“Creative thinking” could lead to revamped kickoff (or whatever it will be)

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Is the kickoff going away? If it is, what will take its place?

That’s all to be determined, but it remains clear that the kickoff as currently configured will be going away, sooner or later. (And probably sooner.)

The best alternative articulated to date entails a fourth-and-15 play from the 30 yard line of the team that would be kicking. This allows the punt to simulate the kickoff, a play from scrimmage to simulate a planned onside kick, and a fake punt to simulate a surprise onside kick. (It also allows a team to pooch punt from scrimmage and pin the other team deep at a point in the game where the team that still trails would have otherwise been torn between kicking away or kicking onside.)

Apparently there are other alternatives, even if they’ve yet to be unveiled. Either way, it’s clear that more changes are coming.

“We see that there’s a higher incident of injuries on that play,” Commissioner Roger Goodell told Rich Eisen of NFL Network on Thursday. “So we’ve tried to look at this and sort of what is it we can do to make it a safer play but also improve the excitement of it? And there’s actually been some creative thinking that we’re going to discuss again next week. And several different concepts [from] special-teams coaches and other coaches. We even have one from a well-known college coach that came up with alternatives, but really exciting plays.”

Goodell didn’t identify the well-known college coach or mention the alternatives. But as the death rattle of the kickoff becomes audible, it would be good to know what comes next.

20 responses to ““Creative thinking” could lead to revamped kickoff (or whatever it will be)

  1. Have kickoffs be “free kicks” (ie punts with no snap and space between the offense and defense) with an onside kick option built into the rules on the kick. Done.

  2. If ever the KISS principle applies to anything, this would be the one. Just kick the damn ball!!

  3. My interest in the NFL has dwindled more and more year after year, for the past several years now. That trend will continue.

  4. Kickoffs & Full Force Tackling & Running have always been the highlight of Football. Devising a scheme to end any of those components is equivalent to devising a scheme to eliminate sugar from Ice Cream. They might still be able to deliver A product, it’s just NOT a good or desirable product.

  5. Eliminate as a penalty kicking the ball out of bounds, and spot it where it goes out. Teams will try puyting it out inside the 20 with no return.

  6. Put equal-sized piles of bird feed in each endzone. Release seven doves from the 50-yard line, and the team that picked the endzone the attracted the most doves gets to receive the ball first. Done.

  7. bigbluedeadhead says:
    April 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm
    Have kickoffs be “free kicks” (ie punts with no snap and space between the offense and defense) with an onside kick option built into the rules on the kick. Done.

    Actually if ikts a FREE kick, ie no LINE OF SCRIMMAGE to fight over – then you STILL have both teams SEPARATED by 10= yards.. and its THAT “formation” which causes the additional chances for severe injury (as hard as they hit each other when they’re inches apart on the line of scrimmage – giving them a 10 yard (and more) running start is the problem.)

  8. He keeps saying that this play causes more injuries than any other, yet I keep wanting to see the real figures. Is it percentage-wise? Does this include kickers blowing a hammy? Just “violent” injuries? The NFL has been known to outright lie with no facts to get their point across, I really wish they would stop changing the fundamentals of the game we all LOVE (and pay highly for) this way. Transparency Roger, transparency.

  9. Statistically the most serious injuries occur in the first 10-15 minutes of game play (everyone is hyped up). I propose we eliminate the first 10 minutes of every game. That will fix it right?

  10. If you remove the kickoff in football. That will be the end of football. Its akin to removing the apples from apple pie. The players know what they signed up for.

  11. People claim the changes to the league are ruining the NFL. They said the defensive penalties would ruin the game, but teams have adjusted, and that’s how you get this years Superbowl, one of the most entertaining football games of all time.

    With the kick moved up, the likes of Devin Hester will never be seen again. Take advantage of it and give us an exciting play everytime, vs just watching the ball sail out of the endzone. The current kickoff is a waste of time and slows down the game.

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