NFL tables proposal to change length of extra-point attempts

Wednesday March 25th, 2015

NFL owners have tabled a proposal that would change the length of extra-point attempts, New York Giants president and CEO John Mara said Tuesday at the league's owners meetings.

A variety of proposals have floated around regarding options for extra points, including moving the line of scrimmage up to the 1-yard line to encourage teams to instated try for a two-point conversion, moving it back to the 15-yard line to make the extra-point attempt more difficult and others.

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In a story published on Monday, Mara told SI's Don Banks that while the notion of altering extra-point attempts has momentum among owners, some are hesitant to make PATs more difficult in crucial moments of games.

"There’s some support for it, and it’s a possibility," said Mara, who is on the nine-person competition committee and favors moving the PAT to the 15. "I think a lot of the coaches are a little uncomfortable doing anything with the extra point. They say, ‘What’s wrong with having a ceremonial play?’ They don’t want their kicker lining up for a 33-yard extra point to tie or win the game at the very end. A lot of coaches have expressed that, so that’s why I’m not sure whether this will pass or not, but it’s got a little bit more momentum I think that it has had in the past. It’s just hard to say anything definitive though until we get in the room and everybody gets up to speak. But it’s got some momentum, even though getting that 24th vote is going to be tough."

Last preseason, the line of scrimmage for extra-points was pushed to the 15-yard line during a two-week trial period. Kickers made 94.3 percent of the longer extra points (133 of 141 attempts). During the regular season, kickers made 99.3 percent (1,222 of 1,230) of extra points from the usual line of scrimmage at the 2-yard line.

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One proposal NFL owners did approve on Tuesday will allow medical observers to call a timeout on the field if a player appears shaken up or disoriented. Under the new rule, a certified athletic trainer would communicate with a side judge to stop play.

Other rule changes include applying peel-back block penalties to all offensive players, protecting defenseless receivers after interceptions and prohibiting teammates from pushing each other forward at the line of scrimmage on punts and field-goal attempts.

Mike Fiammetta

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