On Friday, we celebrated the life and times of legendary Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant. Grant celebrated his 95th birthday on Friday.
Over the weekend, an interview that Grant had done with Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune resurfaced on 3 Down Nation, a site devoted to Canadian Football. In that interview, Grant suggested that the NFL adopt a rule from the CFL that could result in a pretty significant change.
“I attended enough meetings to know the NFL wants to avoid admitting Canadian football has a better idea about anything. Yet, they should follow Canada and take away the fair catch,” Grant said. “There’s no fair catch in Canada, but the coverage also has to give the returner 5 yards.
“NFL people hear this and they’ll say, ‘It will increase injuries.’ The 5-yard cushion makes all the difference. My opinion is there won’t be a real increase in injuries, and the punt would become an interesting play.”
While the kickoff return has become all but obsolete because of recent rule changes, the punt return still has plenty of potential to be an exciting play. The rulebook says that you have to give a punt returner a couple of yards to actually field the punt, but the combination of eliminating the fair catch and having to provide a returner a five-yard cushion could make it even more interesting.
Now, I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance that the league would even consider adopting such a thing, but I don’t think I’d mind seeing it.
What do you think of Coach Grant’s suggestion that the NFL adopt CFL rules when it comes to the punt return game?