Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is a man of the people, and his latest viral quote on May 24 got the people going.
During a press conference at Organized Team Activities on May 24, Big Red was asked about the new fair catch rule that was pass by the NFL for kickoffs (more on that below). His answer was both hilarious and accurate.
“I don’t know, we’ll have to go through all that,” Reid replied before firing off a not-so-subtle shot at the NFL for the latest bit of tinkering. “My thing is, where does it stop, right? So, you start taking pieces [away from the game]. We’ll see how this goes but you don’t want to take too many pieces away or you’ll be playing flag football.”
The 33rd Team NFL insider Ari Meirov shared the clip of this response, which quickly blew up on Twitter with over 2.5K likes and 350K views in about five hours.
Pat McAfee Praises Chiefs’ Andy Reid for Speaking Out Against ‘Bush League’ Rule Change by NFL
After Reid’s comments, “The Pat McAfee Show” picked up the quote and dedicated a segment to it on the afternoon of May 24.
“Hell yeah Andy Reid,” Pat McAfee captioned the video, where he referred to the new rule as “bush league.”
“Andy Reid is a man whose brain is one of the greatest football brains of all-time — alongside many others that have the exact same thought,” McAfee responded. “My big takeaway as soon as I heard about it was that’s [inaudible], that’s bush-league bulls***. But then you immediately go to: What’s next?”
He continued on, questioning that if the NFL is willing to do this, what else are they willing to change about the sport?
In case you missed it, ESPN staff writer Kevin Seifert explained the rule change on May 23:
“NFL owners took what might be their final step Tuesday toward decreasing injuries on kickoffs before considering a more dramatic set of changes,” Seifert reported, “approving a rule that will incentivize fair catches on balls fielded outside of the end zone.”
He went on: “This season, a fair catch on a kickoff will be placed at the 25-yard line regardless of where it is fielded. The proposal is designed to counteract a recent increase in ‘pop-up’ kickoffs that some teams use to pin the returning team deep in their own territory.”
In other words, a returner can fair catch the ball outside of the end zone and still get his team a starting position at the 25-yard line. “The tweak to the fair catch spot is in effect for one season only,” Seifert noted, “forcing owners to resume the conversation in 2024.”
Chiefs Punter Tommy Townsend Sounds Off on New Fair Catch Rule
Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend joined his coach in speaking out against the new rule on May 23, stating: “Not good for football for many reasons… but let’s pass something that players and coaches are so clearly against.”
He did this while quoting the announcement from NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, who reported that “special teams coordinators unanimously opposed the change.”
Seifert detailed the data behind the new rule: “Concussion rates on kickoffs have surged over the past two seasons, to nearly twice as high as the average offensive or defensive play, despite a series of previous tweaks to its format that have resulted in touchbacks on roughly 60% of kickoffs on an annual basis.”
“According to Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL’s competition committee, most of that surge can be traced to an increase in returns caused by pop-up kicks,” he concluded.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on this decision as well, which Seifert relayed: “The data is very clear about the higher rate of injury on that play. We’ve been talking about it for several years. We have not made a lot of progress on this play. This was a step that we think was appropriate to address that. But we have a lot more work to be done about how we continue to evolve going forward. Can we continue to keep this play in an exciting way but more importantly a safe way?”