The NFL may be stealing ideas from another football league.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the NFL has been considering adopting new kickoff rules from the XFL.
For those of you who only watch real football like myself, the XFL is another football league that takes place after the NFL finishes. With the season stretching from February to May, the XFL’s purpose is to give football fans something to watch while the NFL is off the air. However, due to lack of talent and marketing, the XFL doesn’t typically garner a whole bunch of viewers.
Nevertheless, the NFL may steal a page out of their rulebook.
It’s far from a secret that the NFL has been looking into updating its kickoff procedures. Regarded as the most dangerous part of football, kickoffs have been known to cause the most concussions of all plays. The main reason is speed.
According to PFT, players on the kickoff team reach average speeds of about 17MPH when running down the field. This results in devastating hits which ultimately lead to CTE in the future. Well, the XFL does kickoffs way differently.
In the XFL, the kicker lines up at the 30-yard line all alone. On the other end of the field, the kickoff and return teams line up five yards apart with the return man ten yards behind. This allows blockers to engage with each other almost like any other play, getting rid of the dangerous speeds in which the kickoff team has built up from running the length of the field.
Though thrown around the NFL as an idea, Roger Goodell has yet to actually make any sort of announcement. It’s far from a done deal and could very well end up never coming to fruition. However, the NFL has been looking at alternatives to kick returns for a while now, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this change implemented.
As for whether or not it’s a good idea, honestly it’s not bad. Personally, I like the way kickoffs are now. However, I understand player safety is a priority nowadays. Though violent Ray Lewis type football is still my jam, this is a significantly better option than getting rid of kickoffs entirely (another suggestion which has been brought up). If it’s inevitable for kickoffs to change at some point, this may not be the worst option.