Mike McDaniel: It wouldn’t shock me if the No. 1 receivers and linebackers wanted to return kicks

One of the biggest questions heading into the 2024 season is what effect the NFL’s changes will have on matchups, and we’ve heard a lot of thoughts on that topic over the course of the offseason.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel added more in a press conference on Thursday. McDaniel said he believes the new setup — coverage teams can’t move until the returning player serves the ball or it hits the ground inside the landing zone — could be a “huge needle mover in terms of yards predicting points.”

McDaniel added that it wouldn’t surprise him to see top receivers and running backs being used as returners in order to take advantage of those opportunities.

“I think it opens up your roster because the lack of distance or the lack of distance to coverage teams makes it less of an investment overall,” McDaniel said, via text from the team. “So guys might be the starters on defense or offense, and I think that gives you more flexibility to start on that unit for different reasons. Overall, it wouldn’t shock me if every No. 1 receiver and every No. 1 kicker in the league raised their hand to return kicks in the week the fourth.

If teams regularly make big plays upon return, we could see teams opting to just resort to touchbacks even though offenses will now start at the 30-yard line, but that’s one of many things that will remain up in the air until teams start playing games later in the season. this year.

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