Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bill Belichick wants extra points to be difficult again


Bill Belichick got into a very interesting conversation with the media Wednesday.

The New England Patriots coach spent most of his press conference talking about where the kicking game stands today in terms of its importance in pro football and how it has evolved over the years.

The transcript is an interesting read, and one thing that stood out on this end was his opinion on how the extra point play has lost its luster and the lack of "excitement" on touchbacks.

"I personally would love to see the kicking game remain as a very integral part of the game so that the kickoffs are returned and so that extra points are not over 99 percent converted because that's not what extra points were when they were initially put into the game back 80 years ago, whatever it was," Belichick said.

Belichick, a true student and somewhat of a historian of the game, elaborated first on his thoughts on the current lack of difficulty in point-after attempts.

"I would be in favor of not seeing it be an over 99 percent conversion rate," he said. "It's virtually automatic. That's just not the way the extra point was put into the game. It was an extra point that you actually had to execute and it was executed by players who were not specialists, they were position players. It was a lot harder for them to do. The Gino Cappellettis of the world and so forth and they were very good. It's not like it is now where it's well over 99 percent. I don't think that's really a very exciting play because it's so automatic."

He then shifted his attention back to touchbacks.

"I don't know how much excitement there is for the fans in a touchback," he said. "It's one thing if it's a great kick, it's another thing when, let's just say for example, over half the kicks are out of the end zone, then I wouldn't really say it's a great kick. It's kind of almost a normal part of the game. I personally would love to see those plays be the impact plays that they've been.

"As you mentioned, where would last year's Super Bowl have been without the 108-yard kickoff return. The play that that added to the game was a spectacular play. I mean forget about who you're rooting for, but just as a fan of the game, it was a spectacular play in the game that I think all fans – unless you're a 49er fan, but you know – that all fans objectively love to see those plays as part of the game."

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