Weekend mail call:
Derek from Los Angeles wants to know if I think Oakland Raiders’ return man Jacoby Ford will be nullified because of the new NFL kickoff rules.
Bill Williamson: Well, Derek, I think every return man will be challenged now that teams will kick off from the 35. There will be a ton more touchbacks than before. But Ford is special. He had three returns for scores last year. It’s no surprise the Raiders were reportedly one of the six teams to vote against the rule change. I think the Raiders will coach him and feel good about him taking the ball out of the end zone and as he has a reasonable chance for a good return. Ford is going to take back many kickoffs from the back of the end zone, but he’ll get his chances. He’s too good to be totally neutralized as a returner.
Damien from Moore, Oklahoma wants to know if I think quarterback Tim Tebow should be Denver’s candidate to be the “Madden 12” cover man instead of cornerback Champ Bailey.
BW: I would have gone with Bailey. I think he’s still Denver’s best player. But from looking at the list of candidates, it’s clear that not every team’s best player is a candidate. It’s about marketability as well and Tebow sells. So, I’m not surprised he’s the choice. But there are better players on the Denver roster.
Gerald from Oakland wants to know if I think the Raiders would be a good fit for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” training-camp series.
BW: Sure, the Raiders are compelling. Al Davis’ teams always are. New head coach Hue Jackson is fiery and he’d make for good television. So would a rising, young team. But I’d be surprised if Oakland ends up being the choice. I know it is a candidate, but the Raiders are very private and their training camp site is very controlled. It’s one of the few camps in the NFL that is not open to the public. Going from a private camp to millions of homes every week would be a drastic change. But it would be quality TV.