FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Over the last 12 years, Bill Belichick usually issues the same response when asked about NFL rules. It goes something like this: My opinion on the rules doesn't matter, but it's my job to understand them and make sure our players do.
With this in mind, I was curious what was on Belichick's mind when it came to officials visiting the team over a three-day stretch (yesterday, today, tomorrow). What new rule stood out to him the most?
One of the main ones, it turns out, was on special teams.
"One of the things he asked about was how we are going to administrate the kickoff, because players can only be 5 yards behind the kickoff line. If they're not, it's a foul, a live-ball foul, you can re-kick or put it on the end of the kick," back judge Perry Paganelli said.
"When the referee gives the [signal of being] ready to play the kick, all 10 of the players either have to have a foot or hand on that line, or be inside that line, or it's a live-ball foul."
Sure enough, the Patriots worked on kickoff coverage during Wednesday's practice, with that aspect of the rule stressed. The rule was adopted this year as part of improving player safety, the idea of not allowing coverage players to build too much momentum with a running start.
I thought this was a good example of the essence of coaching and how specific and detailed everything is.