Monday, June 9, 2014

Sturgis: Preseason field goal experiment ‘a good thing’


Since its institution, the extra point has been mainly a formality, a chip shot seldom missed by kickers and a play that rarely brings much excitement.

Though major efforts to reform the lackluster rule were largely quashed during NFL owners’ meetings this offseason, a two-week experiment during the preseason this year will be the first test as to whether a permanent change could be beneficial to the game.

The extra point distance will be moved back 18 yards for the first two games this summer, a trial that will hopefully spark further conversation about the issue.

Miami Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis is all for the tweak and can’t wait to see how the trial goes.

"Anytime you have a new addition to the game and you try to make it more fun the fans, it’s a good thing," the sophomore kicker recently told Andrew Abramson of The Palm Beach Post. "It’ll be good to see if it’s something fans want or they don’t want. At the end of the day, it’s what they care about."

Sturgis came into training camp last year and ousted veteran Dan Carpenter for the starting placekicker position largely because of the power he can put behind the ball. But while the 38-yard test distance is widely considered to be a gimme kick compared to, say, a 45-yard attempt, it’s a sizeable difference from the standard 20-yard boot.

It’s enough to at least make things interesting and, in Sturgis’ opinion, boost the importance of his position.

"Do you want to watch something made 99 percent of the time? It’s definitely something up for discussion," he said. "It’s going to come down to do you want kickers to play more of a role or less of a role? I think that’ll be the final determining factor."

Only five extra points were missed all of last season at the current 20-yard distance and only 17 the last three years combined. Sturgis hit all of his extra-point attempts in 2013 and went 10-for-12 from 30 to 39 yards out.

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