Jets kickoff unit altering approach to allow returns

Nick Folk won't be booting it quite as far Saturday night against the Giants. Credit: Getty Images
Nick Folk won’t be booting it quite as far Saturday night against the Giants.
Credit: Getty Images

On Saturday night, the Jets are hoping to have return yards against them.

No, that’s not a misprint. The Jets’ special teams coaching staff wants their kickers to boot the ball shorter.

In the season-opening preseason game, the Lions didn’t have a single kickoff return against the Jets. The Jets had eight kickoffs but only had four returns in the win last weekend over Jacksonville. Even more remarkable, the first-team kickoff unit hasn’t had a single return against them yet this preseason. That’s good news for the Jets in that they are limiting return yards and minimizing the chance for big plays. But it is unreasonable to think their kickers will be able to keep up this pace throughout the season.

So the kickers will be asked to kick the ball shorter so the coaching staff can evaluate the talent on the unit.

“By design, they want those guys to cover and they told us to put it at the goal line, with hang time in the direction we’re trying to go,” kicker Nick Folk said. “It’s for them to get used to covering, because our ones (starters) haven’t had any returns. They want them to get some reps, some game-speed stuff. You don’t want them lulled to sleep.

“They want to evaluate those guys on film. It’s hard to simulate that [in practice] because you don’t want to go ones versus ones here, so you want to do it in a game.”

Rather than a typical 10-yard kickoff approach, both Folk and fellow kicker Billy Cundiff will shorten their approach to five yards. Nothing about the kicking form is different; it is just backing off the distance.

Folk has been practicing the approach this week to make sure that on Saturday night against the Giants, there will be return yards against the unit.

“You’re kind of pulling out a 5-iron instead of a driver if you want to call it that,” Folk said. “You’re just not bringing the speed into it as much. For me, I’m not bringing in the same speed I would when I’m back for my normal approach. I am slowed so I don’t have the same speed and the ball isn’t going to go as far. It’s pretty much the same kick, just a shorter approach.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…