Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Changing The Point After
Spice it up.
The NFL's dullest play, the extra point, appears to be headed for some changes, perhaps significant ones, for the 2015 season.
While team owners didn't vote on any extra-point proposals Wednesday, there was so much discussion and interest in potential changes that the issue will be a main focal point for the next set of league meetings in May.
``There's a clear movement to wanting to change and change it this year,'' said Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee and president of the Falcons. McKay's committee will ``develop alternatives and be ready for a potential vote'' in two months in San Francisco.
Among the possibilities are moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks; placing the ball on the 1 1/2-yard line for a 2-point conversion; eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage; and allowing the defence to score, as in college football, if the ball is turned over on a 2-point try.
McKay described the discussions as ``lively, with lots of ideas ... it's time to make this a football play.''
``A couple coaches said they favour just lining up on the 2 and going for the 2-point play,'' he said. ``Or move the ball to the 1 1-2 for two points, or kick from the 15 for one, your choice.''
The league experimented with extra-point kicks from a longer distance last preseason.
Currently, the line of scrimmage for both an extra point and 2-point conversion try is the 2-yard line.
Voted down as the meetings concluded was Chicago's proposal that each team get a possession in overtime regardless of what happens on the first series. Now, if the side receiving the OT kickoff scores a touchdown, the game ends. If it kicks a field goal, the opponent gets a possession.
Unsportsmanlike penalties handed out at the end of a half now will carry over, either to the second half or to overtime.
Lining up players with eligible numbers at ineligible positions, as New England did against Baltimore in the playoffs, now has more specific guidelines. Those players must line up inside the tackle box.
The owners also approved teams with retractable domes being allowed to open them at halftime, weather permitting, and allowing linebackers to wear numbers from 40-49; previously they could wear only numbers in the 50s and 90s.