Bears Coach Admits Team May Copy Chiefs in Key Area This Season

The Bears may take a page out of the Chiefs' playbook when it comes to the new kickoff rule.
Chicago Bears Training Camp
Chicago Bears Training Camp / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Kickoffs in the NFL are going to look a lot different in the upcoming 2024 season. The NFL has pivoted towards the kickoff rules that apply in the XFL. While the entire process can seem a bit confusing initially, the biggest takeaway is that there will be many more returns in general. More returns mean the need for more quality players on a team's kickoff squad to be able to tackle and prevent long returns.

Kickers are rarely asked to make tackles on kickoffs, especially as of recent as the number of touchbacks has grown immensely. The new rules will require kickers to make more plays and it will be interesting to see how teams gameplan for this.

Bears special teams coordinator, Richard Hightower, was quoted in a recent article by Pro Football Talk on the plans for who will kick off for the team as, "Anybody with a helmet." This implies that the job may not just simply go to the kicker as it typically has across the league.

The Chiefs have utilized Justin Reid in their kicking game on occasion and we will likely see that in 2024 more as he not only can kick the ball well but can tackle much better than any kicker. Are we going to see this same plan from teams league-wide?

It is difficult to predict who we can see kicking off for the Bears until training camp begins, but it looks like Hightower is willing to put anyone out there that can tackle and kick even mediocrely. Tory Taylor has said he has not done much placekicking, but I am sure he can adjust and is much bigger than Cairo Santos.

While one of those two would be the betting favorite for kicking off, it would be fun and also likely beneficial to see a position player doing it. A couple names I could see handling the job are Kyler Gordon (if he can backflip with ease, I assume he can kick a ball), and Noah Sewell (the Sewell family just seems like they can do it all).

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