Bill Belichick agrees with thoughts of John Harbaugh, Andy Reid on kickoff changes
The rarely chatty (except when asked about some obscure aspect of football history) Bill Belichick was not very chatty about the recent changes to the kickoff rule.
Still, in the limited words Belichick uttered, his point was clear.
Asked by reporters on Wednesday about the adoption of the college fair catch rule, which gives the receiving team possession at the 25 for any fair catch between the goal line and the field of play, Belichick said this: “We’ll see about all that. I know Coach [John] Harbaugh was pretty involved in that, Coach [Andy] Reid. I think they voiced some comments on it. I probably agree with the things they said.”
Last week, Harbaugh said this: “We thought there were better ideas. . . . The fair catch rule, we had a chance to weigh in on that with all the special teams coaches. We had a long talk and discussion about that. We weren’t for it. We voted against it. We think it’s going to create more high-speed head trauma than not having it in there. That’s our position on it. But we’ll see. They want to give it a shot and take a look at it.”
Said Reid: “I don’t know. We’ll have to go through all that. My thing is, ‘Where does it stop?’ Right? . . . So you start taking pieces [away] — and we’ll see how this goes — but you don’t want to take too many pieces away. You’ll be playing flag football.”
Belichick then was asked about his past comments about keeping the “foot” in “football.” And he gave a characteristic Belichickian response: “I can’t ever remember saying that. . . . I don’t even know what that means, but whatever.”
Given clarification and asked for his thoughts, Belichick said he was only concerned about having a good day at practice and “all the rest of it doesn’t really matter what I think.”
That’s Bill Belichick. He says what he wants, when he wants. And he doesn’t say what he doesn’t want to say.
But his point is clear. He agrees with experienced and influential voices who believe the NFL has made a mistake.