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Bill Belichick speaks out against kickoff changes; other coaches agree

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick watches as AFC players hold their first practice Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Honolulu, for Sunday’s NFL football Pro Bowl. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)


Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t always expansive with his comments to the media, but he’s not afraid to criticize proposed NFL rule changes that threaten to change the game he loves.

I don’t like idea of eliminating the kickoff from the game,” Belichick said via Mike Reiss of “It’s one of the most exciting plays in football.”

The proposed changes would move kickoffs to the 35-yard line, and allow touchbacks to be placed at the 25-yard line. Both changes would serve to limit the amount of kickoffs returned.

Belichick called the reasons behind the proposed changes to the rules “confusing.” Our friend Tom Curran of said Belichick spent time “skewering” the proposals. Belichick implied that the league isn’t making the change because of concussions.

“The presentation last night, I don’t know that it’s because of head injuries,” Belichick said. “The ones they showed, there weren’t very many of them. I don’t know, I think you should talk to the Competition Committee.”

Belichick isn’t the only coach that has a problem with the proposed changes. SI’s Don Banks wrote Monday that there may be widespread opposition from coaches.

“I should be for it, coaching in the same conference as Devin Hester,” one NFC coach told Banks. “Anything that limits the damage he could do I should probably be in favor of. But I’m not. It’s not a little change. It changes the game too much. It’s not a tweak. It’s a significant change.’'

The vote on the proposed change is expected Tuesday afternoon. Maybe ownership will schedule a golf tournament for the head coaches at the same time.