In theory, the new rule changes on kickoffs for next season have been done with safety in mind. Colorado head coach Jon Embree believes that the new touchback rule (moving touchbacks from the 20 yard line out to the 25) may have the opposite effect.
Embree believes that if you have a kicker that can put it on the 7 yard line consistently, and the returner mishandles it, your going to have some dangerous collisions.
Embree weighed in on the change by saying, “I think you high pooch it and cover it, what I think will happen is if you get effective at that, you’re putting the other team even more at risk than what the rule intended because unless he fair catches it, he can really take a shot because everyone is closer obviously.”
It also changes the dynamic of a returner, Embree says. ” The returner has to have good judgment and a good feel. You’re never used to fair catching kickoffs, even though that is something you can do. There are a lot of timing issues that go into a kickoff return that now you’re going to have to figure out as a return guy.”