Kirby Smart: Kickoff Fair Catch Rule

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Kirby Smart: Kickoff Fair Catch Rule


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When asked about the recently approved fair catch rule for kickoffs, Kirby Smart gave a slight shrug and said regarding returns, “Not going to change anything.”

However, when a follow-up question was asked and the topic shifted to Georgia’s kicking game, Smart added further thoughts on the change:
“It could minimize the value of a good kicker. I would not disagree with that. I think if your kicker kicks a 4.4 hang (time) to the 4 yard-line, that’s a huge weapon because you couldn’t fair catch it. But you’ve also got to assume that the guy catching the ball knew what that hang was, and I would argue that the average kick-returner doesn’t know what the hang of the kick was. He is going to have to figure out – can I catch this ball and know where the coverage team is on me – that comes in repetition. We’ve started telling our guys what the hang-time is every time so he can say, I know if it is 4.3 or higher, I probably need to fair-catch this.”


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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.