Seahawks special team coach: Rashaad Penny may return kicks
The Seahawks already have a good kickoff returner in Tyler Lockett, but their top draft pick Rashaad Penny is quite the return man himself.
With new kickoff rules likely coming next season, the Seahawks will probably be making use of both in the return game, too.
“Penny obviously can do some return stuff, and with the new rules I think they’re gonna incorporate, (it will) kinda force you to put two or three returners back there,” Seahawks special teams coach Brian Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.
The NFL is moving towards news rules for kickoffs in lieu of axing the play from the game completely due to safety concerns. The rule changes proposed would: bar players on the kicking team from getting a running start on their way downfield; eliminate any form of “wedge” blocking (which involves multiple blockers linked together) by the receiving team; stop kicking team players from going in motion before the kick; require eight of the 11 members of the receiving team to line up within 15 yards of the spot of the kickoff; and ban hitting within those 15 yards.
“This is I think a good step. Trying to make it safer No. 1, and obviously the wedge, when those 300-pounders are running at each other you can see where that’s been an issue,” Schneider said. “I think this is a good step and I think it will still be exciting and I think there’s a lot of cool things that can happen on a kickoff. … I think you’re just gonna have smaller, faster bodies working on kickoffs and kickoff returns.”
Schneider also talked at length with Clayton about punter Michael Dickson and touched on veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who the Seahawks have added through free agency. You can listen to the entire interview at this link.