Rams ST Coordinator names key players to solving befuddling KO challenge

LA Rams ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn opens up about the strategy Rams will take to master new NFL kickoff rules, and names key player to solve the puzzle.
NFL Combine, Joshua Karty
NFL Combine, Joshua Karty / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Blackburn elaborates on new NFL kickoff rule, and Rams response

This press conference was the first presser for ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn with the media since the NFL adopted the new kickoff rule. As a result, Blackburn was asked to elaborate on how the Rams view the changes, and what steps they will take to adapt to the new kickoff rules. So, let's resume highlighting key elements from Blackburn's explanation:

(11: 10) - "Still evolving with the play as it evolves . . . that's what's great having Sean (McVay) and the offensive guys involved ...as well as having our defensive guys . . . It's more like an offensive/defensive play."

One of the main principles of the new kickoff rule is the relative proximity of most of the coverage players (all but the kicker) and the return players (all but the return specialist). As a result, designing coverage and return plays take on far more characteristics of defensive and offensive plays, and it is quite encouraging to see that Rams ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn recognizes that fact, and is actively soliciting input from both the offensive and defensive coaches to design an effective strategy.

(11:30) - "But then, even the flights of the ball are going to be completely different"

In this segment, Blackburn goes into a bit of a deep dive in discussing how the kicker, and the kickoff itself, must be viewed from an overall strategic and tactical sense. This is vital to the overall success of kicking off and kick coverage but is a bit of a snoozer in terms of the fans' appreciation of this segment.

(11:55) - "That is what we are looking for. Basically, developing some fundamentals, working through some concepts, some schemes, as well as even some install progressions to get into training camp . . . "

The challenge of instruction is the sequence of forcing the teacher to master the subject matter to successfully teach that subject matter. The trouble is, the new rule was dropped onto the laps of ST Coordinators at point blank range, which necessitates intensive study, absorption, and planning to create an action plan out of scratch for training camp.