Last week, the NFL made a big rule change that made it possible for teams to call fair catch on a kickoff and automatically take the ball at the 25-yard line as a touchback. But Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll does not seem to think it’s going to change much.
This week, Pete Carroll – who was against the rule change – made it clear that he does not think the new rules will lead to a big change as he thinks most teams are going to want to bring the ball out anyway. This includes the Seahawks, who he says will be “very aggressive” on kickoffs.
“We’re going to compete with it,” Carroll told reporters on Thursday according to Pro Football Talk. “We’re going to use it to our advantage. We’re pretty good in those areas. We like to think we’re a good return team and we can make things happen. It’ll depend. I think you’ll see an effect during the course of the season as the weather changes and stuff like that. I don’t think it’s going to be that dramatic a change. I think teams are going to want to compete and want to bring the ball out. That’s really all it is, if you’re going to take it to the 25 or not. We’ll compete with it, and see how we look, and see if our core group can continue to give us good work like we’ve always counted on. I’m not thinking we’re taking a knee on everything now. We’re going to be very aggressive about it.”
It will certainly be interesting to see whether or not Carroll is correct in his prediction, because automatically started a drive at the 25-yard line could be pretty enticing for many teams.