Blair Walsh: 'I am not against moving the PAT back'
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In what is a new trend across national media sites, Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh wrote his own opinion piece on the NFL's most recent rule change topic -- altering the point after touchdown.
Walsh is against the elimination option that NFL Commissioner Roger Godell has discussed and instead votes to push back the attempt to increase difficulty.
From his post on FoxSports.com, Walsh writes:
"I am not against moving the PAT back and making the kick longer. I think that instead of the 42-yard attempt that is being talked about, the PAT should be a 38-yard attempt. Kickers, for the most part, are accurate inside of 40; however, there is enough of a track record of misses from the 30- to 39-yard range to make a 38-yard PAT somewhat exciting. Add in late-season weather, wind conditions and less room for error due to the increased distance the ball has to stay straight, and I think you have a viable solution without dramatically changing the most popular sport in America.
A 20-yard extra point can be hit extremely poorly and still be kicked through the uprights. On the contrary, a 38-yard PAT would have to be hit solidly for it to go through and would require much more accuracy from the place kicker. In turn, this makes the PAT more exciting, while keeping myself and the 31 other kickers involved in the game. It would challenge us to adapt our mindset and physical approach to the PAT.
Although I am admittedly biased, I believe that kickers do play a unique yet integral role in the game. A team that does its research and develops or signs a strong, accurate and confident kicker will be rewarded in clutch situations. Not to mention, that team will have a distinct advantage on the field-position battle on kickoffs. Eliminating returns with high and deep kicks is without a doubt an asset to a team's defense."
Walsh is 79-for-80 on extra points in the two seasons he's spent in the NFL. His lone miss came last season in a 27-23 loss at Dallas on Nov. 3.