Eric LeGrand: NFL kickoffs were OK where they were
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Around The League editor
- Published: July 16, 2012 at 08:02 a.m.
- Updated: July 16, 2012 at 08:29 a.m.
First things first: Read Eric LeGrand's entire guest-writing spot in SI.com's Monday Morning Quarterback.
The paralyzed former Rutgers player and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer gives a great inside look at his week at the ESPYs, and his life in recovery from a paralyzing football injury.
LeGrand also showed he had an instinct for writing on the Internet because he included a great conversation-starter at the end of his "10 Things I Think."
"Take it from someone who has gotten injured on a kickoff: I think kickoffs in the NFL should return to the way they used to be, because lots of football players can make a career out of playing on special teams, and the new system takes some of the thrill and excitement of the game out," LeGrand writes.
Now that's someone who loves football. And special teams. LeGrand's career ended and his life was altered on the type of special teams play that the NFL is now trying to avoid. But he sees it as part of the game. If you sign up to play football, LeGrand seems to say, you sign up for some of those risks. (In an effort to limit injuries, NFL owners voted last year to move kickoffs up five yards to the 35-yard line.)
This is a case in which we feel the NFL is doing the right thing trying to protect players. We lose a little of the "thrill and excitement" of the game with fewer kickoffs, but did all those touchbacks really hurt the game last year?
NFL players are only going to grow bigger and faster, so the collisions on kickoffs will only get more devastating. Why not limit them? That's my opinion, anyway.
LeGrand's words carry more weight.