NFL News and Notes
There finally seems to be some news trickling out regarding the NFL, just a few months prior to training camp starting. One will affect the game beginning in 2015 and going forward, while the other is a Browns-centric story that continues to drive fans (and myself) somewhat crazy.
Extra Points Kicking from the Fifteen-Yard Line
How will kickers having to attempt point after touchdowns thirteen yards further away react? Some are ok with the rule change (i.e. Josh Brown), while others wish the change did not occur (Matt Prater). Obviously, the percentage of making the attempt will decrease – but based off last year’s numbers, it will not be by a significant amount (roughly eight percent or so). Misses will be magnified during NFL games this upcoming fall.
I understand there could be some strategy involved, especially during poor weather contests or when fields are left in less-than-ideal conditions. Teams with solid offenses could forget the near automatic point with a shot to double that. I anticipate the Browns not falling into that category, however.
What I do not understand, is that this new rule appears counterintuitive to the recent safety mandate that the NFL has stressed. The league has now created several additional plays where twenty-two guys will be going all-out (more than they have been). That said, there would be extra opportunities for injuries on either side of the ball. I hope that there are few very people hurt on extra points, but time will tell.
Another Johnny Manziel Moment
When attending a golf tournament in his native state of Texas, Browns’ signal caller Johnny Manziel was heckled by an eighteen year old. There was a retaliatory tossing of a bottle of water, but the police did not have to get involved with possible charges.
Manziel will never been seen in the same light as Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, or any of the top signal callers who fans adore. It’s a sad state of affairs that the athlete cannot attend events and “be left alone”, however that is where we are at with the quarterback. Perhaps if he can turn the corner and have a successful career, people’s minds and attitudes will have changed for the positive.
In June of 2015, though, I am sick of hearing all of these negative stories about Manziel. I know many do not like him, and he has primarily done that to himself. This year will be sink or swim for he guy under center – either he will have figured it out or he will not be the Browns’ problem by next summer. Either way, these reports should be coming to a close in the next few months.
Conclusion: I am looking for the Browns to get an advantage from the new kicking rule (haven’t they earned it?). A blocked kick can be critical in a tight contest; perhaps it will finally go the way of the orange and brown. Maybe a key stop on a two-point attempt can tilt the scales in their favor as well.
I want to see Johnny Manziel gain admiration and respect from his peers and fans alike – but don’t expect that anytime soon. The season cannot come fast enough, when the media covers on-the-field matters. That’s when we will get questions can Manziel challenge McCown for the starting job?