Eddie Murray has a different perspective on the changes to the extra point that will be tried out in the NFL for one season starting in September. That’s because he was an NFL kicker for 19 years. His first dozen were spent with the Detroit Lions.
|Eddie Murray speaks at Charlie Sanders golf outing on June 1.|
He likes the new rule which will add 13 yards to the extra point effectively making it a 33-yard field goal.
“They’re trying to make it intriguing. What was the stat I heard on ESPN — the new yardage they’re kicking is 91 percent (accurate) where the old extra point was 97 percent,’’ Murray said. “That 6 percent is going to play into some games. You miss that and now all of a sudden a 2-point conversion comes into play.’’
The efficiency rate for extra points was 99.6 for the past three years in the NFL. In other words, just too automatic.
In his career Murray was 98.7 accurate on extra points and had a career percentage of 75.5 for field goals. From 1991-2000 (the stats were not broken down until then) his accuracy on field goals between 20 and 29 yards was 97.3 while from 30 to 39 yards he had an accuracy of 76.7 percent. He was a two-time Pro Bowl kicker and a member of the 1980s NFL all-decade team. He won a Super Bowl ring with the 1993 Dallas Cowboys.
“It’s going to be intriguing to see how it plays out this year. I think it was a good idea they did it just for one year just to see what will happen,’’ Murray said. “I’ll lay money it’s going to be a game you’re going to lose by 1 point and you don’t take it for granted that you’re going to make that extra point.’’
While he’s good with the new rule, he wants to see how it plays out.
“If it gets to a point where now all of a sudden it becomes a touchdown and you have to go for 2 points I think it takes away from the essence of the game,’’ Murray said last week at the Charlie Sanders golf outing.
Even with the change to the extra point, the recent changes in kickoffs and the possibility the goal posts could be narrowed, Murray does not think the NFL will eliminate kickers from the game.
“I would be surprised if they do that. It’s funny, that they try kickers have become very proficient at their craft. I came into the league when there were still straight-on guys,’’ said Murray who was drafted by the Lions in 1980.
He came into the NFL with other kickers who use the soccer style.
“Now you look at Matt Stover has had a helluva year and (Adam) Vinatieri has done exceptionally well. There are some great kickers who have done exceptionally well at kicking footballs and they’re trying to make it harder, it’s just part of football,’’ Murray said. “They’re all trying to finagle something.
“I still think you need someone to kick a field goal and kick an extra point. To totally eliminate it I think would really cheapen the game,’’ he added.
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