Jeff Fisher is “sure” possible elimination of kickoff will be addressed in February


In a TIME magazine article released on Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell floated the possibility of eliminating the kickoff and using instead a fourth-and-15-from-the-30 scenario for the team that otherwise would be kicking.

And now we start the process of posting reactions to the news.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, a member of the league’s Competition Committee, says that further discussion of the possible elimination of the kickoff is inevitable.

“I’m sure it will be something that will be addressed once the committee gets together in February,” Fisher said.  “But that’s just . . . there’s been a lot of different things that have come up. Obviously, if you look at what we’ve done with the kickoff when we moved it up from the 30 to the 35 we haven’t had — well, the injury numbers have gone down significantly since the move two years ago. There’s been some talk, I think [Giants co-owner John] Mara, may have mentioned over a period of time, maybe there will be some consideration that we’ll remove it from the game completely, but those things will be discussed during the offseason.”

Fisher shares Goodell’s concerns regarding the safety aspect of the kickoff. “It is an exciting part of the game, but it is — from an injury standpoint — the injury rate per play is highest on the kickoff,” Fisher said.

It’s our understanding that, for now, the only idea on the table is the one that Bucs coach Greg Schiano hatched, and that Goodell shared with Sean Gregory of TIME.  And we (or at least I) like it.

What do you think?  Cast your vote below, if you haven’t already.

122 responses to “Jeff Fisher is “sure” possible elimination of kickoff will be addressed in February

  1. The kickoff play as it stands now is incredibly boring. 90% of the time it ends in a touchback and another commercial break. The 4th and 15 concept would allow for teams trailing to try and keep possession, while keeping in effect the kick return (punt returns are much more entertaining than kick returns, since KR’s almost always end in TBs)

    I’m all for anything to make the game more interesting, why not give it a try?

  2. I think that punting from the 30 is fine, as long as teams must use the punt formation, and there is a penalty for a punt that goes out of bounds without first landing in bounds.

  3. Im a huge Rams fan. But, what about the onside kick? That is one of the most exciting plays in football!


  5. The question I have is where the line to gain is on 4th and 15? Is the ball placed at the 30, and the line to gain the 45? That means that the punter would be back at his own 15. That seems off for some reason.

  6. Leave the kickoff but:

    A ball kicked out of the end zone should be two points for the receiving team

    A kneel or fair catch in the end zone is two points for the kicking team.

    Players of the kicking team have to line up on the line of scrimmage.

  7. Totally Ridiculous……I can’t. Believe this is actually happening.

    If something like this has to happen then I vote for giving the home team the choice and then just let the offense start the game 1st and 10 from the 15-yard line.

  8. This is something that should be tested in the preseason for at least a couple of seasons. It eliminates the onside kick. Unless the punt is a live ball as long as it goes 10 yards. I think it should be a 4th & 10 not 15.

  9. I’m all for it and think it is a good idea. kickoffs are pointless anyway and inside kicks almost never work. I think the 4th and 15 idea is great as it would create the need for a whole New team of players on offense and defense and would drastically level the playing field when teams are mounting comebacks.
    it would make for really interesting games thats for sure. just keep kickoffs at the start of the game and after halftime.
    stats would increase and ganesh would be scoring higher. I love the idea. I hope they try it next season.
    kickoffs are horrible and boring now bc of rule changes. something has to be done to make the game more entertaining now that kickoff return for tds are extinct!!!!
    tebow type punt protector players would be valuable for fake punts in games!!!

    they would and should expand the game day and in season active rosters. with player injuries at an all time high it needs to happen.
    I think the rosters should be expanded from 53 players to 73 players. that would create alot more superstars that would never get a shot to be on a team during the season.
    this would give teams time to actually develop lower grade players as their is no farm team systems.

    I would love to see a number of farm leagues local and international for the nfl as it would develop the game internationally and locally to New heights.

  10. Competition committee should not consist of active coaches. But at this rate eliminate the punt, field goals and all passing plays

  11. I think you got the quote that you titled the article with wrong.

    I’m sure I head Fisher say –

    “I’m sure the possible elimination of many NFL fans will be addressed in February”.

  12. Yeah that will eliminate concussions….NOT!!!

    I just completely laugh and yell “BS” when Jeff Fisher and Goodell bring up player safety. Those 2 chumps ain’t fooling anyone when you bring up player safety. We all know it’s make money first, worry about player safety second.

    Brilliant idea: Take the away the helmets since in some cases they are used as a weapon. We all know those pretty boy defensive backs will think twice before lean their head and strike a offensive player with their head. Because all know they don’t want to mess up their grills. We the NFL needs to do is to take a page out Australian rules football. Rugby does not have a concussion issue because the players are actually forced to wrap and TACKLE, instead of using their heads as a weapon when they tackle.

  13. how about 2 kickoffs, 1 to start and 1 at halftime then implement this dumb rule for the rest of game. How can u not have a kickoff to start the game? And Espns countdown to 4th and 15 doesnt sound right

  14. who would go for it on 4th and 15 from their own 30? retarded. just make it a mandatory punt if you’re going to make a change like that.

    horrible idea.

  15. I think I like the idea. The game has evolved over the years, and will continue to evolve, so everyone just needs to get over the idea that it won’t be football anymore.

    The idea was a shock to me at first but the games would still be exciting to watch. And if it makes the game safer, there’s a better chance the game will still exist in 25 years and not be sued out of existence.

  16. Get rid of the kickoff now, then next thing you know it will be punt returns are the most dangerous things left and then the QB cant be touched whatsoever in the pocket. (Thanks to John Madden that has already been discussed).

    Some one else said it already, in 10 years football will no longer be or at least no where near the game we know it today.

    My son told me a year ago, Dad, this concussion thing is going to end the NFL.

  17. National Take The Fun Out of Football League
    1 Safety Boulevard
    Boob Cancer Month, MD 12345

    Dear Football Fans,

    We are facing a serious crisis of life-changing injuries in our sport. For nearly 100 years we have had a barbaric sport where men chased, tackled, hit, punched, kicked, and otherwise did barbaric things to each other to win a game.

    We must end this display of male aggression.

    And we will!

    We offer the following:

    – We won’t keep score anymore. Losers feel so bad afterwards. And winners feel so superior.

    – No tackling. If the offense wants to run the ball, you step aside and let them score.

    – No pass defenders. If the receiver walks through the defensive line, he should be allowed to catch the ball. The men on defense are to wave and to be gracious as the offensive player walks 90 yards down field to score. But we won’t track the score.

    – Winning and losing is so unimportant. It is just that we have fun while we are on the field and the two teams will have a half-time snack together at mid-field on a blanket and talk about their favorite Obama story.

    – Once the 60 minutes of game time has expired, the players will kiss on the lips and pat each other on the rears. This will show the female viewers that these men are tender.

    – There will be no need to kickoff. We’ll put the ball on the 20 yard line and do away with the need to keep track of downs. When the offense says they are tired of playing, they’ll give the ball to the other offense. This will show cooperation.

    I hope you fans will appreciate our desire to turn this game into a safe one. And we will no longer have mascots for the teams. We’ll just call them by their city name and in the case of New York, we’ll refer to them as number one and number two.


    Commissioner Peaches Goodytwoshoes Goodell

  18. Moving the kickoff up for player safety is an admission by the league that they consider the play to be dangerous. The league has no choice but to remove it from the game, lest their actions be used against them in lawsuits

    So long, kickoffs

  19. Fans need to understand this isn’t Goodells idea of good football. This is Goodell’s response to the old NFLers suing the NFL. If Goodell tries to make the NFL safer, but the current players object, its ammo for the NFL against the old players.

    Blame your old idols, who are suing the league, for making todays NFL unwatchable.

  20. let’s do it!!!!! the punt of go for it rule instead of kickoffs would be awesome!!!

    also expand the rosters to 73 players!!!!

    create local, national, and international nfl farm leagues for teams to develop local and international talent!!!!!!!!

    increase the salary cap!

    expand the season to 23 weeks and 20 games played and give each team 3 bye weeks to recover!! this would create a season where a team isn’t out of it half way thru the season like so many this year. if you have 10 more games to play half way thru anything can happen, so it would increase fan value and keep fans glued even more!!!!

    The Nfl is like entertainment heroin once you get addicted you are addicted for life!!!

    once the nfl’s contract is up with ea sports I hope that the NFL starts making its own video games maybe as a division of nfl films and nfl network!

    allow other video game companies pay and bid to make nfl video games not just ea sports as competition creates the best product!!!

    I would love to see players like RG3 and Adrian Peterson develop nfl football training workout games for kinect and even have nfl games like the old deion sanders and Joe Montana football back!!
    it would expand the nfl brand and keep the youth of the world addicted to the nfl. I know so many of us in our 20’s became even bigger football fans bc of video games allowing us to trade players, run a franchise etc!! bring it back and help ensure the nfls dominance among the youth!!!! having only madden for nfl football games sucks!!!!

  21. Would this be treated like a normal 4th down, meaning that defensive holding or PI would be an automatic first down? With the way the league favors the offense, this could have a higher then expected success rate.

  22. the highpowered offenses of the nfl are going to score many more points. all sorts of records are going to be broken which will make comparisons inaccurate..

  23. How many teams go for it on 4th and 1 let alone 4th and 15? Plus 47% of kickoffs are touchbacks now. This may actually improve the game. People are so scared of change, even good change, that it’s comical.

  24. When a sequel of the movie “Good Burger” is made. Will BobG3 , the Kel Mitchell cclone, be in the movie? BobG3 needs to get on camera and yell, Welcome to Good Burger , Home of the Good Burger , can i take your order

  25. The subject of the article is that Jeff Fisher and the rest of the competition committee (chairman Rich McKay, John Mara, Ozzie Newsome, Stephen Jones, Rick Smith, Marvin Lewis, and Mark Murphy) will discuss rule changes for kick offs. No mention of Goodell having any input in the process.

    Yet, people still attribute potential changes they don’t like to the commissioner. Get over it.

    Goodell, the owners, coaches and player representatives are trying to navigate the league through difficult times. Neither Tagliabue nor Rozelle had to institute the changes Goodell must as a result of the concussion litigation.

    Don’t like all the rule changes? At least direct your anger at those responsible: all the former players suing the league for hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The owners who know a thing or two about operating a multi-billion dollar enterprise are plenty satisfied with the job Goodell is doing. And that’s all that matters.

  26. Don’t mess with tradition! If the NFL keeps going this direction, some smart (and rich!) guy is going to get with some other smart (and rich) guys and form a new league, ala the USFL.

    They’ll figure a way to have players to sign some sort of waiver to prevent league liability in the future, and then they will have an old-school league with real kickoffs and players allowed to “jack-up” other players with clean, hard football, without fear of huge fines and in-game penalties that are simply stupid.

    Then it’s just a matter of time…They’ll sign some bigtime players from college for ultra big dollars, sprinkle in a few “aging” stars, fans will speak with their wallets, a network will fork over some big dollers for the rights, and competition will set in. Bye-Bye No Fun League. You’d think the NFL would remember their AFL history…

    I’m talking about some gimmick XFL cruddy product. I’m talking about a league that puts a high quality product on the field and limits flagarant injureous hits in favor of clean, hard, football that makes sense…not nonsense Goodall football.

  27. You can all sit here and complain how Goodell is ruining the sport, but you ate still all fans and still all care about the NFL. The NFL is the most popular sport in America for a reason , so I doubt changing kickoff would outcast so many fans.

  28. buffalobills2012 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:54 PM

    how about 2 kickoffs, 1 to start and 1 at halftime then implement this dumb rule for the rest of game. How can u not have a kickoff to start the game? And Espns countdown to 4th and 15 doesnt sound right
    I have a hard time imagining that kickoffs are still that dangerous, but your idea sounds like a decent compromise to me – no punt to start the game, but a kickoff only to start the game and 2nd half. As I recall, tipoffs in basketball used to happen at start of halves or even quarters, but now only start the game. As for the strategy of onside kicks, removing that might be the worst part of such a change.

  29. God dell will go down as The SingleWorst Thing to ever happen to this League. The owners had better wise up and see that this guy is single handily destroying this game and turning off Fans more and more every year!

  30. Too many rule changes. Too many specialty packages. Theyre gonna wanna expand roster limits even more. Just line up and play football how it was meant to be played.

  31. We make football the number one sport because of the action. Personally I’m starting to get frustrated with all these rule changes making the game soft, and unfair at times for the defense. Keep changing the game, and you’ll see more teams having issues selling tickets.

  32. Look, I agree they have softened up the game a little too much but also they don’t have much of a choice with the recent former player lawsuits.

    It’s a big change for sure, but is it really worse than watching 85% of the kickoffs now result in touchbacks?

    Ok so Team A scores a TD: extra point, commercial, kickoff (most likely touchback or weak return to the 15-25 yard line), another commercial. I’ve even gotten up to take a shower after my team has gotten scored on and came back to watch 3rd down on the next possession.

    Sure it may fundamentally change the game but the simple fact is the NFL is entertainment first, football second. So why not embrace the 4th and 15 scenario from the 30?

    Do many teams actually run back a safety punt? No, so it wouldn’t give the receiving team much of an advantage at all. And it would make the games more interesting because a team that is down by 2 possessions actually has a better chance to come back. I would take my chances on a 4th and 15 over recovering an onside kick.

    My take: if this is the way the NFL is going to go, you might as well embrace it and focus on the positives of the change or if not just quit watching. They won’t care.

  33. Basketball at every level nearly eliminated the jump ball and the game survived. Simply do the next best thing to a kickoff…..line teams up in punt formation and begin the game with a punt from the 30 yard line. Win the toss, you receive or defer. Simple….forget the whole 4th and 15 nightmare.

  34. How about 100% ped testing (urine, blood, genes, whatever) to get these guys a little smaller, weaker and slower. That may reduce debillitating collisions a bit. ah crap, bad idea, another league would sprout up that allows peds and we’d all watch that one. nevermind.

  35. Hypocrisy. This from a Coach whose Team won on a kickoff play to advance in the playoffs over the Bills. Music City Miracle..anyone?

  36. Roger Goodell is a crazy liberal with crazy ideas. Just like Obama he’s unemploying people. There is guys that have had long careers out of covering kickoffs ( Steve Tasker ). What a tool.

  37. I’m starting to think mike florio and rodger goodell hates the game of football! Go cover the flag football league!! The average career length is 2.5 years, in the grand scheme of things it’s a very select few that would need medical assistance, it all comes down to greed and greed is going to ruin this game.

  38. I am not sure what this 4th and 15 thing is all about but I am assuming that what would normally be the kicking team would have the option of punting the ball or going for a 1st down. If that is the case it may make it much more interesting for teams who are 10-14 points down in the 4th qt.
    I am a traditional kind of guy but I am also open to change.

  39. All these changes are happening because your heroes of the past are suing the league. So blame your favorite players, not Goodell.

  40. So Far:
    18,365 say great Idea
    39,539 say bad Idea
    5,885 say no opinion

    Steven Wright Question:
    If this poll eliminated the “no opinion” option, would the first 2 numbers change?

  41. Lmao this shows that people are afraid of change even when it would make the game more fun to watch and prolly only bc roger!!!


    ppl are idiots this would make The game better!!!!

    kickoffs right now are always touchbacks!!!! this rule would turn it in to a punt that could be returned!!!!!! this rule gives teams the choice of a one shot play to get the first down replacing an inside kick that way a team launching a comeback still has a chance


    this would be great for the nfl and the fans!!! this rule change would benefit everyone from fans to players!!!! it would only make the game better to watch as there would be NO MORE BORING TOUCHBACKS!!!!

  42. I’m pretty close to being done with the NFL as it is…this stupid idea would probably seal it.

  43. This isn’t taking THE FUN OUT OF THE GAME!!!









  44. richiesaurus310 says:
    Dec 6, 2012 10:14 PM
    How many teams go for it on 4th and 1 let alone 4th and 15? Plus 47% of kickoffs are touchbacks now. This may actually improve the game. People are so scared of change, even good change, that it’s comical.
    how is this good change.. ask devin hester how this could impact the future. nfl grew to popularity bec of how it was..u change every single rrule and its no longer the game we grew to love in turn the sport is going to go on a steep decline i guarntee this. goodell will go down as the person who destoryed the game and burned the golden goose..

  45. I think this could work… If instead of being 4th and 15 at the 30, how about 4th and goal at the 30? So if you go for it, you have to score a 70 yard TD or it’s a turnover. Huge risk, so teams will punt 99.9% of the time. This makes much more sense than 4th and 15.. Where is this 15 coming from?

    I could see that happening and wouldn’t mind something like that, but there are still issues to work out. Such as: penalties resulting in an automatic first down. Also, blocked punts… There would be at least twice as many blocked punts, and could lead to a team scoring way too much than they should all because their long-snapper stinks.

    They really should get rid of the PAT, that’s a useless play. Teams should automatically get one point, unless they try for 2 points. If they convert for 2, they get the 2 points. If they fail, they get nothing. Just 6 for the TD they scored.

    They should also get rid of the kickoff… this just isn’t the correct solution.

  46. You are all bitching about not changing an outmoded, and rather boring part of the game, yet you fail to recognize two things.

    1) The game is more popular than EVER.

    2) The rules have changed, significantly and rapidly over the years. In my opinion (besides TV revenue sharing and salary cap systems) it is one of the main reasons that the NFL simply devastates MLB & NBA in the ratings. Those other two pro leagues simply don’t change with the times, or even at all…ahem…baseball.

    I can think of very few rule changes which I find objectionable. In fact, most of the time, I wind up saying “wow, much better, wish they’d done that years ago”.

    The only thing I don’t like, is the radical over-protection of the QB. But I realize that will never change, because the QB is simply indispensable to the success of a team. And none of the owners relish the idea of playing a Jeff Garcia off the bench, or that kind of thing, because their franchise guy lost his knee in a low hit.

  47. a rule change like this would kill football… what kind of butthead would even consider this? what a bunch of sorry a– panzies…

  48. So in theory, one team could be on offense the whole game? Makes sense competition committee, eliminate competition. Also, why have kickers anymore, just for the maybe 1 or 2 extra points or field goals? Got to pay them league minimum. You would be, in essence, eliminating the need for that position. Try telling that to all the college kids who became so good at this skill, “you have been working so many years on a position which has waisted your time and Soccer talent”. Even go back further to the hard working kids in high school with the dreams to one day kick in college, or the NFL. Thanks competition committee for knowing what makes the game great, and eliminating all those unnecessary competitive rules. (Sarcasm).

  49. Fans want this? Roger?? What fans are you talking to?

    As a 45 year old man, I’m getting tired of the wussification in society. Kids no longer have jungle gyms for risk of getting hurt. Every kid gets a trophy for participation…

    Roger… These are grown men. Let them play the way it was designed to play. These aren’t 8 year olds…

    Oh and Roger… The janitor at the league office called … He said something about that he found your pair…

  50. WHY IS THE NFL EVEN CONSIDERING STOPPING THE KICKING GAME!! please… goodell dont know NOTHING about football
    and hes here to destroy the game. Defense is a penalty already. WR’s going across the middle safely and UNLESS your name is Cutler a QB cant be touched. unnessasary fines and flags all because of goodell. this guy needs to be as far away from football as (WE) the fans can get him. WE DONT WANNA WATCH THEM PLAY CATCH.. WE WANNA SEE A FOOTBALL GAME WITH DEFENSE AND A KICKING GAME

  51. so you’re gonna put all those ST players out of a job?

    There is nothing like the opening kickoff at the superbowl. crowd ramps up as the kicker approaches the ball. thousands of flashbulbs lighting up the stadium. would be a shame to see that go

  52. Next we eliminate tackling, force-able shoving, running too fast and physical contact. It won’t be very long before the sport is not even remotely recognizable. The game we grew up with is dying a slow boring death.

  53. I’m sure if Fisher had a team with a returner ranked in the top 20 he’d change his tune.

  54. I don’t even understand what the “4th and 15 from the 30” scenario even means. Keep the kickoff. The league is already too protective. What’s next, switching to two hand touch?

  55. Try thinking about the concept this way: Say your team is down two possessions. They get into the endzone with two minutes left in the game and a field goal or TD can win. Instead of onside kicking it, they can essentially bring out the offense to go for it on 4th down. How many comebacks (i.e. great games with wild finishes) could be created from a team converting the 4th down and going down and winning the game. I think it’s a great idea. Try it out in the Pro Bowl or preseason or some other meaningless game and see what happens. If they’re going to get rid of the kickoff, I think this is a pretty solid alternative that I can live with.

  56. At what point is football no longer football? Keep changing the game and you might as well take away the helmets and pads, call it Rugby and get it over with.

  57. Pretty soon Goodell will change the name of the league to the NHL (National Handball League). Then get sued by the National Hockey League for stealing the acronym. Finally, the U.S. will refer to soccer as football (futbol). As it should be.

  58. Keep kickoffs the way they are. All this tampering with the game is bogus. Goodell is a tool.

  59. Wow, Roger, what’s next? Two hand touch and if you tackle them 10 yard penalty? Let the boys play you cottonheaded ninnymuggins!

  60. Anything that minimises injuries has to be worth considering seriously at the very least.

  61. Oh yeaah, the 111 pound sport hating weaklings fom ohio have taken over the NFL what matters panel. Please folks in charge, listen to those who have no idea,instead of those who pay your f’n bills,


    The head of the BMW service dpt Manhattan.

  62. Have them take the helmets off for just the kickoffs. We won’t be seeing any deion like characters back there as they won’t want to get their noses bloodied up.

    Seriously watch how many guys would run with their heads up this way. Do you think there would be a lot of wedge busting? No.

  63. After reading some of these comments, I have to ask….

    Do any of you kids go to school?

    If so, WTF do they teach you there?

  64. This will put more separation between the “haves” from the “have-nots.” Consider teams that have Mannings vs. teams that have Sanchezs.

  65. Stop changing the rules and make the players wear pads!! If you look closely very few players wear knee or thigh pads anymore. Keep the integrity of the game. That includes keeping the kickoffs.

  66. I’m in favor of eliminating the forward pass, that would leave no defenseless receivers. Also I would eliminate the run play outside the tackle box this will stop all those nasty crack back blocks. I would allow holding on the offensive line that should stop the quarterback hits and I would put cute little skirts on all players over 300 lbs.

  67. The Kickoff should be reworked to upgrade it for the 280 lb < 5 sec 40yd runners. Leave the kicker at the 30 yd line, move the scrimmage line to the 45 for the kickoff team, and the opposing 45 yd line for the recieving team. This will remove the inertia of a 300 lber moving at full speed and lessen injuries even more while keeping the kickoff.
    Without the kickoff, the NFL will become the XFL, and it will lose the traditional audience share it enjoys now. I wont be all that intested in watchin New Football, if it ruins my great memories of Football battles of the past. Harumph Goodell!

  68. If Roger Goodell is serious about this, then he needs to be replaced immediately. The game is football, and it always starts with an opening kick-off. Replacing that (and any other kickoff) is turning the game into something which it is not.

    As for injuries, punt returners take the biggest risks on the field every week. They are in much more danger of suffering a career ending and life altering injury than kickoff returners because they have to stand and wait on the ball while the defenders are closing in on them at top speed. KO returners don’t have that problem.

    This is the worst idea I’ve ever seen the NFL float. Quit monkeying around with the game.

  69. to those who are in favor of the change: if you don’t like football don’t watch it. or better yet invent a new sport.

  70. The NFL is already turning into the powder puff football league so why stop now? Best way to eliminate helmet to helmet hits? Eliminate helmets. Quarterbacks getting hit too much? Make the defense count to Five-Mississippi before they are allowed to rush the QB.
    I hope this whole article was a joke.

  71. No kick-off = no kick-off and kick-off coverage team = less cost for owners = real reason for this.

    I really think it will ruin the game. I even think they should just go back to the kick off where it was before also. Somehow the NFL thinks they can just change the rules of Football in general. They can’t. The NFL still has to resemble the game played at all levels throughout history.

  72. I have come up with the only logical and most entertaining way to settle this. After a team scores, or at the beginning of either half, a big lottery ball machine is used to figure starting position of the receiving team. There are 49 balls colored in the colors of each team; a white ball for the fifty yard line; and a black ball. The balls float around like those lottery tv shows and the ref picks one. The receiving team gets the ball on whichever line and color pops up–unless the black ball comes up. Then the ‘kicking’ team gets the ball back.

    Tie every drawing with some type of fan lottery system in the stands and make some money for schools at the same time!!

  73. Before the season ESPN showed a chart saying concussions dropped by some 25% on kickoffs – but there was a net drop of only 2% in games. This indicates Goodell is using phony reasoning again.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.