Ravens’ John Harbaugh, Justin Tucker Discuss NFL’s New Kickoff Rule: ’There’s Going To Be a Lot More Action’

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and kicker Justin Tucker discussed both the good and the bad of the NFL's new kickoff rule.

In recent years, NFL kickoffs essentially turned into extensions of the commercial break. Following the league’s latest rule change, the Baltimore Ravens are ready to embrace the new-look kickoffs and the excitement that comes with them.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and kicker Justin Tucker are regarded as two of the brightest minds in the NFL when it comes to special teams, and they were asked about the new kickoff rule on Thursday.

Baltimore Ravens HC John Harbaugh Discusses Potential Plan for NFL’s New Kickoff Rule

Harbaugh worked his way up the NFL ranks as a special teams coordinator for several different teams. Given his background, Harbaugh was asked about his thoughts on the NFL’s new kickoff rule during his press conference.

“It’s going to be an interesting play, a fun play,” Harbaugh said when asked about the new-look kickoff.

“You can kind of look at it philosophically any way you want. There are things that it takes away. You don’t have a line of scrimmage anymore. You don’t have an onside kick surprise anymore. But, it does add things to the game, and the main thing it adds is a positive.”

While Harbaugh expressed excitement that kickoffs are going to be a part of the game once again, he did share that he believed there were better alternatives to the new rule.

“I thought there were other options — I’ll just be clear about that,” Harbaugh said. “I was for doing something, and this is something. Basically, at this point, we’re committed to it. We see the good of it, the excitement in it.”

Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker Bulking Up for NFL’s New Kickoff Rule

Tucker is widely regarded as the best kicker in the NFL. Yet, he admitted that the NFL’s new kickoff rule is going to present a whole new challenge for him to prepare for in 2024. Tucker was asked about the rule and how he would attack the play during his press conference, too.

“(My) initial reaction was (that) you have to be positive about it,” Tucker said.

“And think about it in terms of, this is going to keep the play in the game. This is not just going to keep the play in the game, it’s going to make it much more exciting. I think there’s going to be a lot more action as far as kicks that will be returned.”

Tucker admitted that in recent years kickers were only focused on kicking the ball into the end zone during kickoffs. Now the veteran kicker admits that there is significantly more strategy involved due to the new rules being implemented in 2024.

KEEP READING: Everything You Need to Know About the NFL’s New Kickoff Rule

Yet, Tucker is embracing the change, as he is focused on adding a variety of different kicks to his repertoire.

“Just like a pitcher tries to develop his stuff, I’m doing the same thing out here,” Tucker said when asked if he’s getting creative in the lab due to the rule change.

“(I’m) trying to figure out whichever we can in our minds gain an advantage, gain an edge, whether that means putting the ball in different spots, making it challenging for a returner to scoop up the ball easily — all of those things we’re looking at right now.”

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