Orlando, Fla. – Of the mound of proposed rules and bylaws changes that have and will be discussed at the NFL Meetings in Orlando, Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said the one that most has intrigued him is the possibility that the line of scrimmage will be moved on point-after attempts.
Under the umbrella of making the play more competitive, the New England Patriots submitted a proposal to move the line of scrimmage for PATs to the 25-yard line, from the 2.
The result would be a PAT of about 42 yards. However, if a team chose to attempt a two-point conversion, the line of scrimmage would remain the 2-yard line.
“It’s interesting,” Loomis said. “My first reaction would be, ‘We don’t want to do that.’ And yet, when you start looking at some of the statistics, the infrequency of a missed PAT – we were at 99.6 percent (successful conversion rate) last year and it’s been hovering around that 99 percentile for a number of years – it’s really an automatic play.
“So there’s some discussion about changing that from an automatic play to something that is more exciting and may impact the game at some level.
“When you look at the statistics historically, go back to 1966 for example, the accuracy from 50 yards and out was negligible. Now, it’s 67 percent. So the kickers in our game have become much more proficient, much more accurate.
“So I would say we’re open-minded in terms of making the extra point a play that has at least some impact in the game. A field goal currently of 40 yards is roughly an 80, 85 percent proposition, maybe a little higher than that. So at least there’s an opportunity not to gain that point. And that may cause more two-point conversions, which I think is an exciting play in our game. It’s going to be talked about and discussed and I’m interested in other viewpoints.”
That measure, and others, likely will be addressed and submitted for vote Wednesday.
“There are a number of proposals relative to instant replay that are interesting and it’ll be interesting to hear the discussion (Wednesday) about that,” Loomis said.
“There’s some rule changes that have to do with clear recoveries and fumbles, (and) some other things like extending the goal posts in order to more accurately reflect whether a field goal was made or not made when it goes over the top of the goal post.”