One of the proposed rule changes that the NFL owners will vote on next week is a potential drastic change to kickoff rules. As we know earlier this week Rich McKay, chairman of the NFL's Competition Committee, announced a proposal moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line and touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line. In SB Nation's exclusive conference call with Commissioner Roger Goodell, we asked about these potential changes and was brought them about.
"As you know, the major focus we have when our competition committee meets and looks at our rules is player health and safety," Goodell told SB Nation on the call. Rules to keep up and improve player safety have been a big focus since the 2010 season, especially with all of the concerns mounting about concussions and head/neck injuries. "We also meet with our players and our players have indicated to us that this is one of those that they think we need to address from a safety standpoint," Roger Goodell added.
When I wrote earlier in the week about the NFL potentially killing the kick return specialist, I didn't even stop to think that this was an issue brought up by the players. While an NFL kick return is one of the most beautifully violent acts in organized sports, I didn't even consider that the players could have brought up this issue to the league when discussing player safety, especially since it could cost some players their jobs when the lockout subsides.