03/06/2014 07:37 AM
Adam Vinatieri, others sound off
Some NFL kickers are hoping a proposal that would push extra-point attempts from 20 yards to 43 ultimately gets the boot.
Adam Vinatieri told USA Today Sports that the proposal -- which would spot the ball for PATs at the 25-yard line instead of the 2, according to an NFL.com report -- won't make the game better.
"I don't understand the logic: Will it make the game safer for people by moving the extra point back to a 43-yarder?" Vinatieri said. "If anything, players are going to rush harder because they're thinking, 'That far of a field goal-type try, we have to go after blocking it more.'
"If you want to talk about potential risk, more guys get injured on a field goal than extra point. It definitely will change the game. For the better? I'm not sure."
According to NFL.com's report, the league's competition committee has discussed experimenting with the rule as early as the 2014 preseason.
Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens hopes that doesn't come to fruition.
"People are trying to phase kickers out of the game. That's as blunt as I can be about it," Tucker told BaltimoreRavens.com.
"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."
Vinatieri, 41, is coming off a season for the Indianapolis Colts in which he converted all 34 of his extra-point tries. And he wasn't alone in his success. Overall, there were just five misses in 1,267 PATs last season.
Jay Feely, a veteran with the Arizona Cardinals who went 37-for-37 on PATs in 2013, believes kickers would be penalized for their success if such a rule goes into effect.
"You don't penalize a baseball closer for being great, you celebrate that," Feely, 37, told USA Today. "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."
"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,'" the Super Bowl champion said. "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."
Vinatieri cited Denver Broncos counterpart Matt Prater, who went 75-for-75 on PATs during the 2013 regular season.
"Three-fourths of the time, he won't get to step on the field to kick an extra point? That's crazy and it devalues us as kickers," Vinatieri told USA Today.
The competition committee's discussions, which took place this past weekend, came on the heels of commissioner Roger Goodell saying the group should consider abolishing the PAT.
"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell told NFL Network in January. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd [attempts]. So it's a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play."
Goodell instead suggested a touchdown being worth seven points instead of six, with the potential for an extra play from scrimmage that would yield an eighth point.
Don't, however, tell that to Tucker, who said eliminating the extra point is "stupid."
"If somebody wants to be honest and say they're trying to phase kickers out of the game, I'd appreciate that," Tucker told BaltimoreRavens.com. "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."