ORLANDO, Fla. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh remembers a time when kickoffs were exciting, a chance for a team to change the momentum of a game. He wants to bring that back, but he’s not certain a new rule proposal under consideration at the NFL’s annual owners’ meeting is the right way to do it.

The competition committee has presented a rule change that would bring opposing teams closer together during a kickoff and create a “landing zone,” all in an effort to encourage more kick returns.

To pass a rule change, 75% of NFL owners have to vote in the affirmative. Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel and New Orleans Saints special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, who have refined elements of the proposal, have presented the new kickoff to coaches, general managers and owners ahead of a vote.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Harbaugh, the only active NFL head coach who was elevated from a special teams coordinator position, asked questions — a lot of them, he admitted with a laugh.

“I’m kind of passionate about that,” Harbaugh said about getting kickoffs “back in the game.”

“It’s been a ceremonial play, really, for the last number of years.”

The rule aims to improve player safety and to increase “excitement and competition in the game,” according to the proposal. Fassel also pointed out that special teams players are suffering a lot of wear and tear from all the running with little reward as most kicks end as touchbacks or fair catches, according to The Athletic.

In short, the new proposal would eliminate fair catches by creating a “landing zone” for kicks between the receiving team’s goal line and 20-yard line. Any kicks that land in front of the landing zone would be treated as an out-of-bounds kickoff, and the ball would be spotted at the return team’s 40-yard line. Any kick that lands in the landing zone must be fielded. If it bounces into the end zone, it can be returned or downed and placed at the 20. If it lands in the end zone, it can be returned or downed and placed at the 35-yard line.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Touchbacks would now be placed 10 yards further upfield, at the 35-yard line, to encourage teams to kick it into the landing zone.

The alignment of both the receiving and kicking teams would change as well, to help eliminate the running head start the coverage units have. The kicking team, outside the kicker, would line up with a foot on the receiving team’s 40. The receiving team, outside of two returners, would line up between their own 30- and 35-yard lines. None would be released until the ball hits the ground or a player in the landing zone or end zone.

Harbaugh said Fassel and Rizzi answered his many questions, which The Athletic reported were mostly about blocking, with many good answers, and he’s “satisfied that the play is workable.” But he still has more questions.

One of the details he’s unsure about is how it takes the line of scrimmage out of the equation.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

“The line of scrimmage is a big part of football,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been around for quite a while. … It’s a drastic kind of move that’s going to be way different if it gets passed than what we’ve seen out of kickoffs and kickoff returns in the past. It’s just a different kind of football play.”

Harbaugh said he talked to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti about it, but as of Monday morning, he wasn’t sure how Bisciotti would vote. While he said he appreciates the end goal, he didn’t know if this specific proposal is “the right move at this time” and expressed his hope they’ll explore “every option up to that point to where we’ve got to make that kind of a move.”

“Really, the biggest thing about it, when you really dig down deep is that it’s unpredictable,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a lot of unintended consequences, and you don’t know what it’s going to look like.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.