What time is kickoff? This is the common question for most footballs fans. In a few years the phrase might be “what time does the game start?” If the higher football powers have their way it might be the end of the kickoff. This could be a severe blow to kickers and punters in Tennessee. If you were to take away the kickoff you will hurt the value of the kicker.
Schools may not offer scholarships anymore for the kicker and just scholarship the punter. There are over 75-100 kickers a year that can kick field goals at a college level. The truly elite kickers can do kickoffs. Kickoffs require more athleticism and coordination which makes their value that much more important. The value of a kickoff AND field goal kicker is very important in today’s high school and college game. I would estimate that there were probably 15-20 truly elite kickers in the 2018 class that could kickoff and kick field goals at a high level. Eliminating the kickoff would devalue kickers.
Former NFL Special Teams Coordinator Mike Westhoff has a great idea for the kickoff Article . He suggests moving the kickoff back to the 25 yard line and limiting the space that players have in the kickoff. This would create more of a punt effect rather than the hard collisions from a kickoff. 230-260 pound athletes running with 20-40 yards of speed is bound to cause some injuries. We should definitely do something to help with player safety but the current rule change is a way to eliminate the play completely from the game.
As I continue to do Nashville Kicking Camps, Knoxville Kicking Camps, Memphis Kicking Camps and Chattanooga Kicking Camps I will be teaching kickoffs. I do wonder though how much longer this play will continue unless something is changed quickly.