kick/punt return game suggestions

What does everybody think about Steve Milton's
suggested changes for CFL kick/punt return game?

in his Hamilton Spectator article [url=http]

Return men should run free [/url]

I agree that there should be big yardage penalties
for punts that are kicked out of bounds in the air.

I am not sure if I agree that no point should be awarded
if a punt or missed field goal goes over the dead ball line.

Requiring the ball to bounce inbounds to score a single point
reward teams with accurate kickers but it penalizes the offence
which has advanced the ball so deep into their opponent's end
that it can be easily kicked over the dead ball line.

I think a 10 halo and not just 5 would really help returners get some yardage. I know this sounds drastic but if we are going to keep 3 downs in the CFL, and I hope we do, then we really need to be sure the kicking game adds as much excitement as possible. The NHL removed the red line for 2 line passes and the CFL should adopt a similar radical change.

Personally I like Milton's suggestions but maybe keep the blocking as was this year to prevent injuries and add the 10 yards as I mention.

better kick returners and better blocking usually help the most.


I'm afraid all that would do is encourage coahces to always punt the ball out of bounds.

I say any punt that goes out of bounds should be treated the same as a kickoff going out of bounds. A five yard penalty and re-kick. That way the ball would always be returned.

And what of the coffin corner punt which is a key play in a lot of football games? Kicking out of bounds should stay perfectly legal. Often a game is a battle for field position and being forced to give up field position is not worth it.

the only rule they should change is the blocking rule so that its either a block from behind or its not

Sure it's a skill, but it's hardly as exciting as watching a punt return. I wouldn't mind losing the coffin corner kick in exchange for a return ratio of 100%.

To me, the coffin corner kick is a minor part of the game that really means not that much in the grand scheme of the game of football.

Its an important part of th efield position battle that goes on frequently in a football game. Punting out of bounds is a fine play albeit not the most exciting.

Really though how exciting are 5 yard out pass patterns. Not every play has to be jam packed with excitement part of what makes football great is the field position strategy that goes on

And there's plenty of strategy involved in punt returns and covering punt returns too.

I hear ya. I disagree. I'll take athletic performance and action over strategy anyday. I prefer football players over football strategists.

It's not just a strategy. It does require a certain atheltic ability and skill to have an angled punt go out at the 5. I've said this idea before, but I guess I'll say it again. Have penalties for punts, EXCEPT for inside the 20's, to keep coffin corners. This also rewards the offence for moving the ball deep enough to attempt a coffin corner.

My personal preference would be to extend the concept of kick return 'playability' suggested by Mr. Milton with respect to the rouge for all kicks from scrimmage.

This would limit, but not outlaw coffin kicks in that if the kicker can angle the ball toward the pylon while having it bounce out then all the power to him.

And, these things go in cycles. I think once we go back to 2005 blocking rules, we'll see that one or two teams will find a kick returner that will excite us.

I agree sports, the old blocking rules should be re-instated, it will help the return game immensly. I also like a previous poster's idea of no points if a missed field goal or punt goes out of bounds in the end zone if there was no chance for a return.

You never hear anyone say that a kick off that goes out of bound is a skill, so if kicking off out of bound is illegal then punting should be as well.

Besides, you could never convince me that punting out of bounds is a skill in the first place. If you ask me it's just luck.

Wow you totally managed to flip this around. If kicking a kickoff out of bounds was legal it would be a skill but its not because its illegal.

Kicking a punt out of bounds at hte 5 requires very good angling and there is value to it. The only time it would cease to be a skill is if they made it illegal but there is such a thing as too much offense and this is one of those cases

No I am not saying a kickoff is a skill either.

I am saying that just like kickoffs, punting out of bounds should be illegal

No, I disagree with you. If you look at Paul McCallum's punting stats average wise, they are low. There should be an asterisk around that stat because he sacrifices distance for accuracy. I dont know how many times Ive seen McCallum place a ball INBOUNDS inside the oppostion 10 yd line , only to have it bounce out of bounds. You cannot predict which way a football will bounce, so you are saying because a ball bounces out of bounds its a penalty? Lots of times those bounces stay inbounds and the coverage will pin opposition deep in their own zone as well. Saying it is luck or not a skill is nonsensical,because most kickers Ive seen have the ability to kick a ball and make an offence start inside its 10 yd line.

What I think it should be


Any punt that touches field of play before bouncing out is marked at that point, or is a single if it went through the endzone.

Any punt that goes out of field of play without touching the ground or a receiving player is dealt with in one of 3 ways.

a)automatic possession for receiving team 20 yards from kicking team line of scrimmage.

b)if it goes out inside receiving teams 20, then receiving team gets it on their 20.

c)if it goes out less than 20 yrds from kicking teams line of scrimmage, then receiving team gets the ball at that point.

Kickoffs: Leave as is.

Missed field goals: Single point only if ball touches ground or receiving player before going out.

Requiring the ball to bounce inbounds to score a single point reward teams with accurate kickers but it penalizes the offence which has advanced the ball so deep into their opponent's end that it can be easily kicked over the dead ball line.
from the 10 yard line, a punter can kick the ball almost straight up in the air and have it land 10-20 yards away. Used to do it all the time when I practice catching my own punts. Actually kickers should try that a lot because if your team is warned of the attempt and holds back til they know where the ball is going, then there can be a good chance of the ball bouncing off the shoulders of a receiving team blocker. Also, some find those kind of high straight up type kicks harder to catch. This could (I think would) create more chances of fumble recovery.

If the team doesnt have a kicker that can do that with accuracy, well, thats like having a lousy FG kicker, or lousy QB or lousy Safety.

Why should the offense be automatically rewarded for choking on a drive??

That is a great idea, something I never have considered. I have always viewed the single point as silly and almost embarrassing with the missed field goal point. This would still satisfy the purists and keep the game relatively the same while making people happy that the Grey Cup can't be won wide right.

This is exactly the subtle rule changes the CFL needs. Nothing drastic, but sensible to move into the bright future.

That is exactly my point as to why it is luck and not skill! Good luck if it bounces sideways and goes out. Bad luck if it bounces straight back!

As for not penalising because of the way it bounces....Its a penalty if it bounces out of bounds on a kickoff so why not on a punt as well!

Back to punting, I feel that if the returning team allows it to bounce out of bounds then there should be no penalty. If they cant make a play on it then IMO there should be one!