How the Dolphins can use speed to exploit the NFL's new kickoff rule.

The owners approved a rule change that will change kickoffs forever, how can the Dolphins use the new rules to their advantage?

Vegas Vipers v DC Defenders
Vegas Vipers v DC Defenders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The NFL voted today, March 26th, to change the sport as we know it. No longer will kickoffs in the NFL look the way they have for our whole lives. All the hours spent practicing kickoff coverages and kick return blocking are gone. In it's place, something brand new.

In this new kickoff, players will line up 5 yards apart and won't begin running until the ball gets to the return man. The kick also has to land between the end zone and the 20-yard line. If the kick lands in the end zone, a touchback brings the ball to the 30. If the kick lands short of the 20, or out of bounds, the ball is placed at the 40.

This rule change is meant to make kickoffs more exciting while also protecting the players. Plenty of injuries have occurred on kickoffs over the years due to players barreling full speed downfield. It feels odd to change such a staple of the game, but I'll reserve judgment to see it in action.

Now, this bodes well for teams with speed, and the Dolphins have plenty of that. In this new kickoff, it is all about vision and speed. I expect to see some of the faster-running backs in the league become return men due to their vision.

If you look at the return above, can you imagine Achane or Tyreek Hill bursting through a seam on kickoffs? With all the players already down the field, all it takes is a crease, and it's 90 yards and a peace sign for the kickoff team.

I would expect Mike McDaniel and even Butch Barry to capitalize on this new rule by creating a unique blocking scheme or two for the return team. I would also expect, or hope, to see Tyreek and Achane as return men this season, especially since the injury risk is lessened.

With Achane's combination of speed and vision, he will be able to explode through a seam in the blocking and get loose. For Tyreek, his vision may not be as good, but his elusiveness and ability to make men miss in space could also set him loose. These guys will need to be reminded not to do too much reversing the field or hero ball. If you see a crease, hit it and go.

Worst case scenario with those two back there, the Dolphins will get the ball at the 30 on touchbacks frequently, as who will want to kick off to those guys and risk it? While the change may take some getting used to, I see Miami being able to take advantage of the new rule and add some lethality to the special teams unit.

Check out this article for more insight into the kickoff rule and the Dolphins special teams unit.