More changes to the kickoff likely coming this season

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The NFL isn’t done tinkering with kickoffs.

NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent told Judy Battista of NFL Media that after two days of meetings at the league office, a kickoff proposal will likely be brought to the owners at the May meeting. Vincent believes a modification to kickoff rules is likely to be implemented this season.

The NFL has already modified the kickoff by moving it up five yards from the 30 to the 35, moving touchbacks up five yards from the 20 to the 25, and preventing players on the kicking team from getting more than five yards of a running start before the kick.

What more modifications can be made? The NCAA has changed its kickoff rule to allow the receiving team to fair catch anywhere inside the 25-yard line and get the ball at the 25. The NFL could adopt that rule as well.

Vincent said the NFL is not considering eliminating the kickoff. But Vincent has previously said that is, indeed, on the table. ‏And ultimately, it will be the NFL’s owners who decide whether to keep or eliminate the kickoff. If three-fourths of the NFL’s owners want to get rid of it, then it’s gone.

What the NFL still needs to do is come up with a replacement for the onside kick. Football needs a way for teams trailing by more than one possession to get the ball back late in the game, and right now, that way is the onside kick. Once the NFL figures out another way, the kickoff is likely to go away.

66 responses to “More changes to the kickoff likely coming this season

  1. Let’s just do away with kicking altogether and call it the National Handball League.

  2. Terrible idea. The kickoff is like the starter pistol for the half. Doing away with it is like starting a horse race halfway around the track, it defeats the purpose. So I’m sure they will find a way to Goodell it up as always.

  3. So basically they are laying the foundation to remove kick offs and just give the “receiving” team the ball at the 25.

  4. Kickoffs are an exciting part of the game. Why don’t you just put flags on their hips next? Stupid.

  5. Stop tinkering with one of the best plays in football. This is a case of the lawyers running the league and the financial impact of injuries. Foolish.

  6. Maybe a dumb idea, but why not just limit it to two kickoffs per game? One to start the game and one to start the second half. All other possessions start at the 25 yard line. That way you keep the tradition of “X minutes to kickoff” and also limit the amount of sub-concussive hits to special teamers. Win-win?

  7. Call me old fashioned, but i like the kickoff and hope it remains part of the game going forward. How do you pull off a surprise onside kick if you eliminate kickoffs?
    The thing I don’t like is commercials then kickoff, then more commercials

  8. This just sucks. Kickoffs have always been an integral and exciting part of the game. Removing kickoffs is like removing the pitcher’s mound from baseball. If they keep changing the very foundations of the game, the NFL is going to turn into soccer (which I cannot stand to watch). Again, this just sucks.

  9. How about both teams meet on the 50 and have some sort of organized 3 hour rock, paper, scissors match.

  10. Not only does it spell a death knell for onside kicks (as mentioned above), but also for a big kick return with little time left on the clock. If your opponent scores to take the lead with say 30 seconds left on the game clock, you kinda want an opportunity for a kick return to set you up with a chance to score without a Hail Mary.

  11. If kickoffs are taken out of the game, the fans lose any opportunity of witnessing what I think is one of the most thrilling things in Football, kickoff run all the way for a TD.

  12. Spending a lot of time and energy trying to fix things that don’t need to be fixed and ignoring things that do need to be fixed.

  13. Top athlete? Blessed with speed & agility? Great broken-field runner? Been playing football your entire life despite being somewhat short and/or light compared to peers?

    Sorry, the NFL doesn’t want you as a returner ie someone who can single-handedly turn the tide of a game or even win it outright.

    They want a stultifying 4-yards-at-a-time video game monotony. Farcical fantasy football and all that.

    Future NFL highlight reels will consist of receivers catch out routes and falling out of bounds. Wheee.

  14. Well if you get rid of the kick off you might as well cuz the roster size down because it will eliminate the need for special teams players or at least most of them. What they should say is they are slowly eliminating football. Dumb just dumb.

  15. Man stop ruining this sport! Kickoffs used to be so fun to watch. Personally, I think teams should be forced to run the kick out. The fair catch should only give them the ball at the 5 yard line. That would be exciting.

  16. xballhawkx says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:27 am
    So basically they are laying the foundation to remove kick offs and just give the “receiving” team the ball at the 25.

    Yep, and I can’t swear to it but I believe that will be shortening the field for most if not all teams because the average starting position post-kickoff is behind the 25. This is how modern “greats” get created. No one can tackle, can’t touch a receiver or a QB, and now shorten the field to 75 yards. I’d still like to see those injury stats on kickoffs personally….

  17. Roll dice, check a chart for yardage correlation, and offense starts there.

    Onside kicks, roll 2 twenty sided dies and check a different chart.

    D&D Football League.

  18. Spending a lot of time and energy trying to fix things that don’t need to be fixed and ignoring things that do need to be fixed.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Do you really believe that?!!! They would not be making changes just for the sake of change.

    Last week on Sirius XM NFL Radio David Diehl said: people think nothing happens on kickoffs, but I am here to tell you someone is hurt on every single one. They kickoff and go to commercial or immediately cut to the offense running onto the field. You never see the third stringers and special teamers limping off. Those guys are hanging onto their jobs by the tips of their fingers, so they don’t complain publicly, but they are hurt EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Its a dangerous play because they are run into each other at full gallop.

  19. Next…..no more punts. The punt returner is the most dangerous position there is. Is MMA going to outlaw hits to the head? NO! Guys sign up for sports knowing the risks involved. I loved hitting in FB, but I won’t choose a sport where I get kicked and hit in my face. My choice. Some guys like that and they will do it. Eventually the sport is changed so much it is no longer that sport, but something else. Leave FB to the guys that choose to play it with the rules as they are.

  20. aaronrodgers618 says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    No matter what changes they make, the Vikings still have never won the Super Bowl.

    ——-

    And Aaron Rogers has won the same number as Trent Dilfer

  21. Rate This
    knotforlong says:
    May 1, 2018 at 9:12 am
    How about both teams meet on the 50 and have some sort of organized 3 hour rock, paper, scissors match.

    —–

    Then they Will try yo eliminate the scissors beacuse it will ve a very dangerous move.

  22. nhpats says:
    May 1, 2018 at 10:02 am
    aaronrodgers618 says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    No matter what changes they make, the Vikings still have never won the Super Bowl.

    ——-

    And Aaron Rogers has won the same number as Trent Dilfer

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Great… another thread that could have some meaningful discussion is about to go off the rails. Bravo.

    My only complaint with all fair catches inside the 25 coming out to the 25 is that it will eliminate the “coffin corner kick.” Pinning an opponent deep in his own territory is a valuable skill and a big part of the game.

  23. How’s this for a rule change? The kicking team has to run backwards toward the receiving team.

    This suggestion is tongue-in-cheek, of course, but given Goodell’s record and way of thinking he could well consider the suggestion as a possibility.

  24. The desire to modify/eliminate the kickoff is just bizarre. The initially said safety and trotted out some unproven line of BS about it being the most dangerous play in the game and in order to reduce the number of returns by moving it up 5 yards. Then they removed the incentive to kick it through the end zone by giving those touchbacks an extra 5 yards.

    My guess is it is profit driven rather than safety driven. The way commercials are now there is a fairly large break after every TD. They moved the extra points back to make them more interesting so people would watch and actually sit through any commercials and I suspect something similar is going on with the kickoffs. It is a shame that the greedy morons in charge of protecting the game are doing their best to change it. Kickoffs are a major strategic play and often one of the most exciting plays in football. Stop changing the game.

  25. The way things are going, they might call it something other than football because they seem to be moving away from that august, time worn sporting tradition.

  26. 1/2MV^2, speed kills. So to keep the kickoff, somehow they need to limit the velocity players get on the KO to reduce injuries. Players on the line, no running starts do something but given today’s athletes they accelerate fairly quickly so not sure how to kick and manage impact velocity.

  27. Eliminate kickoff, eliminate 3 roster spots. Owners save 40-50 million in salary. The players don’t have to ‘get hurt’. Win win for everyone. I’ve heard players complain about how violent the kickoff is…well you can have 3 jobs taken away from your team then.

  28. My only complaint with all fair catches inside the 25 coming out to the 25 is that it will eliminate the “coffin corner kick.”
    —–
    The coffin corner is only on punts. It was never used to pin someone deep on kickoffs. Also it is not used as much today as back in the day.

    PS take note: Your off the rails comment was directed at a fellow Packer fan through at Pats fan in case you did not notice.

  29. “Once the NFL figures out another way, the kickoff is likely to go away.”

    And so will the fans. The slow decline of the NFL continues….

  30. I’m sure there are holes in my 2 suggestions, but I’ll throw them out there anyway:

    1. Let the “kicking team” decide whether to give the receiving team the ball on the 25 or line up for an onside kick. If the kicked ball goes more than 25 yards its a penalty.

    OR

    2. Just use the free kick and remove the place kick. Same as a punt and it would still be used after a safety anyway.

    I think the goal is to end the 30 mph battering ram style of contact. I would hate to see the kick eliminated so maybe my two suggestions are a worthy compromise.

  31. Going back to pinning an opponent deep and the NCAA rule where fair catches inside the 25 come out to the 25, I’m all for these guys not knocking each other’s brains out on kickoffs but it will change way too much of the game, specifically strategies. Picture this: A team scores and after the P.A.T., is down by two points with a minute and a half left in the game. Both teams have all 3 timeouts left.

    If that team is the Vikings, I think it’s safe to assume Zimmer would likely try to pin the opponent deep and play defense. Hold ’em to 3 and out, get the ball back with good field position and a chance to win the game with any score.

    If that team is the Packers (or the Saints before their recent turnaround on defense), I think it’s safe to assume McCarthy (or Payton) might go for the onside kick. If it’s successful, great. If not, you still have a chance to hold them to a field goal, which “only” puts you down by 5 and you count on your prolific offense to march down and have a shot at scoring the winning TD.

    Taking away the first option unduly penalizes teams that are built to play defense. Or am I overlooking something?

  32. Allowing players to kneel for the anthem, rules that are so long-winded that they require a lawyer to attempt to understand, tinkering with the kickoff because it’s too “dangerous”, despite no evidence being provided that there are more injuries on kickoffs than any other play, moving more and more games overseas, Shad Khan wanting the Super Bowl in London.. need I go on? Oh yeah – every new stadium increasing in price exponentially so that the owner can outdo the last new stadium built, which then causes them to want public funds to pay for their new palace, and exorbitant “PSL” fees and skyrocketing ticket prices for Joe Fan.

    The NFL is truly circling the drain. If I’m Vince McMahon, I sell the WWE and concentrate full-time on turning the XFL into the NFL’s replacement. Goodell and the NFL owners are giving him a good head start.

  33. cheeseisfattening says:
    May 1, 2018 at 11:42 am
    My only complaint with all fair catches inside the 25 coming out to the 25 is that it will eliminate the “coffin corner kick.”
    —–
    The coffin corner is only on punts. It was never used to pin someone deep on kickoffs. Also it is not used as much today as back in the day.
    PS take note: Your off the rails comment was directed at a fellow Packer fan through at Pats fan in case you did not notice.
    ———————————————————————–
    Suggest you watch a few Patriot’s games. They kick short of the goal line and often to the corners on kickoffs and at times pin opponents well within the 25 yard line. Other teams do this also.

  34. Eliminate the penalty for kicking the ball out of bounds, and spot the ball where it goes out.

    Kickers will aim the ball to go out inside the 20, and fewer run backs will occur, but they’ll still happen once in a while.

    The “coffin corner” kickoff will be more dramatic than a touchback, and the whistle will blow sooner, since it won’t be delayed by the return man making a decision.

    Onside kicks will still available.

  35. “THE NFL…BROUGHT TO YOU BY HUGGIES DIAPERS”…

    I don’t remember the last time I saw a significant injury on a kick-off. I really don’t.

    Maybe Vontaze Burfict going headhunting yes, but not during a kickoff.

    The NFL is dying a slow, methodical death and Goodell is providing the euthanasia.

  36. One way of eliminating the onside kick is to not fall behind on the scoreboard.

    First both offenses needed to get the ball in OT (as if special teams and defense were not part of the game) and now eliminate the onside kick?

    I have a better idea – play out the whole season and declare every team Super Bowl Champs!

  37. nhpats says:
    May 1, 2018 at 10:02 am
    aaronrodgers618 says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    No matter what changes they make, the Vikings still have never won the Super Bowl.

    ——-

    And Aaron Rogers has won the same number as Trent Dilfer

    —-
    Which is precisely one more than the Vikings have won in their entire history. I appreciate you pointing out that fact.

  38. Leave the kickoff alone. As far as OnSides kick, make it like 4th and 25 from the “Kicking” teams 20 yard line. 1 play to get 25 or else. Would be much more exciting

  39. ” For the love of the game….just stop already. ”

    This should be the collective cry of all football fans
    until our message is heard.

  40. Coffin corner was the wrong terminology on my part. Other than that, the rest stands true. The NCAA rule would take away the option of pinning your opponent deep in his own territory as well as eliminate the surprise onside kick.

  41. aaronrodgers618 says:

    May 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    nhpats says:
    May 1, 2018 at 10:02 am
    aaronrodgers618 says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    No matter what changes they make, the Vikings still have never won the Super Bowl.

    ——-

    And Aaron Rogers has won the same number as Trent Dilfer

    —-
    Which is precisely one more than the Vikings have won in their entire history. I appreciate you pointing out that fact.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

    Dilfer > Rogers!!! let that sink in!!!

  42. How about having the two special teams coordinators play a kickoff in Madden on the jumbotron and then spot the ball wherever the play ends?

  43. The NFL should adopt an NBA rule and start each possession with a jump ball.

    Send my royalties c/o Florio.

  44. Has anyone at any of these meetings ever asked the question, “Why are we doing this?”

    Because there’s no good reason for it. If the data supported the stated reasons, that data would be shared all over the place. Instead, silence. It’s dog-wagging.

  45. aaronrodgers618 says:

    May 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    nhpats says:
    May 1, 2018 at 10:02 am
    aaronrodgers618 says:
    May 1, 2018 at 8:14 am
    No matter what changes they make, the Vikings still have never won the Super Bowl.

    ——-

    And Aaron Rogers has won the same number as Trent Dilfer

    —-
    Which is precisely one more than the Vikings have won in their entire history. I appreciate you pointing out that fact.

    ———

    Who cares, they are still my team. Some fans are loyal to their team regardless and their priority of watching their team and sport is not dependent on Superbowls but supporting their local sports market and hometown team. Green Bay fans don’t get that and continue to be Trolls for no reason.

  46. How about stop making helmets better and better…making players think it’s safer to use their head to tackle. Unless their helmets were beach balls…concussions, neck injuries, etc are still going to happen.

    Go back to leather helmets and force players to use proper techniques to tackle. Remember back in the 80’s and 90’s when shoulder pads were 50% larger than they are now? They were actually used for tackling.

    Make helmets safer so players think their head is better protected…and allow smaller shoulder pads…and then wonder why head and neck injuries are up.

  47. Due to all the new end-zone celebrating we could have both teams line up and run to the point on the field where the ball touches down (must be in the field of play) and then they can have a “Dance – off” The more points awarded by the refs, the further up the field the ball is placed.

    The wussification of the NFL continues…

  48. Have somebody throw the ball instead, like we used to do in the backyard. Then the kickoff is two-hand touch, like we used to do in the backyard.

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