Falcons’ Special Teams Coach Marquice Williams Is Excited To Take Advantage Of New Kickoff Rule

Flowery Branch, Ga – The NFL implemented a new kickoff rule that should open up more opportunities for special teams to make an impact in the games. Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams is preparing to take advantage of the rule change.

The NFL has made several kickoff rule changes since 2011 to create less big-time collisions. First, they moved the kicking line from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line, then in 2016, they altered the placement of the ball after a touchback from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line.

Now, the new kickoff rule, which was adopted from the XFL, will have the kicker continue to kick from their own 35-yard line but the 10 other players will line up at the receiving’s team 40-yard line. The return team will be lined up at their own 35-yard line, leaving two return men in the designated return zone, which is between the 20-yard line and the goal line.

Williams is excited about being able to bring one of the most exciting plays in football back into play.

“The play starts with a kickoff. Each and every game, we’re guaranteed two plays which is kickoff and kickoff return,” said Williams. So I’m excited about this because it’s going to create so much value for our players, opportunities for players around the NFL and create extra points in a game.”

In last year’s Super Bowl, it was the first time in NFL history that there wasn’t a NFL kickoff return in the Super Bowl era. The rules that were implemented to prevent less collisions limited special teams situations from coaches.

Returner Dee Alford gets praise from Special Teams Coach Marquice Williams
Photo courtesy of Falcons Wire – USA Today

Although the XFL have used this rule, there is a lot of uncertainty of how it will look and play out.

“We don’t know how it’s going to look yet, but it’s going to be cool to be adaptable, which our players are.” stated Williams. “Our coaches are very adaptable and we’ll see how this play works out.

The Falcons will use the kickoff return to be able to take advantage of the talent that they have on the roster. Williams believe that he has special players that can create big plays.

“In the return game, having a guy like Avery Williams, having a guy like Rondale Moore, having a guy like Ray Ray McCloud, possibly Tyler Allgeier, we have a bunch of guys we can put back there,” Williams said.

The Falcons also believe that the coverage team will be able to create momentum for the defense and even a chance to get extra hits on running backs.

Being able to have kickoffs be relevant again may be a chance for the Falcons to not only utilize all of their talent but create great field position, touchdowns and turnovers .

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

View All Posts

Leave a Reply