According to TIME, Goodell recently discussed with Rick McKay, Falcons president and head of the NFL’s competition committee, a radical rule change proposed by Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano. Instead of a kickoff, the team that scored would then take the ball on its own 30-yard line in, essentially, a 4th-and-15 situation. In other words, they could attempt to keep their offense on the field and try to pick up 15 yards, at the risk of turning the ball over on downs; or they could punt.
“I don’t do things for public relations,” Goodell said. “I do things because they’re the right thing to do, because I love the game.”
However, is there a line where watching out for player safety infringes on the very nature of the game? Limiting kickoff returns is one thing (even that drew groans from fans), but eliminating them completely in favor of an off-the-wall replacement rule? That might change the game dramatically, and not necessarily for the better.