Latest NFL rule change will benefit the Chargers greatly

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has made several rule changes this week during the owners' meetings with the most prominent being the ban on hip-drop tackles. That is not the only prominent rule change as the league is also changing how kickoffs are done, which will make the Chargers and all 31 other NFL teams go to the drawing board on how to attack kickoffs.

Last year the NFL implemented a rule where a fair catch would go to the 25-yard-line regardless of where the ball was caught. This move was meant to ensure player safety and resulted in the fewest kickoff-return attempts in league history.

In response to this, the NFL is adopting the kickoff strategy that was deployed by the XFL which is meant to promote player safety while still making the kick return an impactful part of the game. Kickoffs are going to look drastically different than they have ever looked before.

Chargers will benefit greatly from unique NFL kickoff rule change

There is a lot to digest from that informational video and it is clear that the new kickoffs couldn't be any more different from how they were previously executed. For the first time in a long time, the kickoff is now an extremely important part of the game.

There is also a lot more strategy that is now involved. With no fair catches at all, teams can strategically place kickoffs in positions that are advantageous to creating bad field position. If a team has great kickoff gunners then they can drastically change the entire complexion of the game by limiting field position.

All of this should be music to Chargers fans' ears as the Bolts have one of the best special teams coordinators in the sport in Ryan Ficken. Ficken came to LA and turned the historically bad Chargers special teams unit into one of the best in the league. Ficken is so great that he was retained by Jim Harbaugh while every position around him was replaced.

If Ficken could do the impossible of turning the Chargers around, imagine what he can do with this new kickoff procedure.

We have already seen the Chargers get creative on special teams in the past directly because of Ficken. Two years ago the Chargers beat the Denver Broncos in overtime solely because the Bolts were able to force a muffed punt on a fair catch. Ja'Sir Taylor shoved a Broncos player into the returner after the fair catch and Deane Leonard jumped on the football.

That is a sign of great coaching and that was on a traditional punt. Just imagine the barriers Ficken can break down with these new rules. Don't be surprised if special teams end up being a huge reason for the Bolts' success in 2024.