IRVING, Texas – Dan Bailey's expression doesn't change much, no matter the situation. His even-keeled manner is one reason he became the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history midway through last season.
So it's no surprise Bailey isn't making much of the league's new rule that essentially turns extra points a 33-yard field goal.
"I think maybe later in the year when the conditions get bad, mainly in the Northeast but really everywhere when it gets colder, raining, snowing, stuff like that, it might have a little more of an impact, especially in a close game," Bailey said. "But as far as from strictly us doing our job, it's one point and it's not that much further back. I don't think it'll be too much of a big deal for too many guys."
In an attempt to make extra points a more competitive football play than a near formality, NFL owners voted to move back the line of scrimmage from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts may rise as a result, and there's an added twist: The defense also can return a blocked kick or a fumbled/intercepted two-point conversion attempt for two points. Previously the ball was ruled dead.
Bailey was a perfect 179-for-179 on extra points under the old rule, and the league itself had a 99-percent conversion rate. On field goal attempts between 30 and 39 yards – the extra point is now 33 yards out – Bailey's a career 38-for-40, with a 35-yard attempt blocked last season.
He isn't sure how the new rules will change strategy across the league, especially if there are unforeseen variables such as a holding penalty on the kicking team or the defense before the kick.
"I think it will obviously have somewhat of an impact," Bailey said. "We're just going to have to wait and see what happens with it."