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NFL Notes: Kickoffs, Cam Robinson, Jaylon Smith, & Packers

Kickoffs

NFL Vice President Dean Blandino sent out a memo prior to the call asking special teams coordinators for suggestions on how to make kickoffs safer.

The focus primarily revolved around reducing high-speed, violent collisions in addition to improved education and proper technique.

The ideas for rule changes included:

  • Starting the kickoff team from a stationary position at the 35-yard line with no run-up.
  • Mandating eight players on the return team line up a set distance closer to the ball, such as in front of their own 40- or 35-yard line.
  • Outlawing all wedges.
  • Outlawing “attack” blocks.
  • Treating balls like punts if they hit the ground beyond the return team’s 40-yard line, so they could be downed by the kicking team, not recovered as live balls.
  • Eliminating the “K” ball.

Some coaches also raised the need to enforce existing rules on illegal blindside blocks on kickoffs, and Blandino said that will be a point of emphasis this season.

Cam Robinson

District Attorney Jerry Jones confirmed that the charges against Alabama OT Cam Robinson and S Hootie Jones have been dropped, offering a strange explanation.

I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years, working and sweating, while we were all in the air conditioning,” Jones said, via KNOE 8 News.

Jaylon Smith

  • Todd Archer believes Cowboys rookie LB Jaylon Smith opens training camp on the non-football injury list, rather than the PUP list.

Packers

Packers HC Mike McCarthy tries to shy away from praising players in the media, due to the expectations that come with praising someone so early in offseason workouts.

However, McCarthy still had plenty of good things to say about WR Jared Abbrederis.

I think Jared’s had his best offseason,” McCarthy said, via ESPN.com. “I think his route running is exemplary for a young guy. His ability to recognize coverages, and his time clock, his breaking points, his ability to drop his weight — just all the specifics and details and techniques of route running, I think he’s exceptional.

“He just needs to continue to work on getting stronger. He plays the position technically and fundamentally at a very high level.”

Earlier in the day, Rob Demovsky kept Abbrederis off of his 53-man roster projection, but admitted that he’s in the mix for a roster spot. (NFLTR)