NFL Debate... Drop the Kickoff?!

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This is one of several opinion pieces on ESPN about dropping the kickoff to reduce injuries. Do we have any stats on this in Canada? I've never noticed this problem in the CFL but what do I know?

Sure, let's eliminate the puck drop in hockey now too :roll:

Haven’t seen any data upon injuries occurred during kick-offs in the CFL, but according to some team scribes across the league, season-ending knee injuries are on the rise. With the way that players have their ankles taped up & then their shoes all spatted up & taped to their ankles/feet/legs, long studded cleats & field turf, something has to give and the next joint up is the knee! So I’m not surprised!

Field turf maintenance is not an exact science & a fine line to navigate. Too much of that rubber pellet stuff and you slip and slide all over the place. Too little and you dig in too deep and start blowing ACL’S & tearing Achilles’ tendons.

Much better than the old outdoor carpet stuff, but it still has its issues.

My personal opinion is that the size, strength & speed of the players and the overall speed of the game is just too much for bones, joints & ligaments to take. Players put on more & more muscle … Yet ligaments & bone structure stays the same.

A little off topic I know. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see that injuries related to kick-offs are on the rise up here as we’ll.

I'd hate to see kick offs eliminated. If they do that in the NFL, their game will become too methodical and predictable. It's already too much that way if you ask me. Fair catches, touchbacks... pure excitement! May as well scrap punts and converts too... just take turns scrimmaging from your own 35 or whatever.

I can't decide who's or whats been the bigger joke this year, The 2012 Ticats or the 2012 NFL regular season?

In a few years we will have the NFFL, National Flag Football League, about the same time Caretaker say's F*** this noise and the Ticats morph into the contemporary Ottawa Rough Riders. :thup:

Why have a kickoff I suppose if the "goal" of the kickoff is to have the kicker kick it through the end zone, as so often happens, to prevent a possible runback and therefore more injuries? Then they may as well eliminate it which would be sad I think. A kickoff is really a mainstay of the gridiron game to me. Move it back another 5 yards, maybe 10 and create more runbacks. Injuries are part of the game, have the refs call clipping etc. even more diligently.

I think that is the issue. With the shorter field, the kickoffs often go deep into the endzone, eliminating any run back. Let it bounce out of the endzone and take the ball at the 20. No points lost, no injuries, no chance of coughing up the ball.

Maybe the NFL should look to the CFL for an answer......the 5 yard rule.
It provides a middle ground between a fair catch and heading up the field with the ball when the opposition is bearing down on you at a high rate of speed.

I'd have a rouge for any kick (kickoff, punt or missed FG) through the endzone or into it and not returned out. I'd give the defending team the ball at their own 10 yard line after giving up a rouge. That would encourage them to run it out. If it goes right through, give it to them at the 20.

Its rare to see a kickoff returned in the NFL and even the punt returns arent all that exciting. In Chris Williams, Hamilton has the best returner in football period. I thought coming out of college that would be his ticket to the NFL but now the kickoff is virtually elimated it could work out better for the Ticats ability to keep Chris long term.

yes, these new developments do work in the TiCats favor in retaining Williams as a long term CFL'r.
and the fact that the NFL prefers much taller imposing players for the receiver position also boosts TiCats leverage as well, being as how Williams is listed at only 5'9 (although is likely closer to 5'6-5'7)

Is wishing CW as a lifetime TiCat too pollyanna? :smiley:

Good point, agree the NFL is taking away a skilled player like a Chris Williams. Strange.

This wouldn't do anything for kickoffs because there is no five-yard rule on kickoffs. The ball is live because every player is behind the kicker when it is kicked on a kickoff (wow, that was a lot of uses of he word "kick"), so there is no five-yard rule.

In the CFL, if the ball is kicked out of the back of the end zone on a kickoff there is no single point awarded.


     Yeah...but it would still work.

But it wouldn't. You can't have a five-yard rule when the ball is live. The only players subject to the five-yard rule are those that are in front of the kicker when the ball is kicked. No one on a kickoff lines up in front of the kicker (if they do, they are offside).

Also, how often are players within five yards of a returner on a kickoff? The answer is never... with one exception and your rule change would take this away as well: the onside kick. To add a five-yard rule on a kickoff would mean the end of the onside kick as a necessary tool at the end of a game or as a surprise tactic a coach could use to turn momentum (think Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV). Saying that the kicking team would need to be five yards away from a returner on kickoffs would eliminate the onside kick as an option because they would have to give the returner a chance to field the ball before they could touch it. That's why the five-yard rule in the CFL only applies to players that are in front of the kicker.

You simply cannot implement a five-yard rule on kickoffs.

I know. That's why I said I would have it. It's a change I'd like to see.

blog wrote:

 "But it wouldn't. You can't have a five-yard rule when the ball is live. The only players subject to the five-yard rule are those that are in front of the kicker when the ball is kicked. No one on a kickoff lines up in front of the kicker (if they do, they are offside).

blog: I am simply suggesting. ..change the rules!!!! Implement a five yard rule for any special teams receiver who wants to return the kickoff. Right now in the NFL he can elect make a fair catch or run. A five yard rule would allow another option to help reduce the injuries. The issue is dropping the kick-off because of the injury factor. That seems a bit drastic so I am suggesting no player be allowed within 5 yards of a receiver when he catches the ball on a kick-off ....and there is no fair catch signal.

Then what do you do for onside kicks? Under your change, they would be illegal. Games where teams are down two touchdowns with a minute left would be over. A team would be unable to get the ball back even if they scored a TD to get the game within one score.

I get that you are thinking about changes other than getting rid of kickoffs altogether, but there are consequences to those changes. There will be consequences to every change, and while I find you idea inventive, it's not really a solution, in my opinion.

Why not make the rule so that it says the five yard restraining zone applies on all kickoffs of more than fifteen yards?

Then onside kicks would still be dealt with as they are. Shouldn't be too hard to do this and achieve what mr62cats is suggesting.

Mr 62, read this part again, especially the bold:

Your rule would have absolutely zero effect on a normal kickoff. There's never anyone within 20 yards of the kickoff returner when he catches the ball, never mind 5.

It's not just the returner that they're worried about protecting on a kickoff anyway, it's also everyone else with the blocking and wedge-busting and everything.