Brad Smith on kickoff changes Dan Leberfeld
Jets WR Brad Smith isn’t thrilled with the new kickoff return rules. Smith was a guest on Sirius Radio’s Mad Dog Radio.
“Obviously, I’m a little disappointed as with, I think, a lot of guys who that’s some of what they do, kick returns,” Smith said. “It’s just a thing that’s taking away the ball from us, to get us the chance to make plays on special teams which is a huge part of the game. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe there won’t be as many touchbacks but, obviously, with them moving up and how strong the kickers are there will be considerably more. So it’s disappointing.
“And I’m sure [special teams coordinator] Mike Westhoff has drawn up things already for us. Somebody can figure out the phasing and when you take on a block and things like that to get the phasing that you want so they have a chance to be really successful. It just really changes the whole dynamic of a game, one of the most important plays in football. So there’s going to be a lot of coaches that spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.
“That’s our number one goal, is player safety. But at the same time we don’t want the game to be affected. It’s a physical game and that’s why we love playing it, quite frankly. We love to play because we love the physical contact. Guys have the opportunity to make plays physically, with their bodies. Like I said, being on the kickoff team and on the kickoff return team for my whole career so far, I have yet to see how many, I would love to see the statistics on it. If it is really statistically warranted, sure, I don’t have a problem. I can’t say I totally know the stats on guys getting hurt on that particular team. So if it is something that is warranted and they did their research and everything I’m all for it. Just from playing on it I really don’t see it but we’ll see how it turns out.”