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Mailbag: New Rules, Future Coaches and More

Browse through the top photos from day 7 of OTAs.

Q: Rick, what’re your thoughts on the new kickoff rules? – Devin McClowski

A: This one has been in my inbox for a couple weeks, but I didn’t think I had enough information to give it a proper answer. All I know is I believe the kickoff is an important part of the game, so I’m all for any way to make it safer while keeping it in there. Personally, I think what Special Teams Coordinator – Assistant Head Coach George Stewart said earlier carries more weight than any insight I can offer into why it’s important to keep:

“I think number one because it gives people an opportunity. I go back and I look at a young man I drafted in Minnesota – Cordarrelle Patterson. And Percy Harvin. Guys that have great kickoff return skills, it gives those guys a chance to make plays for you. Obviously, a big play in the game that can turn a game around quickly. You go back and look at the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl a few years ago. Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. So it’s always good to have that play in the game because it can provide such a big impact for your football team.”

Coach Stewart has so much experience having spent nearly 40 years coaching. He was also adamant that the new rules will have a profound impact on the play:

“It’s going to change the dynamics of the kickoff. Usually, in the pads, we know with the no running start. The premium’s going to be on speed in terms of coverage. You may see some different things from a coverage standpoint. Also, you may see different things from the kicking standpoint. I don’t want to give anything away. We’re going to work on that this week in terms of OTA practices, but that’s going to be a big emphasis in terms of the return game as well. It’s going to be totally different. You have eight guys in the box as opposed to six or five. So it’s going to be a big difference there. You have no wedge in the back end. So, hopefully with speed, you have a chance for guys to get down the football field and make individual plays.”

Q: Any word on the uniform schedule of the team? Has it been released yet? – @Raulentless

A: H/T to my partner in crime Hayley Elwood for feeding me this question off her Instagram feed. This info is usually revealed in early July, so unfortunately it looks like you may have to wait a little while longer to find out. I’ll lobby to let us announce it earlier though on your behalf!

Q:  How’s Scott Quessenberry looking out there? – Pascal C.

A: Too soon to tell. Offensive line is the hardest position to judge during the offseason because there is no real contact. Once the pads come on in training camp and the preseason we’ll have a more accurate gauge on where he’s at. One thing I do know is that he’s a perfect fit in this locker room, particularly this group of o-linemen.

Q: What's the difference between OTAs and Minicamp? – Michael Baez

A: There really isn’t much difference other than minicamp is mandatory. While most teams have players who skip all of OTAs, the Bolts have had full attendance with players attending a portion of the workouts at minimum.

Q: Which player you think will make the best coach one day? – Vinny S.

A: Easy answer – Philip Rivers. It’s a no brainer. But since that’s low hanging fruit, another player I think would be an excellent coach is Adrian Phillips. He’s one of the hardest working players I’ve ever been around. AP’s relentless in breaking down film, knows where everyone is supposed to be and is very relatable. I’d love to see him get into the field once his playing days are over.

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