View Full Version : Should The NFL Change kick off Rules?

10-26-2007, 09:24 PM
Should The NFL Change kick off Rules?


There are few plays in football more exciting than the kickoff return for a touchdown. A fleet player weaving his way in and out of traffic to take the ball 90 or 100 yards for six points is always thrilling. There's another side to kickoffs, though.

The injuries to Kevin Everett (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/KevinEverett/) of Buffalo and Cedric Killings (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/CedricKillings/) of Houston remind us huge men are sprinting downfield where other huge men are waiting to throw their bodies in front of them. Injuries are bound to happen and as we've seen they can be especially serious. That's why agent Peter Schaffer (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/PeterSchaffer/) wants the league to change the rules for kick coverage to try and enhance safety. He spoke with the Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/broncos/ci_7285176):
"To worry about these kids spending the rest of their lives in a wheelchair makes you instantly want to make a change. There has to be a change. There are often 300-pound men running straight into each other on the wedge. The wedge has to be outlawed."

Schaffer represents Tony Palmer (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/TonyPalmer/) of Green Bay. Palmer fractured a bone in his neck on a kickoff against the Giants ending his season and jeopardizing the rest of his career. Along with outlawing the wedge, Schaffer suggests having the coverage teams start in a 3-point stance and on the 30-yard line to slow their acceleration downfield.

While I understand Schaffer's concern I don't see the NFL making any changes that radical.

The wedge has been part of the game from day one and is the most natural way to block for a return. Teams have dynamic returners like Devin Hester (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/DevinHester/) and Ted Ginn (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/TedGinn/) because they change games and aren't likely to vote for a rule change that's going to limit their effectiveness. By the same token, having the coverage units start in a down position would be a big advantage for the returners. No coach or GM is going to get behind something which costs them that much field position.

If they do tweak something it would probably be the amount of running start that coverage players can get before the ball is in the air. That seems reasonable and the league does a little something to improve player safety almost every year. Anything else would likely be too drastic for the league to swallow. It sounds horrible but injuries, even life-threatening ones, are a fact of football life and there's no way to make the game completely safe.

LINK (http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/10/26/should-the-nfl-change-kickoff-rules/#cont)

10-26-2007, 10:54 PM
In all of the years that I have watched NFL football I can't recall a time when so many were getting injured on kickoffs or in Trent Greens case where a diving quarterback ends up taking a dirt nap. I think that at the heart of it its a more than just the wedge because the wedge has always been used. I think its partly the way an athlete in the NFL espaecially are being taught the proper way to tackle in such a way that it reduces or lessens the severity of an injury. Keeping the head up as opposed to having the head down is a sure way to get hurt. It's unfortunate that guys like Everett were hurt in the manner that they got injured. But your absolutely right something has to change but I am not sure that outlawing the wedge will fix the problem.

10-27-2007, 02:09 AM
i don't think there should be any rules changes because it's kind of a rare thing it seems for ppl to get paralyzed on kickoffs, don't change a rule just cause one or two ppl will never play the game again, now if this was happening every week then yeah lol

10-27-2007, 02:29 AM
No they should not change anything....the sport is supposed to be "brutal" and "violent". You make the game any softer and it's gonna become like soccer except you can use your hands.

You don't wanna take the risk....don't play the game.

It's a high risk....high reward game...

10-27-2007, 08:34 AM
I dont like change :dunno:

Dee Mca
10-27-2007, 11:11 AM
This happens every year the first couple games of the season theirs always bad injuries and then we have people screming chane this or change that. I don't think it' s like "KSSteelerfan" says it's a tackling problem. Most of these guys have been playing football all their lives. If they don't know the proper safe way to take some one down they dont need to be out on the field. I think all these injuries are a conditioning problem. Esp. injuries to starters They take hardly any reps in preseason pretty much start the season cold. You don't see pitchers in the major league go right into a game. No, they warm up first. Same thing for guys in NFL play more in preseason get your bodies use to these hits when they aren't really hard.

10-27-2007, 11:16 AM
No they should not change anything....the sport is supposed to be "brutal" and "violent". You make the game any softer and it's gonna become like soccer except you can use your hands.

You don't wanna take the risk....don't play the game.

It's a high risk....high reward game...

I agree, changing rules to make the game less intense and less "football" is going to accomplish nothing. Injuries are a part of the game and players know this going in so it's not like they are oblivious to the possibility of injury at any given time. ST is the violent aspect of the game regardless of how much you try and change it.

10-27-2007, 01:45 PM
keep it the way it is....you can't change the game because of a couple injuries (as much as my heart goes out to those players).

10-30-2007, 08:05 AM
Hope they don't make any changes, but you never know with the new commish, seems like he wants to set his stamp on the league......