Extra point attempts are exciting enough without rule change, Justin Tucker says

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has not missed an extra point in three NFL seasons, despite some of his 110 opportunities coming in adverse conditions.

At Soldier Field two years ago, Tucker converted an attempt against the Chicago Bears despite looming tornados in the area and a high snap that was secured by holder Sam Koch.


"I just one-stepped it and hooked it in there," Tucker said in a recent interview. "That's not exciting enough?"

A similar kick might be more difficult this season. The NFL last month decided to shift the extra point to the 15-yard line from the 2-yard line, transforming the equivalent of an 18-yard field goal into a 33-yarder.


Because kickers connected on over 99 percent of their extra point attempts last season, league officials thought the point-after attempt had become far too routine. During a preseason experiment last year, kickers made 94.3 percent of extra point attempts from the 15-yard line. There were just two missed field goals from 33 or fewer yards last season.

Tucker acknowledged he's not a fan of the new rule, but the 2013 Pro Bowl selection said he has accepted the change and is making the proper adjustments.

"It seems like with some of the rules that have been made recently, with specificity to the kicking game, that there's not a whole lot of consistency," Tucker said. "You talk about player safety for some rules, but then you talk about making the game more 'exciting.'

"What I don't think our commissioner (Roger Goodell) was maybe taking into account is that, yeah, like 99.6 percent of PATs were made in one season and that was their basis for trying to make the game more interesting, but what about the times when an extra point isn't a normal situation?"

Tucker said that weather and field conditions could place the Ravens and other AFC North division teams at a potential disadvantage compared to teams that play indoors.

"It definitely has more potential to do that in our division where we're playing outside all the time," Tucker said. "At the end of the day, it's a universal change. Everybody has to deal with it. It's probably going to be a little bit tougher in the AFC North."

Many have predicted that there will be an uptick in 2-point conversion tries this season. That attempt remains at the 2-yard line.

"I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens," Tucker said. "It's going to be interesting to see how everyone approaches those decisions."


Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg had a matter-of-fact reaction to the rule change.

"It is one of those things where I don't have any control over it, so there's really not much a guy can do," Rosburg said. "So, I just react by getting ready for the first PAT from the 15-yard line. That's pretty much the limit of my reaction, I guess, is deal with it."

The Ravens have continuity working in their favor. They have had the same special teams coach (Rosburg), kicker (Tucker), holder (Koch), long snapper (Morgan Cox) and kicking coach (Randy Brown) for the past three years.

"Certainly, I think it helps to have good players at all those positions. ... It will be interesting to watch, though," Rosburg said. "I think there are going to be more plays as a result of this rule change than perhaps people realize, especially down the stretch and the playoffs and weather conditions and field conditions.

"I just think there is going to be a big play as a result. I hope we are on the positive end of it, if it's in our game."

During a recent voluntary practice, the Ravens kicked on a wet field and Tucker repeatedly split the uprights.


"That was great because we got to experience a tough field to get your footing on," Tucker said. "Everybody will be able to take those mental notes and move on."

The most accurate kicker in NFL history, having made 97 of 108 career field goals (89.81 percent), Tucker has never missed from within 37 yards.

"It's probably going to be a little tougher, sure," Tucker said. "Between Harbs (head coach John Harbaugh), Jerry, Randy, the 'Wolfpack' (Tucker, Koch and Cox), we're just the men for the job."