Green Bay Packers President Reveals Why They Were One Of Three Teams To Vote ‘No’ On New Kickoff

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
Packers NFL Kickoff

Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy is in support of the NFL’s new kickoff. However, he would have preferred if there was an opportunity for a trial run.

As a result, his team was one of just three teams to vote ‘no’ on the change.

77% of kickoffs went for touchbacks last season. The play was becoming irrelevant and resulted in injury at a higher rate than the rest of the game.

In an effort to bring the play back from the dead, while putting player safety first, the National Football League adopted a modified structure from the XFL. It will most certainly take some getting used to.

Although most NFL organizations were quick to vote in favor of the change, the Packers said “nay.”

Murphy does not want people to think that it was because Green Bay is against the rule. Rather, he would have preferred if there was an opportunity to try it out on the field before voting either way.

“Our issue was that it’s such a major change,” Murphy said. “My thought — our thought — was it makes sense, really, to have [it] as a trial or experiment in the preseason to see what — there’s going to be some unintended consequences, I think. And I just felt it made sense to have a trial.”

Now that the vote is final and the change has been made, Murphy is on board.

“I think it was overwhelming, it was like 29-3,” he said. “So we’ll be very supportive of it. And, we do, we have one of the better kick returners in the league. So we’ll put that to our advantage.”

He was referring to Keisean Nixon, who was a back-to-back First Team NFL All-Pro selection in each of the last two years.

“We were kind of the outlier,” Murphy continued. “Keisan is such a good returner. So I think it was good. And I think we were all in favor of something that would be safe and to get the kick return back into the game. It was really just a question of whether we go right with it. The other thing I should say is that it’s a one-year rule, so we’ll be able to evaluate it after the year.”

Fair enough!