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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
NFL was already seeing diminished returns

By Mike Sando

NEW ORLEANS -- Marty Callinan of ESPN Stats & Information has passed along helpful information regarding the NFL's recently adopted rules changes regarding kickoffs.

All agree the measure will produce additional touchbacks.

Here's the thing, though: Touchbacks have been on the rise, anyway, as the chart illustrates.

Callinan offers these notes:
One thing I'd like to see is whether deeper kickoffs correlate with longer returns in the absence of touchbacks. That was the case for the Seattle Seahawks' Leon Washington last season, as discussed previously. Washington's teammate, Michael Robinson, thinks that will be one product of the new rules.

I'll dive into this subject more deeply upon returning from the NFL owners meeting. Catching a flight soon.