USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero breaks down Roger Goodell's press conference that closed out the NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ.
PHOENIX — A rules alteration that would inject more excitement into the near-automatic extra point could be adopted for the 2015 NFL season as early as the league's next meeting in May.
There was lively discussion among the 32 teams Wednesday about adding significant drama to the mundane point after touchdown before the three-day owners meetings in Arizona concluded. The competition committee was charged with coming up with a recommendation within 30 days for further discussion and likely voting in two months in San Francisco.
The leading candidate was proposed by the Pittsburgh Steelers to entice more teams to go for the two-point conversion by moving the extra-point snap from the 2-yard line to the 1½-yard line.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had favored a proposal moving the PAT to the 1-yard line last year. But with so many long, athletic quarterbacks able to lean in and dive across the goal line on keepers, the move to the 1½-yard line represents a nod toward evening the odds for defenses.
But whatever revised form the extra-point play might take, there is a clear desire to add a layer of intrigue.
"I'm not sure what it is yet, but there's some momentum in the room to make a change there," Steelers President Art Rooney II said. "I think there's a pretty good chance something will change by the time we get to May."
The New England Patriots proposed making extra points more challenging by snapping the ball from the 15-yard line, thereby making it a 33-yard kick rather than a 20-yarder.
"My preference is that we wind up with adding a football play as opposed to just making it a harder kick," Rooney said. "It would encourage the two-point play. There's talk also about allowing the defense to score two points if they recover a fumble or return an interception (on a two-point try)."
Rich McKay, the competition committee chairman and Atlanta Falcons president, said the clubs spent at least a half-hour engaged in "a very interesting and lively discussion with a lot of ideas" on how to reinvent the routine play.
"Clearly, it was positive in support of making a change," McKay said. "The alternatives being discussed today were all over the place, but some very consistent."
Coaches will be consulted before the committee finalizes its proposal.
"I think all teams pretty much said the same thing: It's time to make this play a football play, and the way to make it a football play is, No. 1, allowing the defense to score," McKay said. "So really adopt the college rule that says if you block the kick or you stop a two-point play, and the defense happens to get control of the football, they can score two points.
"There was a lot of consensus to the idea of the alternative — that being move the ball to the 1½, or kick from the 15, you make the choice, (and get) one point for kicking, two points for going for two."
And that choice apparently will be coming very soon.
"There's clear sentiment that there's a movement to want to change and change this year," McKay said.
An overtime proposal by the Chicago Bears — it recommended both teams be granted one possession — was voted down. The proposal for an unsportsmanlike foul to carry over from the end of the first half to the second half or overtime was approved.
A player with an eligible number lining up in an ineligible position outside the tackle box has been ruled illegal.
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