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Adam Vinatieri not 'happy' with narrower goal posts

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Adam Vinatieri handled the circumstances with grace on Sunday, but beneath the veteran kicker's gentle facade stood a player who couldn't help but wonder if his position group was getting picked on a bit.

Specifically, Vinatieri wondered how significant the league's average field goal percentage would dip with the narrowed uprights that the NFL experimented with on Sunday.

Vinatieri missed a pair of 35-yard extra points, and a 38-yard field goal after having fewer than five attempts on the new posts before Sunday.

"Ask a receiver, can we take his gloves off because he's catching the ball too well?" Vinatieri said on the field following Team Irvin's 32-28 victory. "Nobody is going to be overly happy about that. But I understand the wheels of change are in motion and people want to change stuff, but I feel bad for the young bucks that will have to deal with it their whole career."

Vinatieri said that a change could make kickers more valuable, but that it will also alter the way a team operates inside their opponent's 40-yard line.

"Yeah, I mean obviously," he said. "I don't know, there was an 83 or 84 percent field goal accuracy this past year, I think this would knock it down to ... I don't know. I do know one thing, I doubt there would be as many 50-yarders attempted because the percentage would go way down."

At this stage, Vinatieri has to be looked at as the ambassador for the future kickers who will have to endure any changes and it's clear how he feels about the situation.

But on the flip side, how much more exciting does it make a game when the odds of an extra point decrease so significantly? How much better does a matchup become when field goals decrease by 10 percent in reliability?

For years, we've been waiting for the fourth-down revolution to make its way through the league. Perhaps this could be the catalyst.

At the least, Vinatieri's slip-up will provide an interesting conversation starter heading into league meetings this winter.

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