He’s not the first kicker to come out against altering the extra point because kickers have become too successful at making them, but he also added a suggestion of a way to reward kickers for their abilities. Vinatieri said that field goals over 50 yards should be worth four points instead of three and discussed the potential for coaches to use strategy in order to try for a game-winning four-point kick rather than a tying kick from 47 yards out.
Vinatieri repeated his idea, one that feels off as it rewards a team for not driving deep into opposition territory, in an interview with the team’s website, adding that the improvement in kicking is a natural progression of the increased focus on training and preparation that kickers have done over the years.
“Kickers are just getting better. Back in the day, 30 or 40 years ago when football wasn’t a 12-month a year, guys are just getting stronger. They are just getting more focused in on being more accurate. Guys are doing a lot more in the weight room in terms of getting stronger,” Vinatieri said. “Percentages back in the 50s and 60s if you were 70 percent you were leading the league. Now, shoot, you got guys that don’t miss any or maybe miss just one or two kicks all season. I think it’s just a combination of a lot more snap, hold, kick work throughout the season to kind of fine tune.”
Vinatieri is coming off one of the best seasons of his career and the fact that he did it 18 years into his career is a good example of how training methods have improved over time. That should help Vinatieri, who is set to become a free agent in March, land a new contract in Indy or elsewhere for his 19th season and beyond even if his four-point field goal idea is unlikely to be adopted.