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John Harbaugh Lobbies For Another Way For Justin Tucker To Score

Posted Nov 28, 2016

The Ravens head coach said he thinks the NFL should award kickoffs that go through the uprights to count as one point. Big-legged Justin Tucker, of course, approves.

The Ravens have a great weapon in kicker Justin Tucker.

That was proven, once again, by his four field goals, including three from beyond 50 yards, in Sunday’s 19-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

So Head Coach John Harbaugh wants to utilize that weapon as much as possible. He wants to find more ways for Tucker to score.

After Sunday’s game, Harbaugh made a pitch to give teams one point if their kicker booms the kickoff through the field-goal uprights on the other side of the field. It’s a 75-yard kick.

“He had a kickoff go through the uprights,” Harbaugh said. “I’m on record as advocating that that should [count as] a point.”

The assembled media chuckled in response to the suggestion.

“I’m serious now, kind of” Harbaugh said. “But really, how exciting would that make it? If we’re going to make these touchbacks so valuable, let’s do it, let’s go for it.”

There’s actually a precedent for such a move. In the Canadian Football League, a team is awarded one point when the ball is kicked into the end zone by any legal means, other than a successful field goal, and the receiving team does not return, or kick, the ball out of its end zone. It's called a rouge.

If Tucker were really trying, he could probably rack up several points with the rule change. He has one of the biggest legs in the NFL, and can generally boom a touchback whenever asked.

He would be at a disadvantage, however, in colder months given that he plays outdoors. The ball doesn’t travel as far in colder temperatures.

Still, Tucker is in favor of Harbaugh’s proposal.

He’s scored 96 of the Ravens’ 218 points this season, but it could be even more.

“I think eventually we are going to keep making the game harder for kickers, then you have to reward us in some way,” Tucker said. “The ownership and the competition committee and the NFL are great at this give-take thing when CBA time comes around. Maybe we can throw that one out there.

“I would certainly really appreciate that. Especially on a day like today, when you’re playing a close game and a division rival, you want any points you can get. They are hard to come by, and if you can get them like that, then I’m all for it.”

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