Bills great Steve Tasker will be part of a select group of special-teams experts the NFL is bringing together next month to discuss the future of kickoffs.
Tasker does not think the kickoff has much of a future in the NFL.
"It's a group from what I've been told of 10 special-teams coaches around the NFL and a bunch of old guys like me who used to cover kicks," Tasker said of the meeting scheduled for May 2 in New York City. "We're going to meet early in the morning about being creative and imaginative and coming up with an alternative to kickoff."
Tasker, speaking at the 17th annual Call to Courage breakfast Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, said he thinks eliminating kickoffs "is not just on the horizon, it's around the corner."
"If they can find something they like, that will help because it is a violent play in the game," Tasker said. "It's become part of our vernacular, let's kick things off. . . . But I think its days are numbered. I think they're going to come up with an alternative to the kickoff."
A smattering of boos came from the crowd of more than 700, to which Tasker replied: "Hence, the problem."
The May meeting comes on the heels of the NFL owners meetings two weeks ago at which the need to reduce the number of injuries on kickoffs was a topic of conversation. No action was taken on kickoffs at the meetings.
“If you don’t make changes to make it safer, we’re going to do away with it, said Green Bay President Mark Murphy. ”It’s that serious. It’s by far the most dangerous play in the game.”
Tasker, a seven-time Pro Bowler, arguably is the greatest special teams player ever.
"Believe me, they're going to come up with a creative alternative, something the fans will like," Tasker said. "No question it would be an enormous adjustment. . . . I think the big thing is can we can come up – or can you come up – with something that you like better? If we can, you can bet that's what they'll do. They'll listen to you, they'll listen to guys like me, they'll listen to coaches and give you something better if you can imagine it and we're hoping you do."
Story topics: Steve Tasker