“You want to know the real reason Roger Goodell came down so hard on the Saints for Bountygate? Take a walk down to the federal courthouse in Philly and peruse the lawsuits filed by more than 400 ex-players charging the league with negligence and deception over the long-term effects of concussions. Goodell and the league hope that if they mention enough times how important player safety is to them, they might be able to sway a potential jury. If Bountygate had surfaced 5 years ago, the league would have fined Gregg Williams $50,000 and moved on.” – Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News…on the New Orleans Saints’ recent woes.
“That [change] was made for one reason only and that was player safety. Looking at the results of it, it achieved its objective. Concussions and injuries were down [on kickoff returns]. As much as 40 percent on concussions. We knew quality-of-game wise it would have some impact. But we were still committed to doing it. There’s been no push at all by any team or anyone on the [Competition] Committee that we should change the rule.” – Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons President & Co-Chair of NFL Competition Committee… on moving kickoffs up five yards last season.
Can someone tell me why kickoff returns are still a part of the NFL at this point? If you are quoting concussions are down 40% on kickoff returns it means, a) you have an active metric for them and, b) by continuing to leave things as they are you are accepting a certain percentage of concussions as being acceptable…when in this instance you can eliminate them by eliminating the play in question. We’re trying to eliminate the “moving target” of bounties…how about the “fixed target” of kickoffs?