Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid isn’t a fan of the proposed rule change to the onside kick, but he said if his team had to do it, he thinks they’ve “got a guy” who could manage it, according to the Kansas City Star‘s Blair Kerkhoff. Kerkhoff posted on Twitter about Reid’s comments regarding a proposal that would do away with the onside kick all together and replace it with a chance for a team to attempt to convert 4th-and-15 from their own 25-yard-line.
It seems likely the “guy” Reid was referring to was quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who led the team to the Super Bowl in his second year as the full-time starter. In his previous season, Mahomes won the NFL’s MVP award. For his part, Mahomes seemed to like the 4th-and-15 idea, retweeting a report of the rule change and adding two laughing emoji.
4th and 15…. ???????? https://t.co/ESuILCqkcG
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) May 21, 2020
Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report said the onside kick rule change was submitted to the league by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this week. Under the proposal a team that would normally attempt an onside kick would instead have one play to try and move the ball 15 or more yards from their own 25-yard-line. Convert the down and they get to keep driving. Kevin Seifert of ESPN reported the reason the Eagles submitted the rule change is because the chances a team can recover an onside kick have plummeted. The kicking team has recovered just 10.5 percent of onside attempts since the NFL changed rules regarding them in 2018. Before the rule change, teams attempting the play recovered the ball 19.5 percent of the time from 2001 to 2017.
Analysts around the NFL have also cited an increased risk of dangerous collisions during an onside kick. That danger is reportedly one of the reasons the league changed how they are handled three years ago.
Kerkhoff didn’t report on why Reid said he didn’t favor the potential rule change. It’s also not clear how much support around the league the proposal has.
Chiari pointed out that teams that have explosive offenses could benefit from being able to lean on those offenses rather than kick teams to make a comeback late in the game. The Chiefs fit the bill of one of those teams with an, especially explosive attack. He added that while Mahomes is capable of leading a rally, he also has plenty of weapons in Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and newcomer Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Reid and the rest of the league will find out soon whether the onside kick is going to a thing of the past. NFL owners will vote on the proposal, as well as other potential rule changes during a virtual meeting on May 28.