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Power Take: If NFL really wants safety, kick KO returns to the curb

Last season, only 41 percent of all kickoffs were returned in the NFL. On many occasions, it involved frustrated return men running the ball out from deep in the end zone, only to be buried around their own 15-yard line.

So the league’s competition committee has decided to move the ball from the 20 to the 25-yard line on touchbacks, which will presumably discourage players from running the ball out of the end zone.

You see, the NFL doesn’t like the kickoff return, considered the most dangerous play in the sport. Concussions and player safety are big issues these days, so they want to keep violent collisions to a minimum. That’s why they moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 in 2011.

Some critics figure the new rule will have the opposite effect. Coaches might choose to have their kickers drop the ball close to the goal line, trusting their coverage men to stop the returners well short of the 25-yard line on a regular basis.

Here’s a brilliant idea: If you want kickoff returns out of the game, eliminate them altogether. This isn’t brain surgery, guys.

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