NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league might consider modifying or doing away with the extra point in the coming years. Unsurprisingly, kickers aren’t too thrilled with this idea.
Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots and Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens will be the two men kicking in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl, and both said Thursday that they think the NFL is just fine the way it is.
“For what it’s worth, I like the extra point,” Tucker said, via NFL.com. “I like doing my job, and I think it’s one of those things in the game that sometimes is taken for granted.”
“It’s such a good game the way it is, I don’t know why we have to go change everything all the time,” Gostkowski added.
The impetus behind getting rid of the PAT is the fact that it’s a near given, a play completely devoid of drama (if you’re not John Carney, that is). But Tucker said he doesn’t believe kickers should be penalized for doing their job efficiently.
“Sure, there is a high success rate,” he said. “There is also a high success rate at the end of the game when a guy is taking a knee. You got to snap the ball. You fumble the snap, that makes it a completely different game.
“… You look at these quarterbacks throwing for four and five thousand yards a season, and they are getting increasingly efficient, but we aren’t going to tell the receivers to stop wearing gloves. In my opinion, it is the same principle. That is my two cents.”
One potential way to spice up the extra point would be to move the ball farther back, making the kicker convert a 30- or 35-yard try rather than the usual 19-yarder. Gostkowski said he would be fine with a few tweaks, as long as the PAT isn’t done away with entirely.
“If they want to move it back, go ahead, but completely eliminating it would be a terrible, terrible thing,” he said.