the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Long Extra Point

Talk of tinkering with the extra point in the NFL has now moved from the Commissioner (and his earlier threats of eliminating extra point kicks) to the Competition Committee. Under discussion is the possibility of moving the line of scrimmage back from the two yard line to the 25 yard line. Depending on the exact placement by the holder, that would make the kick a 42 or 43 yarder rather than a 19 or 20 yarder.

Here's what a few kickers think of all this...

"This just seems like a proposal by a couple of people trying to pound their chest a little saying, 'Let's change it up because kickers are too good'. They're trying to downgrade our value versus continuing to put an emphasis on kicking. They're trying to minimize the importance of kickers. I'm a traditionalist. If it's not broke, don't fix it." - Adam Vinatieri

“Kickers are on the field a limited amount as it is. This is our craft. We’re very lucky to be able to do it. I’d rather see it lengthened than abolished. I think it will give them what they want and make it tougher, especially on windy days and when the cold weather hits.” - Mike Nugent

"They should do it in preseason and see what the responses are and how it affects the flow of the game and outcome of the games.” - Morten Andersen

"I don't think this passes right away. I don't think it's a pressing need.... You don't penalize a baseball closer for being great, you celebrate that. You should do the same thing with kickers. If you're going to change the extra-point rule, I'd rather see you change it and still have it as part of the game than eliminate it.... 
A change would create more strategy because you'd have to decide if you'd want to kick it or go for two points because about 80% was average for 43-yard field goals last season.... Somebody is going to miss a critical extra point. So that coach is going to think harder about whether or not he likes his 2-point play." - Jay Feely

"People are trying to faze kickers out of the game. That’s as blunt as I can be about it. I don’t think it’s necessary to change the game every couple of years to make it more exciting. It’s plenty exciting. If you want it to be more exciting, TV timeouts could be a little shorter and we could actually play some football. If somebody wants to be honest and say they’re trying to faze kickers out of the game, I’d appreciate that. I’d start working out and I’d try to get a little faster and I’d work on my hands and become a slot receiver. I want to play the game....
My first thought is that it’s a great game, so why do we need to change it? My second thought is that if we do back it up, that can only benefit the guys that can make them. It just gives me more motivation to get better at what I do.” - Justin Tucker

"I am not against moving the PAT back and making the kick longer. I think that instead of the 42-yard attempt that is being talked about, the PAT should be a 38-yard attempt. Kickers, for the most part, are accurate inside of 40; however, there is enough of a track record of misses from the 30- to 39-yard range to make a 38-yard PAT somewhat exciting. Add in late-season weather, wind conditions and less room for error due to the increased distance the ball has to stay straight, and I think you have a viable solution without dramatically changing the most popular sport in America.
A 20-yard extra point can be hit extremely poorly and still be kicked through the uprights. On the contrary, a 38-yard PAT would have to be hit solidly for it to go through and would require much more accuracy from the place kicker. In turn, this makes the PAT more exciting, while keeping myself and the 31 other kickers involved in the game. It would challenge us to adapt our mindset and physical approach to the PAT.
Although I am admittedly biased, I believe that kickers do play a unique yet integral role in the game. A team that does its research and develops or signs a strong, accurate and confident kicker will be rewarded in clutch situations. Not to mention, that team will have a distinct advantage on the field-position battle on kickoffs. Eliminating returns with high and deep kicks is without a doubt an asset to a team's defense." - Blair Walsh

1 comment:

Graham Coia said...

Why not simply narrow the goalposts and raise the crossbar to arena football dimensions? Puts the emphasis back on increasing the skill level by valuing accuracy. Makes sense if indeed they want to make the kick more difficult and not simply use this as an excuse to run the kicking game out of town.

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