At first thought, this new rule will help Ryan Longwell immensely and increase the number of touchbacks in a game, lowering the need for a new kicker. This is actually not the case. It turns out that apparantly Longwell's kicks sail an average of 63 yards in the air. If we apply this average to the new rules, the result is that the ball will be caught at the opponents' 2 yard line. THAT'S STILL RETURNABLE! That still puts pressure on the vike's special teamers that so happened to allow the highest opponent average start (30.8 if you were wondering).
So what becomes of this? Easy assumption is that the opponents will start 5 yards less and have an average of 25.8 yard line. Thats still not great. Lets also not forget that the new rules also state that the kicking team is only allowed a 5 yard running head start instead of 10 to 15 yards (not really sure if that rule affects kickers but would be a bigger disadvantage). So again the average for starting position will be higher since the kicking team will be slower in the start (could argue 1 or 2 yards). In my opinion its just frustrating to think about.
What do the vikes need to do? They have to seriously look at Longwell and his future with the vikes. I personally would love to pick up Alex Henery from Nebraska in the draft, but in truth, he doesn't have a massive leg and did not do the kickoffs for nebraska. If the vikes decide to keep Longwell, which is fine since he's the most accurate kicker in the league, then the special teams needs huge help. I don't know how to change this other than blaming the special teams coach or that the players are not sufficient and just picking up good players in the draft/free agency will be enough. I'm not really sure. I just know being last in the league in something indicates to me that the vikes need to seriously address this issue.
I don't know, what do you guys think? Thanks for listening to my rant.