about him all the time.

He was solid and dependable, but it seems lots of fans would rather trade that away for one kickoff return TD with a negative -1-yard average for every other return attempt--the highlight play is what people remember.
 

Rat

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He was one of the better returners in the league (both punt and kickoff), I don't know why those posts pop up about him all the time.

He was solid and dependable, but it seems lots of fans would rather trade that away for one kickoff return TD with a negative -1-yard average for every other return attempt--the highlight play is what people remember.
Well, there's a reason Barry Sanders was more highly-regarded than Jerome Bettis.
 

GeekHawk

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DeeJay Dallas may have been top-10 in yards per return, but they were of the 'catch it on the 5 and return it to the 20' variety. Not a lot help there, TBH.

edit - Also, I didn't say that Eskridge would be better, just that our return game would be better with not-DeeJay-Dallas. I don't know why Pete held onto Dallas for so long, really. Maybe Eskridge muffs catches or something? In which case I'm confident he won't be back there either.
 

Scout

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Return specialists that are dependable are just as the same as RBs that average 4.0 YPC. But return specialists that are capable of flipping field position are far more valuable and help increase the a teams chance of winning.

With the new rules it could go either way but I suspect that teams will opt to take the easiest path forward.
 

SoulfishHawk

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Hard to say, clearly this is his last shot. He's a Hawk, I hope he surprises all of us. Would be nice to get something out of him. It's not like he doesn't have skills, just has never been able to stay healthy. If he doesn't produce, they'll dump him. I'd rather be wrong about a guy if he's producing than be right about him doing squat.
I want the team to win, couldn't care less if I'm "right" about a guy if it means he sucks. I'm probably in the massive minority, I don't think he sucks at all. Just hasn't had his shot. Let's see what the guy can do. IF he produces, bonus.
 

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