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Adam Vinatieri on extra points: If it’s not broke, why fix it?

Adam Vinatieri, Pat McAfee

Indianapolis Colts’ Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks a field goal as Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) holds the ball during the second half of an AFC divisional NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Matt Slocum

No active player has kicked as many extra points as Adam Vinatieri. And in the process of kicking 710 extra points in his career, Vinatieri has never seen any need to change them.

So after the NFL decided this week to move extra point kicks back 13 yards, Vinatieri has one question: Why?

“I’m a traditionalist,” Vinatieri said. “Unless something’s broke, why fix it? But obviously people thought something was broke. We’ll deal with it, and we’ll just continue to move forward. Kickers have continued to adapt and get better with different k-ball rules and moving the balls back on kickoffs and all that stuff a while ago. We’ll just adapt and move forward with it.”

Vinatieri said that extra points, which are now the equivalent of 33-yard field goals, will still be pretty easy. But he did acknowledge that outdoor kicks in winter might be a little tougher.

“With good conditions inside, I don’t think it changes a whole lot. But late in the year when fields can get crummy or the weather can get crummy, it might change things,” he said.

Although Vinatieri would prefer just to leave well enough alone, he expected the change. And he expects more changes to the extra point rules if kickers continue to make 99 percent of their extra points this season.

“We’ll see how much this changes things. If they don’t think it changes it enough, they’ll continue,” Vinatieri said.

Vinatieri is right about that: The NFL is likely to continue tinkering with the extra point until it’s something less than a gimme for NFL kickers. And for NFL kickers, a 33-yard kick is still a gimme.