Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Kickoffs moved to 35-yard line

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC Updated: March 22, 2011 - 3:42 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- NFL owners approved a rule change that will move NFL kickoffs to the 35-yard line, but touchbacks will continue to come out to the 20-yard line and the two-man blocking wedge will remain legal.

Some coaches objected strongly to an initial proposal that would have moved kickoffs from the 30- to the 35-yard line, put the ball at the 25 after touchbacks and outlawed the two-man wedge. Another part of the kickoff rule that has changed is those on the coverage team must line up within 5 yards of the 35-yard line, meaning they can no longer get as big of a running start.

The intent of changing how kickoffs are handled was to decrease the high-speed collisions and make them safer.

Update: The measure passed by a vote of 26-6, with the Vikings casting a vote in favor of the change.

The proposal to allow the replay official to review all scoring plays also was passed by the owners. However, coaches can still get a third challenge if they win their first two. The initial proposal called for the third challenge to be eliminated.

As for the alteration in the languate involving defenseless receivers, that was tabled until later.


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