Dusting off the Greg Schiano kickoff replacement proposal

AP

The NFL doesn’t want to get rid of the kickoff, but it sure would like to get rid of the kickoff return.

The ongoing effort to marginalize the kickoff return could result in an external groundswell aimed at scuttling the kickoff entirely. The league could then shrug and say, “Well, if that’s what the people want. . . .”

Even if that’s what the NFL actually wants.

But here’s the problem. If that’s what the people (and the league) want, what will the replacement for the kickoff be? Simply putting the ball at the 20 or 25 won’t be enough, because it would eliminate the onside kick.

More than three years ago, Commissioner Roger Goodell floated this possible replacement: The team that would be kicking off gets the ball on its own 30, facing fourth down and 15.

Punting in that situation would simulate the kickoff. Going for it in that situation would simulate the onside kick. A fake punt would simulate the surprise onside kick.

Former Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano had proposed the idea, due to the injury suffered by Eric LeGrand on a kickoff return during Schiano’s tenure at Rutgers.

Assuming the kickoff goes away, what do you think of this possible replacement? And if you don’t like it, we’d ask for another idea that removes the kickoff but that doesn’t remove from the game the concept of the onside kick.

43 responses to “Dusting off the Greg Schiano kickoff replacement proposal

  1. The proposal is a good one EXCEPT for the 4th and 15 part of the equation. A significantly higher percentage of 4th and fifteen are converted in comparison to anticipated on side kicks. Had the proposal been 4th and 20 or 25 it would have been a really good idea!

  2. Sheer idiocy. Keep the kickoff. It’s the most exciting play in the game.

  3. How about a NBA style toss up. The team scored upon will have the ball placed on their 30 yard line. A Referee will have a device similar to a potato gun. Lunch the ball in the air 15 feet and the teams can fight for possession. Or maybe 39 feet and allow the wind to be a factor. If the ball goes out of bounds it will be a re-do. Once. If still no posession has been clearly identified, then s coin toss and the winning team will get the ball on their own 39 yard line. If a team deliberately bats the ball out of bounds, it will mean automatic possession for the other team at the place of contact before ball goes out of bounds. This will cause teams to actually play defense and offense at the same time. Putting players near the side lines to prevent the ball from going out of bounds

  4. Ideally the kickoff should stay as it is. But since the question is what should replace it and allow for the equivalent of an onside kick how about if the team that would be kicking off gets the ball on its own 30, facing fourth down and 15 and should they fail to convert the opposing team gets the ball at the 50. With the current success rate of long distance FG’s giving the opposition the ball at the 30 with the game in the balance is an unacceptable risk and would not be attempted as readily as an onside kick is now.

  5. Actually like that rule…..now change overtime to a 5 minute period. Whoever leads after 5 wins. Still tied. Play another 5…..still tied play a third 5. If still tied then go to Golden Score of any type. This keeps the clock that is crucial to the game in play.

  6. Although theoritical, the team that controls the ball first could in effect keep the opposing team from ever gaining possession of the football throughout the entire game. Not likely but still possible.

  7. Leave it the way it has been for years. Why fix what is not broken. When is the NFL going to understand that. Stop changing the game.

  8. The main issue I see with this is that it would be disproportionately effective and give a huge advantage to certain teams, namely ones that have a great quarterback.

    The onside kick is a crap shoot with a low conversion percentage for every team, as it should be, but 4th and 15 isn’t insurmountable at all for teams with a legit QB. Guys like Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, etc. could convert a 4th and 15 with relative ease compared to an onside kick.

    In summary, this rule would make the game even more dependent on the QB position, which I don’t think is a good thing.

  9. The game of Football has always been a violent game and injuries are inevitable. If they are going to start making major changes to the way it is played and turn it into something else, then take off the pads, put on the flags and let me find a new favorite sport to enjoy.

  10. The opening kick in the superbowl is the most photographed moment every year in sports. Simply for that reason, it will never go away.

  11. so are they saying the punt is safer than the kickoff? Guys get hurt just as much on punts as kickoffs if not more with all the current kickoff rules.

  12. Keep the kickoff. Not only that, get rid of the coin flip.

    Go XFL style. Place the ball on the 50 with opposing players starting at the 35 yard line. On whistle, mad dash for the ball. The person that comes away, wins the toss.

  13. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says:
    Mar 24, 2016 12:28 PM

    Sheer idiocy. Keep the kickoff. It’s the most exciting play in the game.
    ——————-

    Nothing gets my blood pumping more than watching the football sail right through the back of the end zone.

  14. The only problem with the proposal is that the NFL could, who am I kidding, would have too much influence on the outcome.

    If the jets were down by 2 points, and chose the 4th and 15 option, you can guarantee that Defensive Pass Interference, and defensive holding flags would be all over the field to ensure an automatic first down for the Jets to keep the ball and go for the win.

  15. If 4th and 15 is converted at the same rate of success as the typical onside kick then that works but I have a feeling it’s a higher % of success – especially once teams start practicing for that situation specifically.

    4th and 20 sounds good.

  16. Here is a thought. Get rid of the kicking tee. Lose that bit of artificial assistance and suddenly the kick offs aren’t shooting through the end zone, meanwhile having to use a holder dictates only 10 on the original coverage.

  17. If they do get rid of the kickoff, teams should start on the 1 yard line. There would be more safeties, and teams would actually have to MORE aggressive, because if you go 3 and out, the other team will get a punt return from around the 45 or 50-which would actually INCREASE scoring.

  18. There is nothing wrong with the kickoff aside from the fact that there are way too many touchbacks. There has never been any evidence presented to show that kickoff returns cause more injuries than any other NFL play.

  19. How about we put all of the players in chicken costumes and have them ride horses around the field carrying brooms. They could bat the ball around ala polo and whoever bats the ball across the other teams goal wins. In the case of a tie, the two head coaches thumb wrestle.

    Good lord, what is going on around here? You can’t change the basic fundamentals of how the game is played. Seriously, we’re going to create a new play out of thin air?

    Get a grip.

  20. “Although theoritical, the team that controls the ball first could in effect keep the opposing team from ever gaining possession of the football throughout the entire game. Not likely but still possible.”

    They can do that now – except for the whole second half kickoff thing

  21. Leave it the way it has been for years. Why fix what is not broken. When is the NFL going to understand that. Stop changing the game.

    —————————————

    The game of Football has always been a violent game and injuries are inevitable. If they are going to start making major changes to the way it is played and turn it into something else, then take off the pads, put on the flags and let me find a new favorite sport to enjoy.

    ————————————–

    You guys are missing the point. The game does have flaws. While some of the ideas are crazy, they have to try and find a way to take some of the elements of danger out.

    I would much rather they reduce something like kickoffs than have more radical changes during the rest of the game – like flag football.

    You can keep throwing out the “get off my lawn, I used to play my football uphill both ways in the snow” arguments, but at some point something will have to give. I can accept that you want traditional football with the rules from the 60s, but that is gone.

    Either accept that it has to evolve, or move on.

  22. Just use groundhogs. If the groundhog sees his shadow, the ball goes to the home team. If he doesn’t see his shadow, it goes to the away team. It’s the fairest way to handle it and that way nobody gets hurt (except for the emotional damage done to the family members of the groundhogs that we’ll have to capture to make this work).

  23. Bah, its should be like the news teams fighting in the movie “Anchorman”. Tridents, hand grenades, bats with nails, etc. Ball gets tossed in the middle and whoever gets it, gets it. Or “Rollerball” (the original, not the awful remake). Guys behind motorcycles swooping in to grab the ball, wearing spiked gloves and black leather pants. That way concussions would be the least of their worries…

  24. Keep the kick off where it’s at. If it goes into the end zone, the ball goes to the 25. If it’s caught or bounces outside the end zone add 10 or 15 yards to that spot with no return.

    This will eliminate the risk with the return and still allow for an onside kick. It will also add a risk/reward for trying to kick inside the 5 yard line. Risk being it goes too far and the ball is placed at the 25, reward being if it goes inside the 5 then the ball will be placed behind the 20.

    Onside kick or squib and the ball goes to the spot that it’s touched by the return team.

  25. Mike Westhoff (a former special teams coach) proposed a hybrid kick/punt. Within a certain range, say 10-15 yards, the ball can be recovered by teh kicking team, like an onsides kick. Beyond that range it’s treated like a punk, so the kicking team needs to let the receiving team touch the ball first. He felt it would reduce a lot of the damaging hits.

    mmqb dot si dot com/2013/10/04/mike-westhoff-special-teams

  26. Require everyone on the returning team to be between 10 and 20 yards from the spot of the kickoff except for a single returner.

    The issue isn’t with tackles at full speed, it’s with blocks at full speed. Starting everyone closer would eliminate full speed blocking and only be as dangerous as every other play in the NFL.

  27. Since the game is sooo dangerous maybe we should make them wear bras and tinfoil hats, use a balloon instead of a ball and give hugs and compliments to the opposing team instead of tackling them.

  28. Give the kickoff team the option of kicking off, or giving their opponents the ball at the 25 (30?) yard line. It would reduce kickoffs, but not eliminate them.

  29. Skip the offsides and line each team up closer to the line of scrimmage. The problem occurs when players are running full steam ahead directly at each other. Reduce the distance in between them and theoretically it should reduce the injuries.

  30. The injuries are mostly due to the opposing teams running head-on or at oblique angles into each other, aren’t they? Right now we have lots of big guys mixed up with speed guys hitting each other head-on and usually at full speed. If two guys are running at 20mph and hit head on, that’s a block or tackle at a 40mph closing rate. Speed + Mass = Energy. We need to lower the energy a little, not eliminate the play altogether.

    What if we had a “run-for-it” kickoff? The kicking team would place the ball at maybe their own 20 yard line instead of 35, and their players are not allowed the running start – except for the kicker who can have their usual 10yd run-up. The receiving team must have ALL 11 of their players lined up on a line of scrimmage maybe 5 or 10 yards away, no one is back to catch the ball. When the kick is made, both teams run down the field in the same direction. The receiving team can attempt to block the kick, or run back and pick the ball up to run for yardage, or let the ball roll to a stop, or let the ball go into the end zone. The kicking team can attempt an onside kick, or must tackle the receiving team’s recovery/run back, or wait for the ball to come to a stop to down it, or let it roll into the end zone. Kicking out of bounds would be a penalty like it is now.

    It would become a wide-receiver vs cornerback and safety type of players’ play, because speed and agility would be favored. And there might be fewer of the bigger linebackers, defensive ends, running backs, fullbacks and ends we see now.

    This would keep kickoffs in the game, allow for onside kicks, keep collisions mostly in the same direction (mainly only the outer edge guys would be at risk for head-on 40mph collisions), promote speedy special teams guys who are typically smaller and lighter (less mass in a collision), and ADD the possibility of a blocked kick.

    It’s a run-for-it kickoff idea.

  31. eoyguy says:
    Mar 24, 2016 1:45 PM
    Either accept that it has to evolve, or move on.

    I have moved on, can’t stand to watch the game anymore.

    ——————————–
    But you still come to a site that is all about football. Makes sense.

  32. Either accept that it has to evolve, or move on.

    Typical response from the “I believe it should change and if you don’t like it, move on” crowd. I especially like the veiled jab with the “get off my lawn”, etc. comments. Especially since you haven’t a clue about the person you are commenting to. But who am I to argue with a genius that has analyzed the game and found it’s flaws?

  33. And you think refs negatively impact games now? Wait till the flags fly for a little tug on someone’s jersey across the field with no impact on the play.

    That defensive holding now becomes 5 yards, auto 1st down, AND “kicking off” team keeps possession… that’s a huge impact on a game for meaningless jersey tug…ugh

  34. Just have a hot dog eating contest at the fifty yard line… How many hot dogs eaten in 30 seconds will determine where the ball will be placed… That way each team will need a professional eater… Just think of the endorsement mdeals from KFC, BK and McDs would be worth billions…

  35. noaheffenway says:
    Mar 24, 2016 3:03 PM
    eoyguy says:
    Mar 24, 2016 1:45 PM
    Either accept that it has to evolve, or move on.

    I have moved on, can’t stand to watch the game anymore.

    ——————————–
    But you still come to a site that is all about football. Makes sense.

    __________________

    He said he can’t stand to watch it. He didn’t say he quit following the sport. Face it……watching the games is not the same as a few years back between the rules and the NFL “Integrity”.

  36. excusemewhileiwhipthisoutagain says:
    Mar 24, 2016 12:56 PM

    A round of Roshambo at the 50 between the opposing QBs.
    —————————————————-

    How about the 2nd or third string QBs… at least they would earn their money then….

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