When the NFL was blasted for years over its stance on player safety, the concessions kept coming. Anyone who complained loudly about the union’s handling of concussions could not logically complain when rules were put in place to make the game safer.
Part of making the game safe was taking away the kickoff.
Going forward there will technically be kickoffs in the NFL, but in a mostly ceremonial way it seems. This week’s rule change in which the team will take possession at the 25-yard line on the proper catch of the kickoff and the safety kick will make up for very few kickoff returns, at least for a one-year test of the rule.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid is a football lifer who is a Hall of Famer after two Super Bowl titles in the past four seasons. And he’s not happy with the move, which includes the new kickoff rule.
“My point is, where does it stop, right?” Reed said, According to James Palmer of NFL Network, “We start taking pieces and we’ll see how it goes. But you don’t want to take too many pieces or you’ll be playing flag football.”
It has been and will continue to be a push and pull with NFL rules designed for safety. It is impossible to make a violent sport like football completely safe. But a lot of fans will yearn for things like a safety crushing the receiver in the middle. or kickoff.
Reid is one of the most respected voices in football. He is not alone in his opinion. Many people have expressed their regret for the rule changes, which sometimes lead to strange penalties, but they are not going to stop. Getting rid of most of the kickoff play, one of the most dangerous plays in the game, shouldn’t be too surprising.
Football is changing. Everyone will adjust even if some, like Reid, are worried about where this is all going.