Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

NFL plans to do what it can to make the job of a kicker even more difficult

It appears the NFL is trying to take another step to make kickers work harder -- potentially narrowing the goal posts.

It would appear the NFL’s professional dislike of kickers is going to continue.

The latest plan is to use innovation to make a kicker’s life more difficult.

The same people who brought you 33-yard extra points and touchbacks that will be placed on the 25-yard line are now going to use technology to check into making the kicker’s life even more difficult.

In a conference call last weekend from the NFL’s officiating clinic in Texas, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino freely admitted that the league is going to look at making field goals and extra points harder to make, which is the centerpiece of a plan that is going to be utilized in the preseason.

The league is going to use chip-implanted footballs to determine where the kicks are made from inside the goal posts, with the idea being of potentially narrowing the posts that kickers have been aiming at for decades.

Why? Apparently they are making too many of them.

Over the last three years, kickers have made 85 percent of their field goal attempts. For that, apparently they need to be punished.

It isn’t the fault of kickers that they’re good at what they do. Often times, teams will play it safe on drives and not risk turnovers deep in enemy territory because they know that they will be able to salvage three points out of a drive.

The “instrumented balls” will allow the league’s Competition Committee to determine precisely how far inside the uprights successful field goals have been kicked. Depending on how well the experiment goes, there is the potential that the chip-implanted K-balls will continue to be used in the regular season on Thursday night games – why just Thursday night games were chosen wasn’t exactly clear.

Once the data is gathered, the committee will study the findings and, Blandino said, could decide to narrow the goal posts as early as 2017.

For kickers who have worked on their craft since their earliest days playing the game and devoted their careers to kicking the ball as far and as accurately as they possibly can, it would seem the NFL still has an issue with them and are coming up with as many as they possibly can to stick it to them and make them pay for their own success. 

TUESDAY NOTES

  • Single-game tickets for the Minnesota Vikings first season at U.S. Bank Stadium will go on sale at 10 a.m. Central Time Wednesday. About 4,000 tickets remain for each game. Tickets for the preseason games against San Diego and Los Angeles will start at $28. Tickets for the home games against Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Arizona and Indianapolis will start at $50 and prime-time games against Green Bay, New York and Dallas will start at $58. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or by calling 800-745-3000.
  • On a podcast run by former Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, Jared Allen said that when he, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell were dispatched by the Wilfs, Allen actually told Favre he should stay retired and not come back for a final season. But, in the end, Hutchinson, Longwell and Favre’s competitive nature won out and the gunslinger came back for a final season.
  • Just because the Vikings are based in the Twin Cities, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a lot of pull elsewhere. The team recently announced that almost half (47.5 percent) of its season ticket holders live outside the Twin Cities metro area and many are from Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada and, dare we say it, Wisconsin.
  • As rumored for the last several weeks, ESPN made it official Monday, announcing the hiring of Randy Moss to serve as an analyst on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown, shown live from the site of each Monday Night Football telecast.
  • The new Vikings stadium will take center stage for the upcoming rap video “Them Days” starring Minneapolis-based rapper OG Grip and featuring Houston rapper Scarface. The video is scheduled to be released in August on YouTube.

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