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  1. #1
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    The NFL may or may not want to change this rule

    Actually, they need to put in a rule. This "icing the kicker" thing is so completely absurd, and so maddening. It's like an ego trip for the coaches: 'ooh, that (fill in coach's name here) is such a cutting edge strategist, isn't he just so on top of not just the physical but every psychological aspect of this complex game we call football . . . Wow!!"

    It's such nonsense. No professional kicker is going to be "iced." First of all, in most end-of-game situations, the kick is the climax of some sort of drive; the kicker has been warming up with his kicking net for a couple of minutes anyway. He knows the big moment is approaching. In addition to that, by this point, in any end-of-game situation they're now expecting the opposing coach to call a timeout as the play clock is running down. They don't care if they have to wait another 60 seconds or whatever it is. In fact, it probably helps them to relax more. The first kick, the one the coach tries to call his little timeout juuuuuust before the ball is snapped --as if the effectiveness of the icing depends on getting the timeout at 1 second left as opposed to 3 -- the kicker is probably completely relaxed for that first kick because he knows it's unlikely to count. So what, is he going to then get so freaked out that his first kick didn't count that he'll be unable to perform a second time what he just performed a minute ago? Silly.

    All this thing does is stroke the egos of the coaches and disrupt the natural flow of the game, as well as screw with the emotions of the fans. If there are any stats that showed this "tactic" was in any way effective, I'd like to see them. In their absence, I'd like to see a rule instituted that says the defense cannot call a timeout on a kicking play if there are less than ten seconds left on the play clock. Done.

  2. #2
    I agree that it's become silly, but you can't institute that rule. It only works if there's an element of surprise to it. If coaches stopped doing it for a couple seasons, then suddenly did it, it might work once or twice until teams caught on, kind of like the option.

    However, what if a defender saw something that made him think a fake was coming that they weren't ready for? Or somebody realized they had 12, or 10, guys on the field.

    I think a genius play would be for a coach to tell his team "okay, we're going to kick... unless they call timeout. Then we're gonna run this fake." Without a huddle and fanfare, the defense wouldn't be expecting it at all. Again, it would only work once or twice, but I bet it would come off spectacularly the first time.

    I miss the days of the QB holder. Imagine if RGIII were the holder. Team calls timeout to ice the kicker on a 4th and 1 from the 35 with 45 seconds left. The team comes back out and after lining up, audibles into a regular formation to go for it, the kicker out wide as a receiver. If the defense calls timeout, 15 yard penalty and automatic 1st down. If they don't, then I guarantee they're not ready for anything the Redskins run. That would end the icing calls pretty fast.
    Last edited by bjornolf; 10-01-2012 at 06:40 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    If there are any stats that showed this "tactic" was in any way effective, I'd like to see them. In their absence, I'd like to see a rule instituted that says the defense cannot call a timeout on a kicking play if there are less than ten seconds left on the play clock. Done.
    Just the opposite. The stats seem to support that it makes no difference:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...g.z/index.html

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post

    If there are any stats that showed this "tactic" was in any way effective, I'd like to see them.
    I have no stats, but I know I've seen several instances in which a team lines up for a long FG attempt at the end of a half or the end of regulation and the kick either misses or is blocked......but then an official runs in and says the opposing coach called timeout just before the snap, giving the kicker a second chance which, of course, he hits.

    I played basketball in high school and I always liked it whenever the opposing coach would call a timeout before I shot free throws. It gave me a chance to catch my breath and let the adrenaline taper off just a bit, which helped me to relax and focus.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    I have no stats, but I know I've seen several instances in which a team lines up for a long FG attempt at the end of a half or the end of regulation and the kick either misses or is blocked......but then an official runs in and says the opposing coach called timeout just before the snap, giving the kicker a second chance which, of course, he hits.
    Texas A&M did this to Florida in the first half earlier this year. Florida hit the second one and ended up winning the game by three points.

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  6. #6
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    Yeah -- I am not sure you can do much to change the rule. There were folks (no one of consequence, just national sports radio types) advocating outlawing the "kneel down" after the Schiano incident. But how would you do it? And how would you prevent a coach from calling that time out when there are potentially justifiable reasons to do it?

    A lot of the rule changes in the NFL and college recently have had huge unintended consequences, and for the most part -- well enough should be left alone. Take the new college kickoff rules this year which were meant to reduce the number of actual returns. The kickoff was moved to the 35, to allow the kicking team to put it in the end zone, and touchbacks were moved to the 25, giving the receiving team incentive to take the touchback.

    What's happening is that the better kickers are able to drop the ball right at the goal line, forcing a run-back, or at least a decision, from the returner. And because the defense is coming from the 35 instead of the 30, they are on the returner a lot faster, and I've seen many more violent hits this year. I'll be interested to see if the touchback rate is actually higher than last year. I imagine it will be to an extent, but there have definitely been some unintended consequences where teams have the kicker that can drop it in on the goal line -- which is easier to do 5 yards closer in.

    Another rule is the "completion of the catch" rule in the NFL, which has baffled common sense sometimes, even when interpreted correctly.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Yeah -- I am not sure you can do much to change the rule. There were folks (no one of consequence, just national sports radio types) advocating outlawing the "kneel down" after the Schiano incident. But how would you do it? And how would you prevent a coach from calling that time out when there are potentially justifiable reasons to do it?
    I believe that it was Jerry "G. Hole" Jones himself who called for the outlawing of the kneel down and sparked the discussion by the radio types. In the NFL, I wouldn't exactly call him a person of no consequence, though I agree it won't change. One radio type pointed out that in the last two minutes, if the offense loses yards, the clock stops in arena football (I think it was arena), thus forcing them to run real plays in the endgame scenarios. Again, I don't think it will change any time soon, but when you're less than a score down in field goal range if you get the ball, I can't blame Schiano for not having his players stop playing just because their opponents did. I may not know a heck of a lot, but I DO remember that the play ain't over 'til the whistle, and the game ain't over 'til the final gun.
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  8. #8

    last night

    Was this post prompted by last night's Giants-Eagles game?

    Giants line up for the game-winning kick ... the kicker flubs it badly. The Eagle fans celebrate ... but, wait, Andy Reid has called timeout before the kick (actually the replay seemed to show that he was a bit late). No matter, he gives the Giants' kicker another chance ... he misses this one too, but it is MUCH closer (in fact it was right down the middle, just a yard or two short).

    I agree that as a tactic, the idea has outlived its usefulness ... but I don't see a fair way to legislate against it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Was this post prompted by last night's Giants-Eagles game?

    Giants line up for the game-winning kick ... the kicker flubs it badly. The Eagle fans celebrate ... but, wait, Andy Reid has called timeout before the kick (actually the replay seemed to show that he was a bit late). No matter, he gives the Giants' kicker another chance ... he misses this one too, but it is MUCH closer (in fact it was right down the middle, just a yard or two short).

    I agree that as a tactic, the idea has outlived its usefulness ... but I don't see a fair way to legislate against it.
    I guess you could say my starting this thread was prompted by last night's game, though this is an issue that has had me gritting my teeth for a long time actually. Obviously, the Eagles were lucky enough that using this "tactic" didn't cost them the game, but I still think it should have no place in the game.

    Just curious, but what would be your objections to my proposed rule stating that the defensive team cannot call a timeout on a kicking play once the play clock goes below 10 seconds? Somebody upthread was worried about the defense discovering belatedly it had only 10 or 12 men on the field, and needing a late timeout. I say: too bad. Be better organized. Don't have 10 or 12 men on the field.

    Or what about this alternative rule: the defense can go ahead and call these silly timeouts, even in the last 10 seconds of the play clock on a kicking play. But if they do, it'll cost them five yards.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    I guess you could say my starting this thread was prompted by last night's game, though this is an issue that has had me gritting my teeth for a long time actually. Obviously, the Eagles were lucky enough that using this "tactic" didn't cost them the game, but I still think it should have no place in the game.

    Just curious, but what would be your objections to my proposed rule stating that the defensive team cannot call a timeout on a kicking play once the play clock goes below 10 seconds? Somebody upthread was worried about the defense discovering belatedly it had only 10 or 12 men on the field, and needing a late timeout. I say: too bad. Be better organized. Don't have 10 or 12 men on the field.

    Or what about this alternative rule: the defense can go ahead and call these silly timeouts, even in the last 10 seconds of the play clock on a kicking play. But if they do, it'll cost them five yards.
    I still think the best way to make teams pay and stop doing it is to audible into an obvious fake the second time. Defense can't call timeout without 15 yard penalty and auto 1st down.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Just curious, but what would be your objections to my proposed rule stating that the defensive team cannot call a timeout on a kicking play once the play clock goes below 10 seconds? Somebody upthread was worried about the defense discovering belatedly it had only 10 or 12 men on the field, and needing a late timeout. I say: too bad. Be better organized. Don't have 10 or 12 men on the field.

    Or what about this alternative rule: the defense can go ahead and call these silly timeouts, even in the last 10 seconds of the play clock on a kicking play. But if they do, it'll cost them five yards.
    Other side of the coin: if you're the kicking team, say you line up to kick and let the play clock go under the 10 second limit for the defense to call a timeout. You could then shift into an offensive set without fear of the defense calling a timeout and they having to either deliberate encroach to stop the play or play without the right personnel. This would especially be a situation that would be pulled in a 4th and 1 position when there's time left on the clock to run 2 more plays. Doesn't seem fair either.

    Note that these timeouts before the kick are only really happening at end-of-game situations. They're not doing it on a 30-yarder with 5:14 left in the 1st quarter. And they're not doing it before halftime. If a team has a timeout left and wants to use it in an attempt to ice the kicker, that's their prerogative.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Somebody upthread was worried about the defense discovering belatedly it had only 10 or 12 men on the field, and needing a late timeout. I say: too bad. Be better organized. Don't have 10 or 12 men on the field.
    Well what you're really saying is, it's ok to have 10 or 12 men on the field and use a timeout to fix it for almost every play of the game, except one specific situation. That doesn't make much sense to me, and more broadly, though I find these timeouts annoying too, I just don't see why a team should be restricted from using it's timeouts in certain situations but not others. (Full disclosure, I was kind of annoyed when Tom Coughlin, coach of the team I root for, did it against Dallas last fall, but my annoyance faded awfully quickly).
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Just curious, but what would be your objections to my proposed rule stating that the defensive team cannot call a timeout on a kicking play once the play clock goes below 10 seconds?
    Define "kicking play".
    Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal. -- Joseph Heller

  14. #14

    I don't see the benefit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    I have no stats, but I know I've seen several instances in which a team lines up for a long FG attempt at the end of a half or the end of regulation and the kick either misses or is blocked......but then an official runs in and says the opposing coach called timeout just before the snap, giving the kicker a second chance which, of course, he hits.

    I played basketball in high school and I always liked it whenever the opposing coach would call a timeout before I shot free throws. It gave me a chance to catch my breath and let the adrenaline taper off just a bit, which helped me to relax and focus.
    I would assume by now that NFL kickers know it could be coming so they just block it out and kick.

    If he makes the kick but time out was called, then the kicker knows he can make it and it should help his confidence.

    If he misses the kick, then he could think something like can't miss two in a row or maybe, like Tom B, catch his breath and then make the kick.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurleyfor3 View Post
    Define "kicking play".
    Well since nobody ices the punter or the kicker on extra points, I guess that narrows it down to field goals.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue in the Face View Post
    Well what you're really saying is, it's ok to have 10 or 12 men on the field and use a timeout to fix it for almost every play of the game, except one specific situation. That doesn't make much sense to me, and more broadly, though I find these timeouts annoying too, I just don't see why a team should be restricted from using it's timeouts in certain situations but not others. (Full disclosure, I was kind of annoyed when Tom Coughlin, coach of the team I root for, did it against Dallas last fall, but my annoyance faded awfully quickly).
    But there already are some restrictions on calling timeouts, such as you can't call timeout after you just called one (no consecutive timeouts). Also there are different rules for what goes on in the last 2 minutes of a game, some of which involve timeouts -- as they relate to injuries, for example. So if my rule was restricted to the last 2 minutes of the game, it's not like it would be a total outlier.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Well since nobody ices the punter or the kicker on extra points, I guess that narrows it down to field goals.
    Insufficient answer. Something has to be distinctive about the offensive formation if the nfl is going to formally define a "kicking play". Separately, the offense often is trying to kick while the game clock is running, and the play clock doesn't necessarily have <10 seconds left.
    Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal. -- Joseph Heller

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurleyfor3 View Post
    Insufficient answer. Something has to be distinctive about the offensive formation if the nfl is going to formally define a "kicking play"
    The referees know a field goal formation when they see one. Just like they know a punt formation (a term utilized in the rule book without, that I can find, a specific definition) when they see one. Seems to me that when the offensive team has 7 guys on the line, one guy at the end on each side a yard off the line, a guy seven yards back on one knee getting ready to receive a snap and place the ball down, and a kicker a few yards behind him, that's a field goal formation. Doesn't have to be any harder than that.

    Any time there's a new rule, folks can use their imaginations to dream up ways around the rule, ways to make the rule not achieve its intended purpose, and the like. Perfection is the enemy of good. I still think my rule, even if you can think up bizarre ways that a coach could frustrate its purpose in a given situation, would still get rid of this absurd and maddening "icing the kicker" in the great, great majority of situations.

  19. #19
    I honestly don't see the need to ban this. Why? It adds tons of excitement to the game for the fans. The NFL doesn't really get any more benefit since they rarely if ever show a commercial between the TO and the kick. I've seen the kicker miss before and hit after, I've seen the other way around, the kicker miss both and hit both. Sure, there is probably no evidence to it working which is probably why it will be phased out and if you don't call a TO and he hits it you aren't ridiculed but if you call one, he misses then hits, you can probably lose your job.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    The referees know a field goal formation when they see one. Just like they know a punt formation (a term utilized in the rule book without, that I can find, a specific definition) when they see one. Seems to me that when the offensive team has 7 guys on the line, one guy at the end on each side a yard off the line, a guy seven yards back on one knee getting ready to receive a snap and place the ball down, and a kicker a few yards behind him, that's a field goal formation. Doesn't have to be any harder than that.
    The NFL rules do refer to punts and field goals, and to the specific acts of kicking them, but do not stipulate anything about offensive formations specific to them (that do not also apply on every play from scrimmage).

    http://www.nfl.com/rulebook

    So in order to implement a "no icing the kicker" rule, we have to formally define a "field goal formation" that cannot be confused with other formations (such as a shotgun) and that is impervious to changes in strategy or say, an especially talented drop-kicker coming along.
    Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal. -- Joseph Heller

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