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Graham Gano Likely on a Shorter Leash Due to New 2011 Kickoff Rules

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Among all the lockout talk, one piece of news I had forgotten about was that NFL teams voted to change the kickoff policy:

Teams voted Tuesday to move kickoffs from the 30- to 35-yard line and prohibit a running head start of more than five yards for members of the coverage team. Touchbacks, though, will still be placed at the 20-yard line rather than the 25 as originally proposed by the NFL's competition committee. Two-man blocking wedges also will be allowed to continue.

Gano ranked 38th out of 39 kickers last season with a 69% field goal percentage (being 0-3 from 50+ did not help). What did help Gano's cause was that he finished the 4th best kicker in return yards (19.0 allowed). 

With the kickoff spot moved up 5 yards, that certainly makes the pool of available kickers a lot higher. The former Florida State and UFL kicker has been spending his off-season watching film on every kick he took this past season. Best of luck Gano, I'm certainly pulling for you.