With college football kickoffs moving up from the 30 to the 35 and touchbacks being moved out five yards to the 25, some coaches are rethinking their special teams philosophies.
Nick Saban is not one of those coaches, at least not right away.
“Until you live it, you don't know for sure how it's going to affect the game."
Saban noted that the move up will obviously lead to more touchbacks, but that doesn't mean that the focus on coverage should be minimized.
“I think when you're kicking off and you have a kicker that can do that, then the coverage element that you have to work on is not going to be nearly as necessary. But you still have to work on it because the one he doesn't kick you're going to have to cover it.”
On the flip side of the coin, the Tide's kick returners won't be taking extra risks to take the ball out of the end zone when they're five yards deep.
“I don't necessarily think that's a positive because drive start is the most important thing. If you start 5 or 6 yards deep in the end zone, then the chances of your drive start getting out to the 29 or 30 yard line where you want it to be are not going to be very good because now you have to return it 35 yards or 40 yards to get it there."