There has been a lot of talk about teams opting to kick the ball out of bounds and taking the penalty rather than risking the return. The theory being that getting the ball at the thirty-five is the lesser of two evils. However, I was reading earlier at Outside the Sidelines (I have no affiliation with this blog, I just find the info interesting) a better interpretation of the rule :
"A kickoff from Team A’s 30-yard line goes out of bounds untouched by Team B, and no other foul (or violation) occurs. RULING: Team B may accept a five-yard penalty from the previous spot with Team A kicking from the 25-yard line, or Team B may put the ball in play at Team B’s 35-yard line at the inbounds spot or at the inbounds spot where the ball went out of bounds. Team B may put the ball in play following a penalty at the dead ball spot."
When you look at it that kills the out-of-bounds kick strategy. This bodes well for the return team. I just hope that the coverage team can step up.
This really makes a strong need to coach up special teams. Your defense can be really good, but if the other team starts in field goal range every drive you can't beat those odds. So we will see coaches spending a lot more attention to the special teams play.
I don't like this rule change. Sure, it's great for the return team, but it sux for the coverage team. I also believe that it will lead to more injuries. It may be in my imagination, but it seems like more ijuries occur on kickoffs and kickoff returns.