Browns eager to test new kickoff rule once the pads are on in training camp

Browns special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone has been spending significant time during the offseason on strategies and tactics related to the NFL's new kickoff rule. But until he sees his players blocking and tackling at full speed, he won't be sure what works and what doesn't.

Ventrone says training camp, when full contact is allowed, will be when they really get a feel for the new kickoff rule.

"I know that throughout training camp once we get the pads on, there's definitely going to be some trial-and-error things that we're going to mess around with," Ventrone said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. "I know to your point, like the preseason you're not going to want to show too much, but you're still going to have to see things and I think you're going to see more than you think in the preseason. I do. And I think for us . . . being able to have the joint practice against Minnesota will be really helpful for us. And when we practice it and I plan on going at it a good bit in training camp, we're going to have to practice hard and we're going to practice it a lot. So, we have to be on top of it and be ready for it."

Another thing the Browns will do in training camp is have kickers go through tackling drills, given the expectation that kickoffs will be returned much more often and kickers will have to be ready to make tackles.

"I think you're going to have to spend more time with the kickers on true tackling technique," Ventrone said. "And we've actually talked to the defensive secondary coaches about getting with our guys on some of the drills that they do. So, yeah, I think that you're going to have to anticipate that those guys are going to have to make a few more tackles."

Across the league, that's going to be a big change in training camps.