In an effort to make the game of football safer, Pop Warner has decided to do away with kickoffs. That has led to Atlanta Falcons return specialist Devin Hester expressing his concern about the future of special teams in the NFL.
Hester spoke with TMZ about Pop Warner’s decision to do away with kickoffs for players between the ages of five and ten, for which they cited safety reasons. He understands their reasoning behind it, but he still sees it as a cause for concern for the rest of football.
“I disagree with that decision,” Hester said.
Hester says that this could lead to the NFL eliminating kickoffs altogether, which has been discussed many times in the past.
“It’s a possibility. The league is always trying to figure out how to prevent injuries and maybe that’s what they will try to do,” Hester said. “But it’s a violent sport. At the end of the day, there’s no way around it. For me being a kick return and punt return specialist, I see it as eliminating a position that guys can be really good at. I don’t know if it will help.”
Devin Hester is currently the all-time leader for returning punts for touchdowns with 14. He has also returned kickoffs for over 6,800 yards and five touchdowns.
If there is one person the NFL should listen to about the future of kickoffs, it is certainly the greatest return man in NFL history.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports