Chicago Bears News: Matt Eberflus does not agree with masses about new kicking rule
Rule changes are being passed by the NFL right now and it was announced that a tweak is being made to kickoffs. The NFL owners voted to allow a player to fair catch the ball on kickoffs. Instead of receiving the ball where caught, the team will gain possession of the ball at the 25-yard line. There was an instant outcry on social media about how this new rule will all but eliminate kickoff returns. However, at his press conference today, Chicago Bears head coach, Matt Eberflus made it known he doesn't agree.
The new rule specifies that the player must fair catch the ball behind the team's 25-yard line in order for the ball to be placed at the 25. Also, the rule is only set to remain in place for one season. The NFL notes that safety is their main concern for the new rule. Apparently, the NCAAF did this a few years back and saw positive safety data. The NFL decided to follow in those footsteps -- at least on a trial basis.
How will the new NFL kickoff rule affect the Chicago Bears and league?
When asked about the new rule yesterday, Matt Eberflus did not agree with the masses from social media. Instead, he believes the exact opposite is likely to happen.
The Chicago Bears head coach goes into further details on why he believes this to be so. He had this to say:
""I think it will change tactically - what teams are gonna do. Because the rule is in now and there is nothing you can do about it. It will change. I think you will get more squib kicks, I think you get more drop kicks, more drive kicks - those types of things. And make guys return it. I suspect you'll see more returns than less.""- Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears Head Coach
Last year, the Chicago Bears were second in the league in kickoff return yard average. The Bears averaged 26.2 yards per return. I can understand why Matt Eberflus wants to see kickoffs continue. It was one of the things the team actually succeeded in consistently in 2022.