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AU’s Boulware Believes Coaches’ Approach Can Help With Player Safety On Kickoffs

While there’s been some discussion of possibly eliminating the kickoff from football — as proposed by Rutgers coach Greg Schiano — the proposal hasn’t gained much traction.  Still, just about every coach will acknowledge that the kickoff is a dangerous play.

Auburn special teams coordinator Jay Boulware believes it could be made less dangerous by coaches:

“It’s just my opinion, and take it for whatever it’s worth, but when you’re telling a kid to run down and run down into another blocker full speed, then you have basically eliminated that kid from being part of the tackle.  When you eliminate that thought process from what you’re doing and you teach kids to cover the kick and cover the returner as opposed to run into blockers full speed, that’s the type of thing that should be taught in the game. …

There are times when you have to run into a guy, but we’re not looking to go knock him out.  We’re looking to shed the block and go make a play… I don’t want to go one-for-one and lose one of my potential tacklers.  Then that blocker has essentially done his job even if he got his butt kicked.  I think if you can eliminate those type of mentalities in coaching kids, you’ll see a big change.”

That’s an impressive take.  Somebody get this man some speaking time at the next convention of college coaches.

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