Joe Gibbs suggests eliminating extra points — and even field goals

Getty Images

Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs is all for eliminating the extra point. But why stop there?

Gibbs told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio that he wouldn’t mind getting rid of field goals in addition to extra points. Why should 11 football players have to march the ball down the field only to put the team’s fate on the foot of a puny kicker? Gibbs thinks that if you want to give out partial points to a drive that gets stopped short of the end zone, award points for a team that gets inside the 10-yard line or the 5-yard line but fails to score.

“Even field goals, you know what I mean? I was one who wanted to let the team decide,” Gibbs said. “You get to the 10 you get one point, you get to the 5 you get two. I’m for anything like that where the team — that’s 11 guys — help determine the outcome of the game. Not one person kicking something.”

Gibbs is an old-school coach whose career started back in the days when men were men and kickers were expected to play another position, not just specialize. So it’s not surprising that when Gibbs thinks of a team of 11 guys determining the outcome of a game, he’s not thinking of one of those guys being a kicker.

But eliminating field goals isn’t even up for discussion in the NFL. Anyone who wants to de-emphasize kicking would be wise to keep the focus on extra points.

115 responses to “Joe Gibbs suggests eliminating extra points — and even field goals

  1. Nope, not really for that one at all.

    I would like to see 2, 3, and 4-point field goals, depending on the length of the kick.

    Putting your fate in the hands of a puny field-goal kicker is the incentive to go for the first down. Let’s not take that out of the game.

    Kicking is an integral part of the game and plays a huge role in strategy. It can certainly separate the good coaches from the not-so-good.

  2. This is really interesting since Coach Joe’s first Super Bowl team had the only kicker to ever be named the NFL MVP (Mark Mosley).

  3. There’s more than a fair chance this is the dumbest sports idea since sleeved NBA jerseys.

  4. I find the extra point as one of these ‘romantic’ things you hear old guys talk about when they bring up baseball.

    You got a team, goes down the field and kicks a FG. 3 points. Then the team gets the ball back a little bit later and stalls again and kicks another FG. 6-0 now.

    Team getting shut out gets the ball and goes down the field and gets into the end zone. That EXTRA POINT now is rewarded to that team for actually getting a TD instead of getting a FG.

    Leave the kicking game the way it is. I’m sure no one even thought about changing the kicking game until someone brought up a 42-yard EXTRA POINT. Now we have goofballs talking about getting points for just getting to a certain part of the field?

    Like the great philosopher Chad Ochocinco once said, “Child, please.”

  5. while your at it… they can use a pitching machine for kickoffs and punts. hell, send all kickers and long snappers to gitmo. since they seem to be second to terrorists on americas most hated proffesions.
    shut up and worry about nascar gibbs.

  6. jgg1 says: Mar 7, 2014 7:19 PM

    Nuts!!!!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    General Anthony McAuliffe couldn’t have said it better himself!

    Thumbs up if you know what I’m talking about.
    Thumbs down if you don’t.

  7. At the end of every season, every team will get a Super Bowl. Because “we’re all winners !!!”

  8. The fact that that these ideas are even open for consideration says something about where the Game has been led. Doesn’t anyone near the top consider the History and Legacy of the game itself? Because the kicker has evolved into a specialist doesn’t diminish the fact that they’ve been a historic part of the Game. Its the equivalent of Baseball using a Pitching Machine in AL Games. Its becoming non-sense.

  9. What an abysmally foolish idea. Looks like old Gibbsy’s gone senile. I would do if my team was named after a derogatory racial slur and employed RG3-13.

  10. Leave everything alone and return the NFL-College draft exclusively to the weekend. Stop trying to improve on something that does not need improving. It’s like a bunch of old ladies being busy bodies with nothing to do but fix things that don’t need fixing. How in the world can you put any credence into someone who’s favorite movie is “Young Frankenstein”?

  11. How is a kicker scoring any different than a rb, still have 10 guys that must block n the other has to do his role. Is a fb dive at the one that much different?

  12. Do the Fans, Public Opinion, or basic Tradition have a say in all this?

    The game is 99% perfect. Some fine tuning, safety concerns, and competitive balance issues remain but to overhaul areas that aren’t broken is seems more like “mad science” than “fine tuning”.

  13. If you want to make kicking more interesting, give 5 pts to hit the upright on the FG posts. Imagine how hard that’d be to hit on purpose …

  14. He’s absolutely right. Kicking is a GIMMICK.

    These kickers don’t even practice with the rest of the team, they don’t get paid highly or get taken with high draft picks. Yet a lot of times they decide games?? That seems off to me.

    Yeah it called football…so what? It’s such a physically demanding sport withe some of the fastest and strongest athletes in professional sports, yet then here comes this puny kicker performing an action that has nothing to do with throwing, running, catching, tackling, jumping…the things we actually pay to see. No other professional sport has a gimmick like this.

    You have to hit the ball to score runs, have to make baskets to score points, and get the puck past the goaltender to score in hockey, yet in football you can get half a touchdown just for getting the ball a little over midfield and kicking a ball through some uprights.

  15. The suggestion ato completely alter the game and take the foot out of football is ridiculous. The idea that the kicking game adds nothing in terms of risk, intrigue, and entertainment is beyond me. Everybody on the team plays their part in the quest for victory. The variety of parts that make up the whole is part of what makes football fascinating.

  16. To all us fans of football this all sounds like crazy talk. The next report is NFL Competition Committee is taking this under review. That group is determined to ruin this game.

  17. I agree 100% with Joe. A less radical approach would be to devalue Field Goals by making them worth 2 points instead of 3. I suggested this several times and of course was voted down by the enlightened majority.

  18. Next bright idea to change football: Tackling can get guys injured so we should take it out of the game. Each player should just have a couple of flags and if you pull someone’s flag out they have to stop running and the ball will be marked down at that spot. Then at the end of the game every team gets a trophy because it is unfair to keep score it might hurt the players feelings.

  19. As someone stated earlier, tiered field goals is the way to go. Move back extra points, 2 points for 1-30 yd FGs, 3 points for 31-49 yd FGs and 4 points for 50+ yd FGs. Games are instantly more entertaining. Done.

  20. The winner “go back to watching a car go in a circle/oval for three hours”. Second place “child please”.

    The real problem is the present commissioner constantly changing and refining the rules leading to the likes of Gibbs and his ideas. Next will be the fabulous owner of the Miami Dolphins wanting all players attending tutu classes. Then Jerald will suggest every team make the new tiered playoffs.

    It ain’t broken STOP trying to fix it.

  21. Extra point are pointless. Has far has field goals go why not narrow goal posts? Field goals have become too easy. Unless weather is bad kickers are crazy accurate from 45 and in.

  22. Maybe say that kickers are racist. That should eliminate and silence them. It works on everything else

  23. “you damn whippersnappers dont understand football, the Lot of ya!!!!” Job Gibbs before he stumbles off into a drunken stupor on the sidewalk.

  24. Well, this was the same guy who didn’t know you can’t call two timeouts in a row before running a play, so he probably feels that’s another rule that needs to be changed.

    He was a great coach, back in the day. Too bad he doesn’t know his time was over a long time ago.

  25. Great idea. The forward pass should be eliminated too. I certainly don’t want a 6’5″ pass-catching specialist that runs a 4.3 40 to be in a position to decide the outcome of a game either.

  26. It’s not broken…, be careful about losing the integrity of the game. If anything make the extra point and two point conversion more meaningful in pro and college by allowing the defense to score should they block and return the kick or intercept a pass or gain possession during the attempt. The same point(s) the offense is trying to gain the defense can score as well.

  27. What a joke! So kicking field goals which has been part of the game forever….get rid of it. But award points for getting to the 10 yard line or 5 yard line…that’s worth points. Are you kidding me? Talk about ruining a great game. Joe needs to stick to NASCAR

  28. Narrow the goal posts. It’s that simple. It will brimg the percentages back to a time when kicks weren’t a foregone conclusion. Don’t mess with the basic scoring of the game.

  29. By NO means do I agree with Gibbs on this one, but I think I would prefer his idea over those who want to change the value of FG depending on their length. Why reward teams that are unable to move the ball deep into the opposing side’s territory by giving them the opportunity for more points on a longer FG? How many times will we see teams purposely committing penalties in order to move the line of scrimmage back further to get more points on the FG?

  30. Keep the game the way it is, just give each team a maximum of 3 extra points per game. After that, the teams must go for 2.

    That keeps the strategy in it and makes close and or high scoring games even more exciting.

  31. The kicker being “one person” that decides a game is so far from reality. It takes a good snap, a good hold, and 8 other guys blocking 11 defenders to make a field goal. I’d think someone like Gibbs would realize that. But maybe he’s gettin’ old and senile.

  32. The whole argument about the extra point elimination started with the complaint that it was so automatic that it was not interesting/exciting for fans.

    That’s probably true. But instead of de-emphasizing kicking altogether why not put a greater emphasis while making scoring more interesting and allowing for more options.

    Kicks of 3o or less – 2 points
    Kicks of 5o to 30 – 3 points
    Kicks of more than 50 – 4 points

    This makes having a GOOD, strong kicker valuable to a team, and allows for more excitement and greater variety of scoring and strategy.

  33. Might as well just stop playing football then. It wouldn’t be American football without kickoffs and field goals. This is the most ludicrous idea I’ve ever heard.

  34. Why not a combination of slightly narrowing the goal posts, and a tiered system of points? Field goals would count 1 pt for every 15 yds, upto a max of 4 pts.

    In a tight game the could add some real strategy, just like going for the extra point or going for the two-point conversion. Sometimes that one extra point can determine the outcome of a game.

    Of course some coaches can’t even manage the clock and their time-outs. Can you imagine them trying to strategize time mgmt vs point mgmt?

    Factor in the park, too. Some parks (Candlestick) are notorious for wind gusts. (Yes, I know Candlestick is done, just an example though)

  35. Joe Gibbs: Other than Watsonville Speedway, why doesn’t NASCAR implement figure 8 tracks? Sure would make the race more interesting!

  36. Adopt the rugby x points, when TD is scored the kick is made from were the player crossed the goal line that’s why you see rugby players try and work there runs to the middle of the end zone, if not the kicker sometimes has a bad angle to knock it through the uprights. Also you would need to move the spot back to get room to angle it through. I have loads of other great ideas but I will leave them for another day.

  37. There are pleanty non-automatic field goal kickers in the NFL.

    Saying that, your average place kicker today is much better than one from 40 years ago, just like every other position too.

    The Eagles lost to the Saints in the playoffs this past season in large part because of a missed field goal. I’m sure there were other games like that too if only I bothered to research it.

    There are still enough Scott Norwood moments to not mess with field goals as they currently are.

  38. I don’t think anything needs to be changed but if it must , then eliminate the extra pt and give 7 pts for the touchdown…. then the scoring team gets the 2 pt option but loses a pt if it is unsuccessful, making the scoring system in essence unchanged.

  39. Gibbs then said,

    “And I am not a big fan of that whole forward passing thing. Just think, 11 guys working all together. You don’t march all the way down the field just so ONE guy can throw it, and then another ONE guy could catch it…and then maybe drop it. Not only that, but the other team could catch it too, so you just give away the football. Nope, not on my watch. If I were a coach again in the NFL, it would be counter tre, lead iso, off tackle right, old school smash mouth football.”

  40. So, then what do we call the game, once we take the foot out of it? Can you imagine the Alabama/Auburn game without that missed field goal returned for a touchdown?

    The real problem is that the modern pro game has outgrown, in every way, the size of the field. Players are so much more faster, bigger, stronger, taller and just plain better at what they do than even 30 years ago, when Joe was winning Super Bowls. I didn’t then hear him complaining about Mark Mosely’s kicking prowess and how much it benefitted the 11 guys he’s talking about.

  41. Is it really that bad of an idea? Teams would more often go for it on 4th down. I think it would make the game actually much more entertaining. But you’ve got to bring back tackling!

  42. I’m guessing that Joe’s GPS keeps repeating the same message; “Turn left, turn left, go straight, turn left, turn left, go straight…..”

  43. Agree 100%. Hate the FG. MOve the ball maybe 30 yards, some little punk trotts on, does a soccer kick and they get 3 points. Then that little punk jumps up and down like he really did something. Esp hate the 49’ers who seem to lead the league every year is this catagory of 3 pointers. Score a TD and must go for 2 every time. No more PAT or FG’s gets my vote.

  44. Joe Gibbs is a dinosaur to the NFL. There’s already been too many recent Rule Changes. Eliminating FGs and Extra Points would be a ‘Game Changer’ and takes away from the greatest sport on earth!

    The NFL and Roger Goodell need to STOP THE MADNESS!

    AINT BROKE, DON’T TRY TO FIX IT!!!

  45. The rule should be changed to require FG to be kicked only with the front of the foot.

    There is nothing more disgusting than to see a little guy come off the field screaming like a banshee “I kiick a touchdown, I kiick a touchdown!”

  46. Kudos Joe! I have thought for years that we would have more football being played by more football players, if we only removed the goal posts! And points scored might likely remain the same, not go down.

Leave a Reply