Henry (Gizmo) Williams scored an astonishing 33 touchdowns on kick returns during a brilliant 14-year CFL career with the Edmonton Eskimos.
That's a total that's unlikely to be threatened under the revamped blocking rules that severely cut into the number of special teams' TDs last season.
In 2005 CFL fans witnessed 18 TDs on kick returns – 12 on punts, three on kickoffs and two on missed field goals. Last year those numbers dwindled to two on punts and one kickoff return. Not one missed field goal resulted in a TD.
Williams, who remained in Edmonton after his retirement, would like to see a change in the rule come out of the CFL meetings in Montreal this week during the annual coach-of-the-year gathering.
"It's like taking your No. 1 quarterback or top receiver out of the game," he said. "You're taking out one of the most exciting aspects of our game."
Argo president Keith Pelley said league officials are aware of the criticism surrounding the rule and he expects some recommendations for change.
"I think all of us have read you journalists and there's certainly been dialogue regarding the scoring and entertainment factor," he said. "I strongly believe there will be some changes, which the rules committee will put forth to the governors, that will see us bring back the excitement to our game."
The CFL's director of officiating George Black said the interpretation of the rule, brought about by last year's changes, produced the problems.
"The rules as written are very simple," said Black. "It says you can't contact an opponent from behind. But then it became a matter of what's from behind?"
Black explained that the CFL originally saw players having four sides – a front, a back and a right and left side. It was only illegal to hit a would-be tackler in the back.
Last year, however, the rule was changed to say a player only has a front and a back.
"The difficulty with this was that any hit from the side is now open to interpretation by the officials," said Black. "Any time you give the officials the right or need to interpret, you're going to have differences and lose some consistency."
Williams said that by watching and talking with players he found they weren't sure how an official would interpret a block, particularly from the side.
"A guy who wants to block for the returner won't take a chance anymore because he doesn't want to be yelled at by the coach for taking a penalty."
Argo linebacker and special teams captain Chuck Winters agreed the problem with the rule was the lack of consistency.
But he also said the rule forced players to improve their blocking techniques.
"In my opinion it forced you to get in good position (to block). If you didn't you had to let the man go or you picked up a personal foul. If I'm a returner I may have a different perspective, but as a blocker it made me get into better position."
Argos defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler suggested the two-man increase in rosters last season led to fewer long returns.
He said it allowed coaches to use two fresh players on special teams rather than starters doubling up on kick coverage.
Taking a long second look at the blocking rule will be among the items on the agenda in the two-day meetings. The highlight of the session will be picking the 2006 coach of the year. The finalists are B.C. Lions' Wally Buono, Winnipeg's Doug Berry and Argos' Mike Clemons.