- Jeff Legwold, ESPN Staff Writer
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The NFL’s new rules on extra points, with the option of going for a two-point play or what is now a longer kick for an extra point, has some wondering if offenses will be more aggressive and take more chances for the two-pointers.
However, Denver Broncos special-teams coach Joe DeCamillis believes defenses will be far more aggressive in trying to block the extra-point kicks.
Why? It’s because the new rules include an addition that will now allow a defense to return any turnover for a potential score.
“We’ll see how it goes … the biggest difference is having that ability to return a block now," DeCamillis said following the Broncos’ Friday OTA practice. “ … You’re really going to concentrate on your protection in that area, because that’s going to be a huge swing. From a block standpoint, you’ve got to be great at that because that can win you a game."
The rules have now moved the extra-point try back so the ball is snapped from the 15-yard line, making it a 32-yard or 33-yard kick, depending on where the kickers want the ball placed, or to go for a two-point play from the 2-yard line. Also added was the option for the defense to return any turnover, on a two-point attempt or extra-point kick, for a score.
Previously, the point-after play would be whistled dead if the defense had forced a turnover or blocked the extra-point kick.
Asked if that option alone would make defenses a little more salty about trying to make a play, especially on what is now a much longer kick, DeCamillis said he’d be far more inclined to go for a block and that the Broncos would spend more time working on those particular plays as the team moves through the offseason workouts and into training camp later this summer.
“There’s no question, because if you’re kicking from the 15, the chance for a fake right there is not great," DeCamillis said. “ … So I think people, block-wise, are going to be a lot more aggressive, in my opinion. The guys know they’re going to be able to come off the rock and really try to get some block situations."
Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has said he believes the prospect of a longer kick for the extra point would make offenses a little more aggressive as well in choosing to make a try for two points more often than in the past -- "it's going to change the way you go about doing things, I know that," he said.
The last time the Broncos blocked any field-goal attempt was last December, when Derek Wolfe blocked a 46-yard attempt by San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak. The team has never blocked a field goal in the playoffs. The last extra-point kick the Broncos have missed, under the old rules, was in 2010 and the last extra-point kick they missed in the playoffs was a block by Jacksonville's Clyde Simmons to close out the 1997 season.