Ever since Roger Goodell floated the idea proposed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano to eliminate kickoffs in a TIME magazine feature last week, many people have called the proposal ridiculous.
Former Chicago Bears tight end and coach Mike Ditka is just one of the latest to take a shot at the idea of eliminating kickoffs. During an appearance on Mike and Mike In The Morning on Monday, Ditka scoffed at the notion of getting rid of kickoffs for safety reason.
“Who the hell is going to take it out? Somebody who never played the game? Somebody who never coaches the game? We’re going to take the kickoff because it’s too dangerous? Well listen guys, driving a car is dangerous too. Getting on the bus is dangerous. There’s a lot of things that are dangerous. It’s your living. It’s what you do,” Ditka said, via Chris Chase of the USA Today.
If anything, Ditka would like to see even more kickoff returns.
“It’s an integral part of the game,” Ditka said. “It’s a skill part of the game. People who cover have to have courage, determination and skill. And the people who return certainly have to have that. To take that out of the game would be the stupidest thing they would ever do. I think they should move the kickoff back to the 15-yard-line and make more of them happen.”
The moving of kickoffs to the 35-yard line has cut down on the number of returns and getting rid of the wedge has made kickoffs safer for players. While it’s unlikely the league will move the kickoffs back to allow for more returns, it seems equally as unlikely that Schiano’s proposal would ultimately get any real legs either.