With the NFL prepared to review its options on new kickoff ideas this offseason, both Lions coach Jim Schwartz and kicker Jason Hanson each spoke about a proposed idea to eliminate the kickoff completely in 2013.
The current plan, initiated by Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, would give scoring teams a fourth-and-15 situation from their own 30-yard line after both field goals and touchdowns in place of a kickoff. While a team willing to risk a long passing play in their own territory could conceivably string together a handful of consecutive touchdowns, the idea to eliminate kickoff returns would drastically help the league cut down on injuries, according to Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.
"The kickoff is statistically the highest injured play in the game," Schwartz told Justin Rogers of MLive.com. "The league is constantly changing and I'm sure that if they decide to do something with (kickoffs) it will be for the best interest of player safety and the future of the game."
One man who would actually see less playing time if the proposed plan becomes a new rule is Lions veteran kicker Jason Hanson, who has spent more than 20 years in the NFL. Hanson only has a limited amount of time remaining in the league, but is not entirely a fan of the proposed changes despite the obvious gains in player safety.
"That’s interesting," Hanson said to the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett. "I don’t want to say anything off the cuff here to eliminate my job. But gosh, getting rid of a kickoff is – look at all the advertisements. What they have now is a decent mix. I think it accomplished what they wanted."