BOULWARE: FOOTBALL SHOULD KEEP KICKOFFS
As football executives and coaches continue to better understand head injuries, what might change about the game itself? One idea that's been floated around pretty prominently is eliminating kickoffs entirely.
In a Time magazine article last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that kickoffs could be replaced by giving the would-be kicking team the ball on its own 30-yard line with one play — a fourth-and-15 situation — to either punt or attempt a first down.
The idea was crafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who was Rutgers' coach when Eric LeGrand injured his neck on a kickoff. He remains paralyzed today.
First-year Oklahoma assistant Jay Boulware, who has coached special teams for most of his career, said he wouldn't be in favor of eliminating kickoffs, adding that most of the injury problems can be corrected with better coaching.
“I love the enthusiasm that it brings to the game,” Boulware said. “There's nothing like the first kickoff of the game and the excitement that it brings. The swings of a game can be dictated in your kickoff and kickoff return units. I don't want to get rid of it, but it's not my decision.”