NFL commissioner says league may consider banning kickoffs
Colts coach Bruce Arians spoke out Friday about an NFL consideration of taking kickoffs out of the game.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that the league's competition committee will consider eliminating the kickoff in the offseason. The league previously moved the kickoff from the 30 to 35-yard line to cut down on violent collisions, hoping to reduce head injuries.
"Why? Football is football, why tinker with it? We don't need new sets of rules in my opinion. You're going to put some guys out of business. There are guys that only get on your team because they're kickoff returners or kickoff cover guys. They're taking jobs away from guys. I realize some guys have gotten hurt over the years covering kicks or returning kicks. They get hurt in every phase of the game. Are we going to phase out everything?" Arians said.
Cleveland Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs doesn't like the possibility that the NFL will replace the kickoff.
Cribbs, who shares the league record for kickoff return touchdowns with Seattle's Leon Washington, said banning the kickoff would change the league "drastically" and that if the move was made the NFL would be "just like intramurals.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano suggested that instead of kickoffs, teams would have the option of punting from the 30-yard line and going for a first down in a fourth-and-15 situation. Goodell has called Schiano's idea "interesting."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)