During the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla. last week, team owners voted to move extra-point attempts to the 20-yard line as part of a two-game experiment during the first two weeks of preseason.
NFL commissioner Roger Gooddell is exploring different options for PATs and a decision to permanently push extra points back will be decided at a later date.
The owners' decision has been met with harsh criticism from Bears kicker Robbie Gould.
“I’m not in favor of the extra point being moved back to the 20-yard line," Gould told ESPN.com's Jeff Dickerson on Tuesday. “First of all, there are a lot of safety issues. The NFL changed the rules based on people coming off the edge really hard to dive at a kicker’s leg. You’ve moved a guy off the center to protect his spine and I think that’s a fantastic idea. Moving the extra point back to the 20-yard line, that essentially gives every single person now a green light to rush. That means it puts every blocker at risk because there is no risk of a fake.”
Gould went on to compare moving extra points back to the league banning play-action passing because quarterbacks have become too good.
“Because Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and these guys have become so good at passing the football and going over 5,000 yards per season, are you going to get rid of play action passing?” Gould said. “A linebacker or a defense is so good at blitzing, are you going to get rid of that? No, you’re going to embrace it. The NFL has made our position become so good because the competition is so thick, if you fail to perform; they’ll cut you right away and get somebody else regardless of your salary because kicker’s salaries usually don’t mean a ton in regards to the salary cap. Instead of embracing how good the position has become like they for other positions, they’re actually trying to diminish what that position has become and completely overhaul it.”
In nine seasons with the Bears, including a Pro Bowl honor in 2006, Gould has converted on 323-of-325 extra point attempts.