When the NFL decided to drastically change the procedure for the Point After Touchdown (PAT), it opened up the gauntlet for teams to take more of a risk-reward approach after scoring a touchdown. In cities where late in the year the weather might not be conducive to an automatic 33-yard field goal, going for two from the two-yard line certainly is an option.
Then there are the teams who will be brazen enough to go for the two-point conversion with regularity. It certainly will make the play more meaningful and exciting (which is what the NFL wanted), but will the Pittsburgh Steelers be one of those teams? Players shared their thoughts on the PAT rule change and its impact on the upcoming season with Steelers.com earlier today.
Here's why more of the Steelers final scores will be multiples of 8 this year.
1) The Steelers have practiced 2-point conversions each day of their OTAs. Roethlisberger explained, "We're trying to really get into seeing what's best for us, what's best for our team."
2) Plan on seeing more 2-point conversion attempts this season. Roethlisberger predicted, "This is going to be something where we may uses this 15, 20, 50 times: who knows? You need to have multiple plays."
3) Roethlisberger sees many possibilities for 2-point conversions, saying, "We feel we can still run the ball from the 2-yard line. I can quarterback-sneak from the 2 yard line." Lots of options.
4) Not all players were enthusiastic about the rule change. Heath Miller admitted, "I don't understand why (the rules) are changing, but it's the rules so we'll play by them." He's on-board no matter what.
5) The Steelers have many offensive weapons who will be effective executing the 2-point conversion. Health Miller noted, "I like our chances if we go for it... I feel good about it. We can be multiple because we have a lot of playmakers and I think that would be hard to defend. We can spread you out. We can line you up, get Antonio in space, get a big tall guy like Martavis or Markus Wheaton the ball. And then obviously Le'Veon, he's another receiver on the field or a power running back if we need him to be.
6) Once the defense has on more than shorts, they will get important experience defending 2-point tries. Mike Mitchell shared, "There's a good chance that we'll have to defend them. I love that it is something we're working on every single day and its only June."
The Steelers seem prepared to not only attempt more two-point conversions, but also defend them. Could this be the future of the NFL in terms of procedure after a touchdown? Only time will tell.