KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Don't count Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid as a fan of a new rule the NFL is implementing.
Reporters asked Reid during OTAs about the new kickoff rule, which owners passed on Tuesday, and he was skeptical of it, worrying that the new rule is taking too many elements out of the game.
"Where does it stop?" Reid asked. “We’ll see how this goes. You don’t want to take too many pieces away or we’ll be playing flag football.”
“We’ll see how this goes. You don’t want to take too many pieces away or we’ll be playing flag football.” -Andy Reid when asked about the new kickoff rule— McKenzie Nelson (@McKenzieMNelson) May 24, 2023
Under the new kickoff rule, the ball will move to the 25-yard line if the receiving team calls a fair catch anywhere inside their 25-yard line. The rule will be used for a one-year trial basis next season to see how it fares.
The league says the new rule would help reduce concussions by 15%, according to league models.
“The kickoff play has the highest rate of concussion year after year," NFL Executive Vice President of Communications Jeff Miller told NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero Tuesday. "You can’t stand by and do nothing."
According to Sports Illustrated reporter Albert Breer, 19 players suffered concussions during the 2,700 NFL kickoffs executed last season, an increase over the past two years.
Every NFL special teams coordinator unanimously opposed the rule change.
The rule has also drawn the ire of former special teams players like media personality and former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro punter Pat McAfee, who called the rule "bush league" on his radio show.
COME ON ROGER..— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 23, 2023
This rule is BUSH LEAGUE #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/3oDLsAnCe9