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NFL EVOLVING towards eliminating Kickoffs per John Mara

MAustin96 : 4/14/2012 2:45 pm
Sorry, words could have been taken wrong. Interesting. What could they do instead?
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If they continue gutting the staples  
BigBlueinSoFl : 4/14/2012 3:39 pm : link
of the game like this, the play on the field will start looking more like this past Pro Bowl did than anything resembling football as it was meant to be played. They might as well just have the players controlling robots on the field from the sidelines or better yet, up in a booth to prevent the possibility of catching cold from being out in chilly weather.
The NFL of the future  
Adam G in Big D : 4/14/2012 3:42 pm : link
Rugby it is then  
Killed the K-Gun : 4/14/2012 3:44 pm : link
I could be dead wrong on this  
oldmanTom : 4/14/2012 3:50 pm : link
because I have no stats on hand but I would be surprised if more players get injured on kick-offs than any other single type of play during the game. You have large, strong, athletic men running full speed at each other from differing angles trying their best at a violent collision. It's not just the head injuries, it's every part of a player's body that is susceptible. I love kick-offs as much as every one but we're talking about serious injuries that have the possibility of, short-term putting the player out of action for a while or, at worst, shortening or ending a players career.
newmike2 : 3:02 pm  
Rick5 : 4/14/2012 3:50 pm : link
I was thinking the same thing.
make that  
oldmanTom : 4/14/2012 3:51 pm : link
"Not be surprised"
this is crazy  
Optimus-NY : 4/14/2012 3:55 pm : link
BBurns : 4/14/2012 3:55 pm : link
The days of Clarence Childs blowing by Lou "The Toe" Groza
are gone .....really can't stand Goodwill in
any way shape or form .
Didn't Belichick....  
Cool Papa B. : 4/14/2012 4:15 pm : link
Predict this?
why are people still bashing Goodell  
BigBlueCane : 4/14/2012 4:20 pm : link
when this the will of the Owners who are facing major lawsuits over player safety?
BBC exactly..  
Aaron Thomas : 4/14/2012 4:25 pm : link
Goodell works for the owners, not the other way around. Any changes that are made to the game are approved by the owners and whether Goodell agrees or disagrees with them does not matter. It's the same in most sports really.
Wrong Move  
Trainmaster : 4/14/2012 4:36 pm : link
What they should eliminate is the "1 point conversion". What a boring, no risk 99% automatic play. After a touchdown, have every team be forced to run a 2 point conversion play.

Just give  
OC : 4/14/2012 5:02 pm : link
Everybody a skirt & a flag belt. No concussions there. Be adding all the equipment managers to the list of the unemployed.
Sneakers O'toole : 4/14/2012 5:04 pm : link
Fucking awful.
taking the Foot  
old man : 4/14/2012 5:06 pm : link
Out of football?
I can see giving team an option which would likely give away an on-side
kick happening.All depends on where the offense would start.
OC : 4/14/2012 5:07 pm : link
What BBC said. Goodell is nothing more than a mouthpiece for ownership. Basically a buffer zone to absorb the heat.
Get rid of it  
grhein8008 : 4/14/2012 5:11 pm : link
not like we ever get a good one
How About  
Popeye : 4/14/2012 6:03 pm : link
After a FG, opposing team gets ball at 35 or even 40.

After a TD, opposing team gets ball at 20.

Would devalue FG's a bit, which is a good thing, encourage teams to go for TD's. Different type of strategy to think about.

I like taking the kicker out of the game. I prefer it when games are NOT decided by the placekickers.

I would really hate it  
River Mike : 4/14/2012 6:05 pm : link
Tweaking the rules is one thing, but totally eliminating basic, traditional parts of the game structure is not something I would like to see. To me, that would be a radical change and it wouldn't be quite the same game anymore.
As far as lawsuits go,  
River Mike : 4/14/2012 6:10 pm : link
players agree to, and get paid to play the game as it is. Now if the NFL was found to ignore injury saving equipment, or not provide proper medical care, or eliminate bounties, that's one thing, but the game is the game and the players sign contracts knowing what the game entails.
Trainmaster's point is spot-on  
Kyle : 4/14/2012 6:16 pm : link
PATs are utterly worthless. I'd rather a team just get the automatic one point, or force them to go for two. The play has a 99% conversion rate. What the eff is the reason for keeping it beyond "it's tradition hurrr"?
Gotta love that JOHN MARA  
TheNeumann64 : 4/14/2012 6:18 pm : link
our owner, says something, and Roger Goddell takes the hit for it on here.

Personally, I really hope they can find a way to still have kickoffs be a part of the game. It's a small piece of football, but would seem like a significant step if it was cut out.

That said, it really saddens me that every discussion of player safety around here devolves into jokes about flag football, players wearing skirts, etc. Do I think they hide behind player safety a bit when it comes to the hits half a second after the QB releases the ball? Yes, I do. But overall, the owners are in a situation where they have to worry about liability, lawsuits, and the future viability of the game. Right now, the NFL is the goose that lays the golden eggs, but that all becomes threatened when the definitive study comes out that links playing contact football at any level to serious brain injuries. The day it turns out that even playing youth and High School football causes some level of repetitive brain injury is the day a lot of parents don't let their kids play football. And the NFL, which sets the example for the rest of football, is going to have to have already made serious inroads as to making the game safer.
Awful idea  
Torrag : 4/14/2012 6:22 pm : link
It's one thing to tweak the rules for safety. It's another to remove an entire segment of the special teams game altogether. Let's not go down thios raod MFL, it's a slippery slope imo.
It's about time  
cosmicj : 4/14/2012 6:33 pm : link
Kickoffs are incredibly dangerous and boring at the same time. I skip over them when watching games.

You guys talking about "pussyfication" need to get your head out of your asses. The NFL is so dangerous it is on its way to extinction and eliminating kickoffs are the low hanging fruit. Low cost high marginal improvement in safety.

I'm happy to hear that the owners are becoming serious about thie safety issue.
Bad idea. Really bad idea.  
Red Dog : 4/14/2012 7:12 pm : link
Kickoffs are part of the game. The unpredictability of the result of the KO is an important aspect of the ebb and flow of the contest.

And it's not just the return itself, and it's not just the on-side kick. It's also the possibility that the kicking team really screws up and kicks it out of bounds giving the return team the ball on the 40. And there's always the possibility of a fumble on the return, too.

I do like the idea of moving the KO line up another five yards. That would give the kicking team the option of kicking it in a way to eliminate a return OR they could still do their on-side kick attempt.

They're bent on turning the NFL into a flag football league.
Mara essentially is saying it's a long way off, if ever  
Big Blue '56 : 4/14/2012 7:15 pm : link
Red Dog  
cosmicj : 4/14/2012 7:32 pm : link
Flag football? You think reducing the physicality of the current game from the superhuman to the merely very dangerous makes it like flag football?

With all due respect (I certainly enjoy your posts), that is asinine. With the athletic caliber of players in the NFL today, kickoffs are simply not practical anymore. It doesn't matter that kickoffs have been part of the game forever. The kickoff is no longer tenable in today's society.
I like the idea of only having kickoffs at..  
Shockwave : 4/14/2012 7:55 pm : link
the beginning of the game, after half time, and if needed overtime.

If anything changes that should be it. It does not get rid of it but it takes probably 4-8 kickoffs away from each game
I really don't understand all the anger toward change  
BUgiantfan : 4/14/2012 9:30 pm : link
Football is constantly evolving. 100 years ago, the sport resembled rugby but changes were made in the name of player safety. This is not a new concept. It's the nature of the sport.
Not a refined idea  
Knineteen : 4/14/2012 11:48 pm : link
but what about forcing the receiving team to run down the field with the kicking team similar to a punt? This would remove the conflicting contact that causes many concussions. Again, not a refined idea, just an idea.
Change in the NFL is a constant.....  
WideRight : 4/15/2012 8:58 am : link
and figuring it out is just like Watergate: follow the money. Maximizing revenues entails minimizing risk. They will get rid of the football if it leads to greater profits.
Why not change the configuration of the kick-off  
Some Fan : 4/15/2012 9:05 am : link
in some way instead? Perhaps, ensure that the kick-off team closer to the return team but the kicker kicks off from same place to avoid so many high-speed collisions?
Kninteen that is a good idea  
Some Fan : 4/15/2012 9:10 am : link
My thinking is to just re-configure the kick-off and still allow onsides kicks
While I don't think kickoffs  
Go Terps : 4/15/2012 9:23 am : link
would be a huge loss, I'm concerned that the mindset appears to be to alter the game rather than to focus on teaching the proper technique necessary to limit exposure to injury. Injuries (and thus potential lawsuits) are never going to NOT be a part of the game. I just hope its not kickoffs now, tackling between the hash marks next.

I won't believe the owners are actually serious about this issue until they consider reducing, not increasing, the number of games played.
I'm torn  
Milton : 4/15/2012 9:34 am : link
I'm not a big fan of kickoffs, more things can go wrong than can go right on them, but it's been part of the game since there's been a game, so to just do away with them doesn't seem right. Maybe they can move it to the fifty yard line so it's more of a formality (like the extra point) than a competitive play. And all on-side kicks would have to go fifteen yards instead of ten (otherwise teams would play the percentages too often and every game would begin with an on-side kick).
An added benefit of getting rid of...  
Milton : 4/15/2012 9:38 am : link
...or diminishing the amount of returnable kickoffs, is that teams wouldn't have to spend all that much time practicing the kickoff and that time could be better used getting the young guys up to speed on offense and defense.

p.s.-- I'd also be willing to guess that in terms of gambling, more favorites will cover if there are fewer (or no) returnable kickoffs.
I've been bleeding blue for 55+ years  
Big Blue '56 : 4/15/2012 9:53 am : link
and I've seen it all as has a bunch on here. I'm not tied up into tradition as many seem to be. Through the years it appears that KOs have hurt us far more than helped us, field position-wise. I'm totally fine eliminating KOs and leveling the playing field. Let the stronger, better coached team win the battle of (starting at) the 20s..
have a bunch  
Big Blue '56 : 4/15/2012 9:53 am : link
Design better  
River Mike : 4/15/2012 9:58 am : link
equipment ... helmets, pads, braces, etc. Tweak the rules, give harsher penalties and fines for unnecessary roughness. But don't totally eliminate a substantial and traditional part of the game. I'm not one of those "flag football" ranters. You've never seen me post any negatives about all the safety rules re blocking, tackling, wedge formations, hitting the QB, the punter, etc. But don't completely throw out an important aspect of the game. And yes, I absolutely disagree with those who say it is not important or interesting.
BigBlueCane : 4/15/2012 11:14 am : link
changing the mindset has to start in Pee Wee leagues and working its way up through High Schools and College.

And quite frankly given the sordid state of coaching on both levels, I have real doubts that would ever happen.
NFL vs Military  
BigBlueFan9834 : 4/15/2012 12:24 pm : link
Many people take much more risk for a lot less money joining the military. They join the military and a bit younger age too. I don't see how this is all the dangerous when you compare it to the military. I think this is more of a government decision than an NFL owner decision.
You know what pro football really needs right now  
Sneakers O'toole : 4/15/2012 2:08 pm : link
another league to compete with the NFL. I wish to god one would come along that could survive long enough to start to make some headway. If I was ridiculously wealthy, I'd start one myself.
River Mike : 4/15/2012 2:32 pm : link
I'm not sure I follow you. How would that affect safety?
I'm not making a point about safety  
Sneakers O'toole : 4/15/2012 2:49 pm : link
I'm saying that it would help prevent the NFL from making these unpopular changes to the game. I'm not a fan of a lot of these changes.
Sneakers O'toole : 4/15/2012 2:50 pm : link
would be healthy for pro football, I think it's something that has been desperately needed for quite some time.
I agree,  
River Mike : 4/15/2012 5:04 pm : link
competition is always healthy. But I can't forsee any real competition to the NFL at all.
WideRight : 4/15/2012 10:42 pm : link
the only competition to the NFL is Hockey, NHL or KHL, because there will be vicious agression there long after the NFL is watered down. I say KHL, because the NHL may not have enough balls. Ultimate fighting will also get some props.....

Seriously, the NFL has to dance a dance, or become a declining asset, like baseball....
Sneakers O'toole : 4/16/2012 9:57 am : link
I know it's a pipe dream, but a man must dream.
I don't think I'd like to  
Dan in WNY : 4/16/2012 10:01 am : link
See a competing league. I like the fact that the best of best are in the NFL and are not split up.
One way that I'd like to see player risk reduced  
an_idol_mind : 4/16/2012 10:28 am : link
is to change the media culture somehow. A lot of players go for big jarring hits so they can wind up on sports reel highlights the next day rather than tackling or blocking soundly. I think somehow shifting the focus to good fundamentals and proper tackling would probably help player safety and also make the game more enjoyable. Unfortunately, I don't see a way for the owners to effect such a culture change.
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