New kickoff rule would completely screw over Packers
Keisean Nixon helped turn the Green Bay Packers' special teams into a strength last season.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia brought Nixon with him to Green Bay from the Las Vegas Raiders, and it paid off.
Nixon led the NFL in kick return yards, earning first-team All-Pro honors. He didn't even have the kick return job all year, instead replacing Amari Rodgers midway through the regular season. Nixon's game-changing return ability helped turn the Packers' special teams unit around.
However, a proposed NFL rule threatens to hurt the Packers' big plays on special teams.
Packers shouldn't be happy about proposed kickoff rule change
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, there will be a vote this week on a potential kickoff rule change. Returners would be able to call fair catch anywhere behind the 25-yard line with the ball being placed at the 25.
For example, a returner could call for a fair catch on a kickoff fielded at the one-yard line, and they would automatically move to the 25.
This would take away some of the Packers' special teams advantage. In some cases, Nixon would be better off calling for a fair catch than attempting to return it.
Currently, if the ball drops short of the end zone, returners have no choice but to run it out and pick up as many yards as possible. With the rule change, there would be no need.
The risk of returning a kick would be greater. Unless they reach at least the 25-yard line, returning it would be the wrong choice over calling fair catch.
It may not make any difference for Nixon, as he seemingly returned everything last year, no matter how deep the kick was. But from a Packers' perspective, would they encourage Nixon to call more fair catches, knowing it would put them at the 25?
According to Pelissero, special teams coordinators around the league "unanimously oppose the change." Hopefully that means it will be voted down.
Nixon gives the Packers a major advantage on kickoffs. This rule could potentially ruin that.