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.
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