When it works, ala Sean Payton in the Saints versus Indianapolis Superbowl game, it's incredible. When it doesn't it can get a coach fired. I am speaking of the onside kick. It's a tactical tool in the rulebook that coaches can use to maybe squeeze out one last possession. Or, in the Saints Superbowl case, actually change the momentum of the game.

While the onside kick isn't used a lot in games the fact that it can change the course of a game has great significance. Now there is word that NFL owners will consider making a drastic change to that rule at their upcoming meetings.

Under the current rules the team kicking the ball must kick it at least 10 yards. Once the ball has passed the designated 10 yards the ball becomes "live" and can be recovered by the kicking team. It's a pretty difficult feat to pull off.  But it can be done.

The proposed rule change is along these lines. Instead of kicking the ball, the team wanting to attempt the onside kick would play one down from their own 25-yard line. The team would essentially be playing the equivalent of a fourth down and 15 yards to go. Should they make a play that goes for 15 yards or longer they keep the ball where the play is whistled dead and continue on offense.

Should they not make the required 15 yards the defensive team would take over possession where the attempt was whistled dead. No team may attempt this strategy more than twice in one game.

The rule was originally adopted by the Alliance of American Football which, by the way, is no longer.  So, what do you think? Should the NFL go the way of the gimmick with this unique twist on the rulebook?


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