Goodell considers idea to eliminate kickoffs

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Kickoffs may be closer to becoming an extinct, according to a Time Magazine report.
In a cover story this week, Time revealed that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Rich McKay, the head of the league's competition committee discussed a proposal that would eliminate kickoff after a touchdown or field goal.
"It's an off-the-wall idea, he told Time." It's different and makes you think differently. It did me."
The alternative was conceived by Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie head coach Greg Schiano. The team that scored a touchdown or field goal would then get the ball on its own 30-yard line in a fourth and 15 situation. That team can either go for a first down or punt. If you go for it and miss, the opponent would take over with good field position, which essentially replaces a failed onside kick.
Kickoffs were moved up five yards last season, while coverage teams were required to start within five yards of the ball, in an effort to make the play safer. The Elias Sports Bureau found that 43.5 percent of kickoffs led to touchbacks in 2010, a rise of nearly 30 percent from 2010.
Also, players suffered 40 percent fewer concussions on kickoffs in 2011, McKay told ESPN The Magazine.
St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who is a longtime member of the competition committee, expects to hear the proposal at the group's next meeting in February.
"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.
"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."

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