The kicking game in the NFL needs a little boost.
Before you judge, hear me out.
First, the field goal. Somehow, the kickers in college have it more difficult than in the pros. In all other aspects of the game (except for the punter) the game changes dramatically. Players are faster and stronger than in college and the rookies have to adapt to this, quickly. If not, they go away, never to be heard from again until ESPN Classic or SI does a "Where Did They Go?" feature.
For the kicker, this is not the case. For the kicker, the hashmarks are narrower than in college, making each field goal practically a straight shot through the uprights. Of course, it's a challenge anyway to hit one from 50 yards out, unless your name is Jason Elam. The hashmarks in the pro game should be widened to at least the width on the college field. A simple 40-yard kick from the right hash, could be more of an adventure instead of simply extra time to grab the next beer because we all know that most of the time that puppy's going to split the uprights. Point is, any professional kicker SHOULD be able to hit the ball straight. Now, let's get them to hit one from an angle.
Now on to the extra point. Recently, it should be noted, some extra point misses have come at critical times and have cost teams victories, or at least the chance at overtime. In light of this, the NFL should institute a rule similar to the rugby extra point. If a touchdown is scored at the corner of the end zone, the extra point should taken from a similar spot on the field. However, the TD scorer should be allowed to cut back and try to get a better position for his kicker. Not only does this add to the tension of an important PAT, but it adds to the excitement of perhaps seeing Chad Johnson cutting back across the end zone with the ball having to face a p**sed off (for giving up a TD in the first place) Ray Lewis, or other similary upset defender.
If Johnson doesn't want to face Lewis (or anyone else), he could just walk off the playing field and give his "idiot" kicker a chance for the PAT from near the sideline.
Not only would this make the PAT more intriguing to watch, but it would add to the strategy of the coaches. "Should I try that fade route to the corner, or should I let T.O. come across the middle to give my kicker a better spot?"
The possibilities are endless.