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Eliminating kickoffs would change the game too dramatically

saints-colts-super-bowl-xliv-onside-kick-4b35dc77b4a3c1be_large Getty Images

Last year, Pats coach Bill Belichick said it was coming.  And it moved a big step closer last week, when Giants co-owner John Mara told his team’s website that the game is “evolving” toward the elimination of the kickoff.

Will it happen?  Is it necessary?  Is there an alternative?

These aren’t rhetorical questions.  Instead, they are enticements to get you to watch the portion of PFT Live during which I address those specific topics.

As the headline suggests, I don’t like it.  Taking out the kickoff means taking out the onside kick, which would change the game too dramatically.

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40 Responses to “Eliminating kickoffs would change the game too dramatically”
  1. steviemo says: Apr 16, 2012 7:46 PM

    The total, ongoing pussification of America. And, no, I don’t expect your preposterous hallway monitors to approve this remark.

  2. raiduhdude says: Apr 16, 2012 7:47 PM

    If the league ever wanted to shoot themselves in the foot, now would be the best opportunity.

  3. InFact says: Apr 16, 2012 7:48 PM

    Tell me the alternatives, if the kick-off is eliminated.

    Offensive team automatically begins from its own 20?

    Fewer special teams players will make the roster, of course.

  4. pappert says: Apr 16, 2012 7:52 PM

    why not let the winner of the coin toss win the whole game.. then we could avoid all hits

  5. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Apr 16, 2012 7:53 PM

    Totally agree with steviemo…this is just plain stupid.

    The kickoff can be exciting when you don’t have a million touchbacks like last year thanks to the last dumb change of moving the kickoff point.

    Eliminating kickoffs would eliminate me from ever watching the game again…and I hope it would drive fans away in droves.

    But then again, there are a lot of stupid people out there who like all this sissy crap and would still watch.

  6. jesusmhdz says: Apr 16, 2012 7:57 PM

    won’t watch the video…keep trying Florio

  7. chitownbears says: Apr 16, 2012 7:58 PM

    Stupid, stupid move. The game will not feel the same, especially for the teams that utilize the return as part of their game plan. It’s the most exciting aspect in a lot of the Bears games so it would be doing Chicago fans a diservice! Nevermind taking away the jobs of a lot of special teamers.

  8. duanethomas says: Apr 16, 2012 7:59 PM

    That’s one of my favorite parts of the game, when I was in high school that was the suicide squad. Guys running down hellbent throwing their bodies into 4/5 man wedges. Oh the mayhem……..I now have to watch PopWarner and High School ball to see some real hitting. This isn’t my dads NFL.

  9. jharmon64 says: Apr 16, 2012 8:01 PM

    NEVER HAPPEN, NEVER.

  10. mjkelly77 says: Apr 16, 2012 8:03 PM

    steviemo said all that needs to be said.

  11. 4thquartermagic says: Apr 16, 2012 8:06 PM

    Still feel bad for kyle williams (pictured above). The dude fumbled away a super bowl… twice.

    You know that has to eat at him everyday.

  12. denverscott says: Apr 16, 2012 8:06 PM

    And mandatory breath mints for linemen so as to not offend the opposing player.

  13. sbxxix says: Apr 16, 2012 8:09 PM

    Keep this up and soon the headlines will read “Eliminating tackling will change the game too dramatically”. This is a load of crap. It was bad enough seeing kickers break touchback records last season. Don’t make this worse than it is. GODell has made too many changes for safety but lets not forget the main reason people watch is becuase the sport was originally anything but safe. Stay classy PFT bloggers

  14. curtainclosed says: Apr 16, 2012 8:10 PM

    I call bolshevik. I still vote Dana White for commishiner.

  15. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 16, 2012 8:16 PM

    why not put flags on them and change the uniforms to hot pink, raging testoterone and big hits and big run backs are what us big time fans want, not some sissified kneel down or just give the ball to the 20 and play ball after each score or beginning of game or half , they might as well cut the 53 man roster down, cause u dont need special teams or kick returners, smh!! what is happening to the game we all loved and grew up watching

  16. souldogdave says: Apr 16, 2012 8:28 PM

    put skirts on them while your at it.

  17. chiefsfan79 says: Apr 16, 2012 8:31 PM

    I think taking out the kick off makes it seem to be too much like backyard football. If you take away anything that involves kicking the ball,you might as well call it something other than football.

    If they want to cut down on players getting concussions on kick offs,move the spot of the kick back to where it was and allow the defense to be lined up 5-10 yards ahead of the kicking tee. This will give defensive players time to get to the KR to make a tackle,but not allow them a lot of room for a big hit. Also,eliminate the rule that a defensive player must allow 2 yards seeing that they are having the opportunity to make a kock out hit taken away.

  18. JohnnyRyde says: Apr 16, 2012 8:31 PM

    A question from someone who has never played the game. Why do we never hear any talk of eliminating punts? Is the punt coverage inherently safer than kickoff coverage?

    BTW, count me in as someone who thinks eliminating this is a bad idea. Without at least the threat of an on-side kick, games that come down to a difference of 9+ points near the end of the fourth will be a lot less exciting. If a team is down by 10 at the end, but about to score a TD, you have to keep watching at least to see if they score and successfully convert the on-side kick…

  19. taurusturner says: Apr 16, 2012 8:32 PM

    They are making this game soft. C’mon like this is football. Not ping pong.

  20. axespray says: Apr 16, 2012 8:36 PM

    didn’t a dude fumbling/muffling during a kickoff help the Giants just win a championship?

    Special Teams are a big part of the game, the strategy of field posistion and what not, it’s one of the reasons the bears have been a tough team in the last couple of years, they always lock you down inside the 20/play D, and return kicks for TDs.

    This is turning into the National Wuss League, thanks former players/james harrison’s tackling coach/viking fans that can’t get over that NFC title game.

  21. rlimpert says: Apr 16, 2012 8:41 PM

    You can thank the 1000+ former players currently suing the league for this one. D-bags.

  22. melikefootball says: Apr 16, 2012 8:48 PM

    I heard they are going to shorten the game to three minute quarters in the name of safety.

  23. steveohho says: Apr 16, 2012 8:51 PM

    Assuming they eliminate kickoffs, you can thank the people who write the liability laws (all lawyers).

  24. jfd349 says: Apr 16, 2012 8:55 PM

    Still feel bad for kyle williams (pictured above). The dude fumbled away a super bowl… twice.

    ************************************

    Except both times it happened on punts, which seems like they would still be a part of the game.

  25. sagnam says: Apr 16, 2012 9:03 PM

    Fine with me. It’s a small part of the game mostly played by the bottom of the roster.

    Also, it would eliminate the dreaded extra point, commercial, kickoff, commercial, possession sequence.

  26. catchhester23 says: Apr 16, 2012 9:07 PM

    I am a big hester fan and all this talk about injuries on kickoffs seems way over blown. I have watched hester from the time he was drafted to now and don’t recall him ever getting a concussion or any big injury from a return or punt. A couple tweeked ankles and pulled hamstring doesn’t count, in my eyes that could happen anytime. But I do remember that first ever returned opening kickoff in a super bowl.

    Should spend more time coming up with a rule that keeps punters from shanking it away on purpose ( unless you get it out of bounds inside the 20 )

  27. robholiday says: Apr 16, 2012 9:09 PM

    I think we should put the “foot” back in football.
    Eliminate the extra point. Move the kickoff to the 40 yard line. If the kicker can kick the ball through the uprights, it’s 1 point and the other team gets the ball at their 20 yard line. If the ball goes out of the endzone, but not through the uprights, the other team gets the ball at their 20 also. If the ball can be fielded, then it can be returned. It’s safer with less returns and it puts more emphasis on having a good kicker.

  28. waldoampere says: Apr 16, 2012 9:13 PM

    The more I hear about John Mara, the more I don’t like him.

  29. chawk12thman says: Apr 16, 2012 9:39 PM

    pappert says:
    Apr 16, 2012 7:52 PM
    why not let the winner of the coin toss win the whole game.. then we could avoid all hits
    ————————————————————

    Only if we make it more fair……..Best of 7 Tosses and Video Booth review………..Of course, only two T.V. commercial time outs allowed between the 2nd and 5th tosses and each team given one additional time out to regroup and decide what to “call”.

  30. altoon88 says: Apr 16, 2012 9:42 PM

    Let’s keep ruining the game with rule changes. Maybe the players can wear pink all season instead of one month. In old NFL films you used to see hard-nosed football, now you will see a lot of pink and rules making players hold back and not give 100%.

  31. vetdana says: Apr 16, 2012 9:51 PM

    Pure stupidity !!They are taking away those things that have drawn people to football from the games very beginning !……If they take away the kicking and punting game…many fans are going to exit this sport at the pro level ! Flag football anyone ?

  32. Deb says: Apr 16, 2012 10:28 PM

    Hey, Rog … it would be nice if football could maintain some connection between, you know, the foot and the, um, ball.

  33. dancingwiththesnowman says: Apr 16, 2012 11:54 PM

    If kickoffs are too dangerous then maybe running plays are too dangerous and there should only be passes. Defenses will have to attempt to urge the receiver out of bounds or fall down on their own using colorful (but not defamatory) language. Perhaps the league could ban injuries altogether.

  34. imaduffer says: Apr 17, 2012 12:03 AM

    What are all the NFL writers going to do when there is no NFL football? The beginning of the end of the NFL started a couple of years ago.

  35. grannyvi4 says: Apr 17, 2012 1:24 AM

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. The kick-off is one of the most exciting parts of the game.

    I thought the NFL was in the business of making money, not losing it. Some of these rule changes will change the game so much people won’t want to watch or attend games anymore. How about investing in better equipment instead?

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  36. Vegas Guy says: Apr 17, 2012 1:50 AM

    I’ve always loved football for one reason. You pay these guys X millions of dollars and they sacrifice their bodies. They play the game and then their careers end and they go on with their lives. Not like baseball players who make ridiculous amounts of money and whine about their sore toe and they are out 6 weeks. These guys play through that crap. They EARN their money. But now? This is getting ridiculous.. and it’s lawsuits and all this other crap that’s causing it. I don’t WANT anyone hurt but that’s why they get paid because they very well MIGHT be hurt.

  37. bronco23fan says: Apr 17, 2012 3:42 AM

    I think you guys are missing the real dangers here. The players are too athletic. First of all if we want to be safe there should be a maximum height and weight limit (5′ 9″, 155 lbs) and a maximum 40 yd time (like 4.8 seconds). And maybe institute a couple more effective rules. Like requiring players to take sedatives before games to keep them calmer. And eliminate some of the hazardous parts of the game like blitzing, cheerleaders, offensive play-calling, booth reviews and half-time shows. In all seriousness though, what are those football players getting paid to do? And who is making them do it? Answers: they are getting paid, absurd amounts of money so I can see their head taken off during a kick off, and no one is making them do it.

  38. nokoolaidcowboy says: Apr 17, 2012 5:34 AM

    This is all going to be played by robots in the future anyway ala The Jetsons.

  39. GG Eden says: Apr 17, 2012 7:34 AM

    Ideally, nothing changes.

    But, I gotta admit, you come up with a pretty good idea in your video.

  40. souldogdave says: Apr 17, 2012 9:23 AM

    This would ruin the game, end of story.

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