Adam Vinatieri: Goal posts don't need to be changed

PHOENIX -- With the NFL narrowing the goal post width from 18 to 14 feet for Sunday'sPro Bowl, ageless veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri will be one of the guinea pigs for the league's experiment.

The 42-year-old -- who said Wednesday night at the Pro Bowl Draft he plans to return for his 20th season -- understands why the NFL is tinkering with the process.

"I think the thing is that kickers are getting better," Vinatieri told reporters in Phoenix. "Statistically it's upper 80 percent and I think they'd like to have the excitement level of 'oh there might be a miss' a little bit more. I think at this point that would be a good challenge."

Kickers have actually averaged a conversion rate of more than 90 percent on field goals inside 40 yards in recent years.

The Indianapolis Colts' kicker had a sense of humor about the league trying to make a job he's done for almost two decades more difficult.

"I personally would like you to widen them probably to 20 feet, it makes our job a little easier," he said laughing. "I do understand that the complaint continues about extra points are considered a gimmie or a guarantee. I disagree a little bit, but statistically they are pretty high."

Vinatieri believes that rule changes that are made for player safety's sake are good, but ones like moving the extra point back or tinkering with kicks don't meet that standard of necessity.

"For me, I'm a traditionalist, don't change it unless it needs to be changed," he said. "The league has never has been more successful. The fan base has never been greater. I think everybody enjoys that, but we'll see. The deciding powers are way above me."

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