Indianapolis Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri was unhappy with the narrower goal posts that were used Sunday during the Pro Bowl, believing the change in width would disadvantage kickers and make field goals less appealing to coaches, according to Conor Orr of NFL.com.
The NFL elected to use uprights in this year's Pro Bowl that were 14-feet across, rather than the traditional 18 feet, six inches. Vinatieri, whose practice attempts on the new goal posts were limited, missed two 35-yard extra points and a 39-yard field goal.
Vinatieri said that the impact of the change was too limited, and would disadvantage kickers should it be adopted permanently.
"Ask a receiver, can we take his gloves off because he's catching the ball too well?" Vinatieri said after the game. "Nobody is going to be overly happy about that. But I understand the wheels of change are in motion and people want to change stuff, but I feel bad for the young bucks that will have to deal with it their whole career."
The 42-year-old kicker also believed that the change would diminish accuracy for field goals, and cause coaches to either punt or attempt fourth-down conversions more often.
"Yeah, I mean obviously," he said. "I don't know, there was an 83 or 84 percent field goal accuracy this past year, I think this would knock it down to ... I don't know. I do know one thing, I doubt there would be as many 50-yarders attempted because the percentage would go way down."
This past season, Vinatieri went 50-for-50 on extra point attempts and converted 30 of the 31 field goals he attempted.
In his 10-year career, split between the New England Patriots and the Colts, Vinatieri has an 83.7% field goal percentage and has completed 98.6 percent of his extra points.
- Jack Jorgensen