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Weekly column: NFL tackling itself with new “safety” rules

With the new kickoff rule in place, return specialist Devin Hester (23) will see his production decline. Hester is the NFL's all-time leader in kickoff/punt return touchdowns.

Ron Rokhy

September 6, 2011

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith decided to purposely put his team at a disadvantage during its preseason opener against the Bills on Aug. 13. Instead of taking the kickoff from the 35-yard line, as a new NFL rule stipulates, he took it from the 30. He did this twice before an NFL official called Soldier Field and told him to stop. After the game,...

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Devin Hester