Dan Carpenter among kickers to express concern over PAT change

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The extra-point changes adopted Tuesday don't seem to jibe with the goals of the safety-conscious NFL, according to Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter.

The accepted proposal places PATs at the 15-yard line with two-point conversion attempts at the 2. Defenses will be allowed to return a turnover to the other end zone for the two points, similar to the college rule. The defense also can score two points by returning a botched kick.

In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, Carpenter said, "I feel bad for all my linemen," as the changes will lead to only more collisions in games.

"Being on field goal protection is probably the worst job in football. I know that and all my linemen know that," Carpenter said. "Well now they just went from a play that there weren't too many collisions to a play now where not only is the defense coming to take that one point off, but also to add a chance to add two more to their score.

"For a sport that was trying to cut back on collisions, I think that you're probably just going to add a few more on those situations."

Texans general manager Rick Smith, a member of the NFL's competition committee, said the changes were made "to add skill to the play" because PATs had become "ceremonial."

Carpenter wasn't the only kicker to voice concerns about the change:

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker wasn't happy that his job will get tougher in 2015:"We play in the AFC North and we play almost every single game outside. This is a tough division to play football in in general. It takes maybe a little bit more mental toughness than playing in a dome 10 games a year," he told the team's website.

Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey took offense to the idea the NFL was trying to add "skill" to the play: "As somebody that does this as my job, it requires the same skill to kick an extra point from where it was to where it's going to be. The skill set is the same. It requires you to be accurate in both acts. Now it'll be a little more distance, but by saying we're trying to add skill to the kick is almost saying we didn't possess that before, which I don't agree."

Other kickers, however, saw the change as one that will make them more valuable to teams:

Jacksonville Jaguars' Josh Scobee, who has made 21 of 22 field goal attempts in his career from 32 and 33 yards, said: "All it does is place more importance on having a reliable kicker."

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown had a similar sentiment: "I believe it adds higher value to a person to come out in December in bad weather and still be consistent. Those qualities are still very exciting to me. It's a play that you won't turn the TV off for anymore," he said on the team's website.

PATs will become an even bigger challenge for kickers when a 10-yard holding penalty is called on an attempt, moving the try to the 25-yard line in such cases.

NFL place-kickers have converted at least 98 percent of their extra points since 2000. That figure has hovered above 99 percent since 2010, providing little incentive to go for two-point plays. Coaches attempted them after just 4.9 percent of touchdowns last season; they were converted at a rate of 47.5 percent.

There were 41 field goal attempts last season from 33 yards. Only two were missed. The conversion rate for 33-yard field goals over the past five seasons is 92.8 percent (154-of-166). Extra-point kicks had been from the 2-yard line.

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri said he expects the success rate on PATs to remain high until later in the season, when weather is sure to have an effect.

"I think you'll see a difference late in the year, December, January, playoff games if you're playing in adverse conditions on a crummy field. Then that starts to play into it a little bit. Do you go for it or do you kick longer extra points? We'll see," he said.

ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley, Todd Archer, Michael DiRocco, Mike Wells and Eric D. Williams and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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