Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano may have ruffled some feathers by telling his defense to try to bust through victory formations, but his vision for the future of the game is being well received in one important area.
NFL commissioner Roger Godell told Time Magazine about a proposal to eliminate kickoffs and said the idea was brought up by Schiano, who is in his first season with the Bucs.
Rather than kicking off, a team would get the ball at its own 30-yard line and face a fourth-and-15 situation. The team could punt or go for it. If a team went for it and failed, the opponent would be in excellent field position.
We all know Goodell has been making a lot of noise about player safety in recent years and I’m glad to hear he’s at least listening to Schiano, who has a pretty good perspective on the dangers of kickoffs.
When Schiano was coaching at Rutgers in 2010, one of his players (Eric LeGrand) was paralyzed in a collision on a kickoff. Schiano has remained very close to LeGrand, who was signed by the Bucs as a symbolic gesture in the spring.
Schiano seems passionate about the idea of the NFL eliminating kickoffs. You can read more about his plan in this October story from ESPN The Magazine.
"I believe that day will come," Schiano said. "Unfortunately, it will probably take more players being seriously hurt. But I think there's another way to do this."