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NFL competition committee to look at kickoff changes

The plan to discuss changes or the elimination of the kickoff aren't going away. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently told TIME magazine he would consider taking kickoffs out of the game.

"Whenever anything comes out of the Commissioner's office, I think it's appropriate to consider it serious," NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told's Ian Rapoport. "But every year, the competition committee will look at several proposals to enhance player safety, and certainly the kickoff play, probably disproportionately our most dangerous play, gets attention every year so like it did last year.

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"Coach Schiano's suggestion is one that has been proposed. Some folks think it's very intriguing, and certainly the subject of some pretty vigorous discussion and debate. But it will occur, and it will be serious."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano offered a scenario where, instead of kickoffs, teams can punt after a score or attempt to convert a fourth-and-15 to keep the ball.

"Some people would say let's move the kickoff line forward even further," Anderson said. "Another suggestion would be to put weight limitations on the people who can run down on the kickoff play. The theory being that lighter-weight guys colliding will be less detrimental than heavier-weight guys colliding with smaller-weighted guys. So that would be another idea.

"Those will be two possible scenarios that I'm sure will get a lot of discussion."

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Coaches will have input on proposed changes, but the vote of 24 owners are needed to pass a rule change.

"The way it works is the competition committee will do a serious evaluation, watch a lot of film, listen to a lot of input, including from coaches sub-committee and the general managers advisory committee on rule changes that are this significant," Anderson said. "The competition committee makes a recommendation to the ownership on a rule.

"The owners, by vote, will be the ultimate determiners of whether or not a rule is either made or changed, and I'm sure the coaches and GMs will be providing their strong opinions to their respective owners, particularly to a rule change like this."

Goodell is all about safety, and the kickoff is the most dangerous play in the game. There will be a significant change in the near future that changes the look of the NFL.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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