NFL fans to get first glimpse of controversial new rule as coaches "curious"

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Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski admits he is
Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski admits he is 'curious' to see how the NFL's new kick-off rule plays out (Image: Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The NFL is set to introduce a new kickoff rule, and the Cleveland Browns will be the first team to put it to the test.

The rule allows for the ball to be placed at the 25-yard line on kickoffs if a fair catch is called behind the 25-yard line. This rule, already familiar in college football since 2018 and the XFL, aims to reduce the risk for returning teams by eliminating the chance of falling short or fumbling.

While the new rule has faced criticism, especially from special teams coaches, it is a one-year change that will be reassessed next offseason. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski admitted he is "curious" about how the rule will play out and acknowledged that some teams may hold off on implementing it until the regular season.

Stefanski was quoted by the Express US as saying: "I think we’re all curious how it all plays out. There may be some teams that hold what they’re doing until Week One and not necessarily in the preseason, but we’ll kind of see how it goes.

"Hopefully, we’ll be covering some kicks and getting some kick returns in the punt game. I think that’s a big aspect of this as well, getting some live coverage reps and you don’t love to punt all the time, but it’s okay to get some punts in. There are some punt return opportunities for all of our young players.”

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The Browns' preseason game against the New York Jets on Thursday will mark the debut of the new kickoff rule. Following that the Browns will face the Washington Commanders, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Kansas City Chiefs in their preseason schedule.

NFL fans to get first glimpse of controversial new rule as coaches "curious"The kick-off rule is already in place in the XFL

They hope to improve upon their 7-10 record from the previous campaign. The regular season for the Browns will begin with a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.

They will then travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. The team has three consecutive home games scheduled against the Tennessee Titans, the Baltimore Ravens, and the San Francisco 49ers.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up Mirror.co.uk ' s editorial research. A content editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected].

Joshua Mbu

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