Is there any question that the NFL has juiced up the K ball this year? Look at how deep in the end zone kicks are traveling this year. They are consistently 7-8 yards deep. I know the NFL has spoken out on how dangerous they feel kick offs are, I guess they found a way to neutralize them without having to change the rules.
Do the Kickers have access to the balls before the Kickoff? IIRC, they used to and then the K balls were kept locked up. Kickers used to do all sorts of things to the balls (rub them down, microwave them, etc.).
I also remember Westhoff saying the shorter kickoffs were a strategy to try to get people down inside the 20 or force a fumble.
This. Every NFL caliber kicker has always been able to kick the ball 2-3 into the endzone on a kickoff from the 30. The problem was that some of them would need to kick a line drive in order to do so, not giving the coverage team enough time to get downfield. Last year, a few teams (led by Westhoff and the Jets) were experimenting with kicking the ball off high and short, and trying to make the tackle before the 20. Early this season, it seems like teams have abandoned that experiment, and are simply ordering kickers to boot it through the back of the endzone, which most of them can do when kicking off from the 35 and not having to worry about a too low kick resulting in a big return. Even a guy like Folk can kick it deep enough to discourage a return most of the time.
The NFL may have eliminated the KO return but the Jets have eliminated the punt return..
You know it seemed strange but the logic behind it was there. They had a rookie punter who they thought they could get after and get off his game. In addition to that we had a back up return man in the rain who wasnt getting any return yards anyway.
They basically took the chance of a negative play out of the question and turned it into a possible positive. In the end we didnt lose or gain anything.
Just because its uncommon doesnt mean it was a bad idea.