Bill Belichick: The NFL Wants to Eliminate Kickoffs Altogether

After only one week of preseason games, a ton is already being made about the new NFL kickoff rule.  It is no secret that the rule change was put into effect to protect players and increase the amount of touchbacks.  An increased number of touchbacks means a decrease in high speed collisions.  There is one way the NFL could eliminate kick returns altogether, and that would be to eliminate kickoffs.  According to Bill Belichick, that is the direction the league hopes to head in.

According to Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com, Belichick hinted on Monday that the NFL intends to eliminate kickoffs altogether.  When pressed further, the Patriots coach basically said it was a fact and not his opinion.

“That’s what they told us,” he said hastily. “I’m not speaking for anyone else. That’s what they told us, that they want to eliminate the play.”

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Tony Romo Played Hide-and-Seek at his Alchohol-Free Bachelor Party

There may be no quarterback in the NFL who appreciates good, clean fun more than Tony Romo.  Remember last summer?  You know, when Romo did up Six Flags with his brother-in-law and was spotted having a blast in the front row of a speedy roller coaster?  It should come as no surprise that the same guy also claims to have enjoyed an alcohol-free bachelor party prior to marrying Candice Crawford.  In fact, Romo and his boys even went big and put together a game of hide-and-seek.

Romo told Yahoo! Sports, via People,  that he and about 15 friends took a beerless trip to a cabin in West Virginia.  It was anything but your typical bachelor party.

“I didn’t feel like going out drinking that night,” Romo explained. “We tried to come up with a game, but when you’re with 14-15 guys, there aren’t a lot of non-drinking games at that age you can do.

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Rex Ryan Freaks Out, Rips Shirt During Preseason Game Against Texans (Video)

Mark Sanchez may want to think twice about fighting his coach if Rex Ryan is capable of getting this fired up during a preseason game.  The Jets lost a tough one in Houston Monday night, sending their fan base into a panic.  No one likes to lose game one of the preseason.  That can only mean bad things are on the horizon.  All joking aside, I would probably like that Rex is this worked up over a preseason game if I were a Jets fan.  Check out the video of Rex Ryan ripping his shirt during a preseason game, courtesy of Cosby Sweaters via SI Hot Clicks:

Don’t let the tattoo fool you, this guy means business.  If you have already guaranteed your team will win the Super Bowl this season, it’s best to start caring early.  Rex has no choice but to rip shirts and spike headsets during the preseason.  It’s either that or lose again in the AFC Championship game.

Desmond Bishop Not Allowed in White House Because of Misplaced ID

One of the most exciting aspects of winning a championship in America is the trip to the White House to meet the president.  Once the buzz wears off and the celebrating is over, a visit to the White House is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for players to look forward to.  You would certainly hate to miss it over something stupid, but unfortunately that does happen.  Just ask Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop.

Bishop made the trip with his teammates to Washington, D.C. on Friday but never got to meet Barack Obama.  When the team arrived at the White House, security began checking IDs as part of standard procedure.  That’s when Bishop realized he must have left his on the team bus.

“It was pretty disappointing,” Bishop said. ”I think it was a historic time, something you can tell your kids or your grandkids one day. To have missed that opportunity, it definitely stung a little bit. But, spilled milk. Just keep fighting and hopefully we’ll do the same next year.”

Bishop said that no one could pull any strings for him, unfortunately.

“Man, I think it happened so fast,” Bishop said. ”As soon as we got there, they were checking IDs, just on the move. There’s like five buses so I didn’t know which one the coaches were in.”

That could happen — and probably has happened — to all of us.  It’s amazing how much stock is put into a small card with your face on it, isn’t it?  If nothing else, the Packers now have a linebacker who quite possibly wants to win a Super Bowl this season more than anyone else in the league.

Mark Sanchez on Being Benched by Rex Ryan: ‘I Wanted to Fight Him’

Rex Ryan isn’t happy unless he is ruffling feathers.  As we told you before, it is almost embarrassing how much he wants the league to hate his Jets.  As for his own guys, Rex is known as a player’s coach.  He rarely singles anyone out and most players love playing under him.  That is one of the reasons it was so surprising to see Ryan call out Mark Sanchez last season and say he was open to benching him.

Sanchez’s recent interview with GQ Magazine gives us an idea of how much that situation truly pissed him off.  When asked about Ryan giving Mark Brunell extra reps in practice late last season, Sanchez responded: “I wanted to fight him. I was really mad.”

The Jets quarterback then outlined what happened during practice when he pushed Brunell out of the way because Ryan hadn’t informed him he would be giving the backup quarterback some extra work.  It may help explain why he wiped a booger on Brunell while standing on the sidelines.

“I was like, ‘(Rex) can come tell me,’” Sanchez says. “And (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) is like, ‘Come on, man. Don’t do that.’”

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Bears Refuse to Follow New Kickoff Rule, NFL Cracks Down During Game

Any time there is a rule change there is bound to be opposition.  When the NFL decided to move kickoffs back to the 35 yard line, six teams were unhappy with the decision.  One of the six, the Chicago Bears, decided to do something about it during their first preseason game on Saturday.  Rather than adhering to the new rule, Chicago lined up and kicked the ball from the 30 yard line as if nothing had changed.

As Mike Pereira shared with us on Twitter, via Shutdown Corner, the Bears got away with kicking off from the 30 twice without officials noticing.  After the second time, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, Carl Johnson, called Soldier Field and made the officials aware of what was going on.  The Bears were then forced to kick from the 35.  Lovie Smith told the Chicago Sun-Times that his team’s decision to kick from the 30 was not a mistake.

“[Bears kicker]Robbie Gould … we can put it on the 35 and he can kick it out each time,” he said. ”We’re not really getting a good evaluation of what we can do coverage-wise on some of our players. That’s what we were trying to do with it.”

A lot of the players who are on the NFL bubble gain recognition on special teams during the preseason, so Smith has a point in that sense.  If there’s a touchback on every kickoff, guys are not getting a chance to showcase their abilities and state their case.  That being said, the rule was passed for player safety, which the league takes very seriously.  Lovie made his point but should not be surprised if the league makes theirs by penalizing the team.

Jason Garrett Doesn’t Want Dallas Cowboys Hazing Rookies

Jason Garrett is changing policy with the Dallas Cowboys when it comes to hazing rookies. “The young guys are part of our team,” Garrett said Sunday, “and they certainly need to get themselves acclimated in a lot of different ways, and our veteran players are in charge of welcoming them to the NFL in a very positive way.”

“There’s not going to be anything demeaning in any way that a rookie has to do. We don’t believe in that.”

Garrett said this was not a response to the Dez Bryant pad-carrying incident that received so much attention last season. He said this is what the staff believes in.

Garrett’s decision is a clear departure from the previous regime. Even though he was the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys since 2007, it was not up to him to issue team-wide policies — that was Wade Phillips’ job. Phillips was known as a players’ coach so it’s no surprise he let them do their thing when it came to hazing.

Even though we enjoy posting goofy haircuts rookies receive from hazing, I respect Jason Garrett’s policy. Rookies are part of the team and the veterans should do their best to make them feel that way.