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Why do you place the featherboard before the blade?
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The featherboard is used to apply lateral pressure to the material being cut. Placing the featherboard between you and the blade allows the material to be guided accurately while being kept tight against the fence.
Having the feather board too close of even with the blade puts too much stress on the blade, giving you burning and /or saw mark on your piece.
And putting it behind the blade pushes the cut off against the back of the blade. Which then picks it up and throws it back at you, kickback.
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