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Cheese Curds, 5/26: Potential 4th-and-15 change intrigues Packers

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If the new rule is enacted for 2020, expect more excitement in place of what has become one of the most predictable parts of football.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it: The onside kick is all but dead. Rules changes about kickoffs over the past several years have sapped kicking teams of just about any chance of success of converting and maintaining possession, leading to comebacks being nearly impossible. But finally, there is a change in the works that proposes to bring some added excitement and possibility for teams looking to make a comeback from down multiple scores.

The proposed rule, which will be voted on this week, allows teams to attempt a 4th-and-15 from their own 25-yard line instead of trying an onside kick. If they achieve a first down, they maintain possession; if not, the defending team takes over at the spot where the play ends. Furthermore, teams can only attempt this twice per game, while onside kicks remain an option, likely to be used only sparingly in surprise situations.

For offenses, this change presents an interesting challenge, as teams would have to add a section into their playbook for just such an opportunity. Special teams coordinators will have a little less on their plate, though defending against surprise onside kicks might become more common. And defenses will surely feel this change as well, staying on the field for an extra play late in games.

That said, the fans would be the ones who would benefit the most, as this tweak would make for more exciting finishes. Here’s hoping that this rule passes for 2020 and teams can begin to put it into practice as soon as football starts up again.

Packers eagerly await decision on fourth-and-15 proposal | Packers.com
This idea is one of the best the NFL has come up with in recent memory, at least in this writer's opinion. With onside kicks being virtually impossible these days, there must be another option, even if onside kicks remain.

Potential Rule Change on Onside Kicks Would Require Fourth-and-15 Menu of Plays | SI.com
The Packers' coordinators addressed the possible rule change on Friday. Special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga said he hopes the onside kick does not go away entirely, while Nathaniel Hackett is intrigued by the possibility and necessity of inserting a set of plays into the playbook for the 4th-and-15 scenario.

Packers coordinators face the music for first time since playoff exit - ESPN
Hackett was asked if he has a package planned for Jordan Love and said that it's too early to say, while Mennenga is thrilled that Tyler Ervin is back with the team to hopefully maintain the late-season jolt he provided on returns.

Packers linebacker Ty Summers' full offseason has him ready to compete | Packersnews.com
Last year, the Packers' seventh-round pick flashed a bit in the preseason but played exactly zero snaps on defense in the regular season. With a full offseason that included his marriage (just before COVID-19 shutdowns took place), a new puppy, and a creative workout plan, he's hoping to break into the lineup in 2020.

‘I want to be a part of this team more than anything’: Malik Taylor looks to overcome obstacles | Packers Wire
Taylor made the Packers' practice squad last year, but he has his sights set on a higher goal in 2020: making the active roster. For now, it seems that his biggest challenge is learning the playbook and perfecting the mental side of the game.

The 25 most dominant NFL teams of the last 50 years – The Athletic
The 1996 Packers were only 13th on this list, which makes the methodology suspect in this writer's mind. How can the only team in this span to have led the NFL in BOTH points scored and allowed not crack the top 10.

Man fined for animal cruelty and not wearing face mask after wrestling with bear at Polish zoo | The Independent
Don't get drunk, jump into a zoo enclosure, and try to wrestle with a bear. I can't believe this has to be said.