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For kickoffs that falls short of landing zone, drive will start 25 yards from spot of kick

The tweaked kickoff proposal has been released by the NFL. The changes apply only to kicks that are downed in the end zone, that strikes the goal post/uprights/cross bar, or that goes out of the end zone on the fly.

In those situations, the next drive will start on the receiving team's 30, not the receiving team's 35 — as originally proposed.

For kicks that fall short of the landing zone, which starts at the receiving team's 20, the ball will still go to the receiving team's 40.

There was some mild confusion during Thursday's NFL conference call on this point; a kickoff short of the landing zone will indeed result in the ball being placed 25 yards from the spot of the kick. For a normal kickoff from the kicking team's 35, that means the receiving team's 40. The new tweak to the proposal does not change that.

A kickoff out of bounds also will start the drive 25 yards from the spot of the kick, or where the ball went out of bounds. (The receiving team has the option.)

If a safety kick fails to reach the landing zone, possession begins 30 yards from the spot of the kick. Normally, that will be midfield. A safety kick that goes out of bounds also will start the drive 30 yards from the spot of the kick, or where the ball went out of bounds. (Again, the receiving team has the option.)

More tweaks are possible as the owners ponder the proposal. And more tweaks could happen if the proposal is tabled until May so that more time can be spent pondering the realities of the dramatic change to the kickoff — and its consequences, both intended and unintended.