NFL considers Greg Schiano idea to eliminate kickoffs - KMSP-TV

NFL considers rule change to eliminate kickoffs

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in an exclusive interview with TIME magazine, said the league is considering an idea from Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano that would eliminate kickoffs.

After a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30 yard line, facing fourth down with and 15 yards to go. The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession or punt the ball away. If you try for a first down and fall short, the opposing team would take over with good field position.

The proposal to get rid of kickoffs was one of several topics discussed in an interview focused on the shocking murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.


On hearing about Belcher: "My first thoughts weren't about football at all. This is not a football tragedy. It's a human tragedy that impacts families, loved ones and an innocent child left behind."

On allowing the Sunday Kansas City game to go on: "It was ultimately my decision. But it was important to get the views of the players and try to honor their wishes. [Chiefs chairman] Clark [Hunt] got back to me and said [Coach] Romeo [Crennel] and the captains felt that playing the game—being together as a team and a community—was important. So that's exactly what we did."

On the dangers of football: "It doesn't take a lot to jump to the conclusion that constant banging in the head is not going to be in your best interest."

On criticism of his leadership: "I don't do things for public relations. I do things because they're the right thing to do, because I love the game…. If you want to do the popular thing, be a cheerleader."

On getting rid of the kickoff: "It's an off-the-wall idea. It's different and makes you think differently. It did me."

TIME'S Sean Gregory: "Goodell is trying to pull off, in his words, a 'balancing act' that will define his legacy. Can he preserve the core of a game that is our national obsession—and a hugely profitable business—while responsibly addressing the mounting evidence that the sport can shatter lives? Goodell has taken the ball. The commissioner is already rewriting the playbook of the game. After years of downplaying the dangers of concussions, the NFL has instituted policies and rules to reduce the risk of long-term injury."

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