August 26, 2007

Florida State adjusting to new kickoff rules

How does Florida State special teams coordinator/defensive ends coach Jody Allen loathe the new rule that puts kickoffs at the 30-yard line? Let him count the ways.

"Jae Thaxton will not play football again because of the concussions occurred on the kickoff team," he said. "Ernie Sims had a concussion on a kickoff. He broke a guy's jaw on Gerogia Tech on a kickoff. Marcus Ball blew out his knee on a kickoff. I could go on and on."

The NCAA instituted a new rule this year, forcing teams to kick off from the 30-yard line, rather than the 35-yard line like they did last season. The change, the NCAA hopes, will lead to more kick returns and might speed up the game in some aspects. But many coaches feel the new rule will do more harm than good.

Allen has an ally in that argument in FSU head coach Bobby Bowden.

"How many plays can you think of where guys get 50 yards apart and run full speed at each other?" Bowden asked. "The other times, you're all in there pretty tight. I just hope we don't get a whole lot of guys hurt. Seems like every time we kick off, somebody gets hurt."

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