Chris Maragos, Philadelphia’s special team ace cannot process the thought of an NFL game without a kickoff play. He said that in a league that the game is constantly modified in an attempt to reduce injuries that occur as a result of high speed collisions, he doesn’t feel safe. He admitted that he sounded like a lobbyist. The NFL is always exploring for ways to make the kickoff much safer for the players as statistics indicate that it is during kickoffs when most injuries occur. As NFL season begins in September, online NFL betting odds will come in handy.
Maragos counterpart and Stephen Jones, has a completely different opinion. Punts as well as kickoffs are less important compared to player safety according to Jones. After five years since NFL moved the kickoff to 35 yard line up from 30, they are planning on experimenting on encouraging increased number of touchbacks by having the ball put on 25 other than 20.
There is plenty of dialogue on whether or not to drop the kickoff play altogether. According to Blandino, the kickoff is a big and exciting game part and he doesn’t think that it is going to be dropped. The league, however continues to view the kickoff as dangerous as it causes a lot of concussions. This might be the reason why Jones doesn’t see that it could result to reduced chances of stardom for players who cannot shine on the offense or defense.
Jones, the executive vice-president for the Cowboys said that, it all boils down to the safety of the players which is the number one priority in the league. In 2015, punt return was a noteworthy play. Jeff Heath, a Dallas player, obstructed Lockette when in full stride, although it was legal play, it ended Ricardo Lockette’s career due to a neck injury. Heath, whose profile fits perfectly in the special teams, as he is a defensive player and a full time chaser, believes that tackles will always be needed.
Heath, said that you have to be fast, You need to be skilled and if you are, you will play well in defense, offense or in special teams.
Punts and kickoffs, a gateway to stardom; Maragos would argue pointing to his San Franscisco teammate Delanie walker when he was a rookie. Special teams helped Walker stay on the roster, it has also played a crucial role as he enjoys a Pro-Bowl season in Tennessee. Adam Thielen, a Minnesota receiver, had remained un-drafted in Minnesota State Mankato Division II and spent a whole year on the practicing squad before he became a key contributor to the Vikings special team. In 2014, he obstructed a punt and during the last season he ran a 41 yard fake punt at Green Bay during the season finale. Bay. According to Thielen, safety comes with a lot of practice.
Green Bay Packers is the team that Maragos is rooting. Green Bay Packers beat New England in XXXI Super Bowl winning at 35-21. Maragos, remembers that the most anticipated play of the game is the kickoff; you have to be determined, have an inner desire, be athletic and ran down the field. This is what makes up the game and it is an embodiment of what a player in NFL should be.