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How Will New Rules Impact Nick Novak?
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The extra point notably went through a dramatic overhaul last week, injecting more drama into an attempt that had turned into a virtual certainty.
Beginning this season, the extra point will be snapped from the 15-yard line rather than the two. As a result, it will be a 33-yard attempt for kickers instead of a 20-yarder. Teams that elect to go for two will still snap from the two-yard line, while for the first time ever, defenses have the opportunity to return a blocked extra point or forced turnover the other way for two points themselves.
Last year, kickers converted on 99.5% of extra points while hitting between 93-94% of their tries from 33-yards out. While to some that may seem like a marginal variance as it is still above 90%, in fact it is a pretty dramatic difference in the world of kicking.
As a result, Chargers fans all want to know how this new rule will impact Nick Novak.
The honest answer is not very much.
Over the course of his career in San Diego, Novak is perfect from 33-yards out. So if anything, the new rule benefits the Bolts since their kicker is perfect from the distance while the league average is seven percentage points lower.
As a result, Novak is enthused about the change as he believes it adds even more value to his position.
“It’s an exciting move,” he said. “I believe we’re 100%, and I can contribute that to a great holder, a great snapper and great blocking….99% of the time you will make it from 20 yards, and 100% of the time we’ve made it from 33-yards. So we’re confident that no matter where we kick it from, the new extra point rules, I don’t think it will make a different for (any) kicker around the league. It can only add value. The guys who do well at the end of the year, it can only add value to the kicking position.”
There is also no difference in his approach to kicking from the new distance. If anything, Novak embraces the challenge. As a true competitor, he welcomes to chance for more opportunities from actual field goal distances rather than the 20-yard gimme.
“It’s the same (going) from a 20-yard field goal to a 33-yard field goal. It’s exciting for me because I get to go out there and continue to get opportunities from actual field goal range. So it’s not only good practice, especially in preseason, but you may not get a whole lot of field goal attempts during the game which means we’re scoring touchdowns. But at the same time we’re also kicking kind of a short field goal, so it is exciting to go to do that. When you score touchdowns, it’s a great thing. But also as a field goal kicker, you like to go out there and do your job and hit a few also.”