Belichick’s suggested rules change makes sense

In a personality contest, Bill Belichick won’t earn extra points for being colorful. He wears gray hooded sweatshirts and mixes mumbles with frowns.

None of that matters, though, because the New England Patriots coach might be the smartest guy in the NFL. His latest rules recommendation is simple yet brilliant.

Belichick said the point-after kick, which is snapped from the 2-yard line and is a 20-yard attempt, is a waste of time and should be eliminated or made more difficult.

“Philosophically, plays that are nonplays shouldn’t be in the game,” Belichick said on Boston radio station WEEI. “I don’t think it is good for the game. Extra points, when you’re up to the 99 percent range in extra points, it’s not a play.

“Let’s move the ball back to the 15-, 20-yard line and not make it a tap in.”

Snapping an extra-point attempt from the 15-yard line would make it a 33-yard kick, and that’s no gimme. The rule also would tempt coaches to try more 2-point conversions from the 2.

It’s a potentially exciting change that no doubt would be good for the game.

So here’s another idea: What if the hapless Buffalo Bills were allowed to field 13 defenders in each game against New England?

The Patriots still would be 7-point road favorites.

■ NEXT HOLLYWOOD STAR? — It’s only a matter of time before the NFL returns to his neighborhood, and Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers has his heart set on stealing the San Diego Chargers and their star quarterback.

“I’m sold on the guy. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so impressed,” Simers wrote. “Our new quarterback is the bomb, and maybe throws it better than anyone else. You’re gonna love him.

“The Los Angeles Chargers are so lucky to have Philip Rivers. The folks in San Diego have yet to grasp it, but it’s going to happen.”

The bad news for Los Angeles is the package deal could include coach Norv Turner. Rivers is the bomb, but Turner is a bust.

■ CAT IN THE HAT — Tiger Woods, whose nickname should be changed to “Pussycat” until he can again make the cut in a major, is taunting his dwindling fan base with the idea that he might add a PGA Tour event to his fall schedule.

He’s also searching for a full-time caddie after ditching longtime running mate Steve Williams and briefly using childhood pal Bryon Bell.

“I haven’t decided on a new caddie yet but am definitely thinking about it a lot,” said Woods, adding that two qualities he’s looking for are experience and “a person I’ll have fun with.”

Jenna Jameson and Jesse Jane are the top candidates.

■ RIDING WHILE INTOXICATED — Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel was arrested and jailed Saturday in Evansville, Ind., on a drunken driving charge.

Rumor has it the 5-foot-4-inch, 115-pound jockey threw down two shots of beer and a teaspoon of whiskey before falling off his horse on the way home.


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