Extra point rules create temptations, Bucs' Lovie Smith says Greg Auman, Times Staff WriterWednesday, August 19, 2015 3:39pmPatrick Murray didn't miss any field goals from 33 yards or shorter, but he did have two such attempts blocked. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]TAMPA — The NFL hopes its new extra-point rules will create drama and temptation.Moving the spot on kicks to the 15-yard line is designed to increase the difficulty and encourage coaches to go for two points from the 2-yard line.Bucs coach Lovie Smith said this week that it's "definitely tempting" to go for two points, even when the scoreboard doesn't mandate it."It's not a gimme now," Smith said Sunday of the kicks, though NFL kickers have gone a collective 54-for-56 on extra points in preseason games.Despite the longer distance — 33 yards from the holder to the goal post — Bucs kicker Pat Murray said he'll approach extra points the same way, with the same expectations of success."Nothing has changed whatsoever," said Murray, who was perfect on extra points last season and went 20-of-24 on field goals last season. "It's a 33-yard kick. If you're a professional kicker, you've got to make that kick. I have all the confidence in the world in my ability."Murray didn't miss any field goals from 33 yards or less last year, but he did have two such attempts blocked. Extra-point blocks carry greater concern now because the ball is live and can be returned by the defense for points.The preseason gives coaches a low-risk chance to consider going for two. With 69 touchdowns scored, they've gone 6-for-13 when going for two. So the league is averaging 0.96 points per attempt on extra-point kicks and 0.92 points per attempt when going for two.Smith said that in the past, teams generally went for two only when the scoreboard dictated it — down by two after a touchdown late in a game or up by one after a touchdown late in a game. Now going for two is more of a conversation, he said."In the past, you pretty much went for two when you had to," he said. "Now that's not necessarily (true). It's more because you want to right now. You just have to see how it goes a little bit. Again, I would definitely rather have two points than one. I can definitely say that right now."The Bucs had two touchdowns Saturday in their preseason opener against the Vikings. They went for two after the first — Jameis Winston's pass was incomplete — and got a point on Murray's kick after the second. The Bucs defense stopped the Vikings on their only two-point attempt.Much like Murray, Bucs special-teams coordinator Kevin O'Dea said he isn't approaching extra points any differently."We don't change anything. It's all a mentality," O'Dea said. "If you're on target, the kick's obviously going to be far enough, whether it's from the 20 or 33. It's the same. These guys snap for a living. That's the same. The hold is exactly the same. The kick is exactly the same. In their three minds, there's no difference."O'Dea is expecting to see more aggressive block attempts on longer extra points, though on a penalty, a team could opt to attempt a two-point conversion from the 1."The mind-set is going to be different (attacking kicks)," O'Dea said. "You'll probably see more jumpers (leaping over the line). … That's where you're going to see the game evolve. You're going to get more pressure off the side, up the middle, and you're going to see more jumpers. So we have to prepare for that."The Bucs have three more preseason games to experiment with their strategy after a touchdown, in what they go for and how they try to stop opponents doing the same after their scores. Smith has confidence in his kicker but wants to take advantage of an opportunity with real-game tests ahead."Anything we might do in the regular season, we try to put them in that position in the preseason," Smith said. "We did plan going into this game (Saturday) to do both. We'll probably keep that throughout and then just kind of see the situation at the time during the games during the year. But it is definitely tempting to go for two."Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow [member=23448]gregauman[/member].
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