1. The new rules governing the point(s) after a touchdown are beyond interesting to me. And no, this is not going to be (another) post about kickers or why kickers are the unsung heroes of the universe. I am not going to sit here and rehash that tired old argument about how, in a world with unprecedented de-emphasization (totally a word) on kicking, the Order of the Golden Foot still places one of its members on each and every roster in the NFL--in what some consider an incredibly see-through superhero origin story. That's not what this post is about.
2. Many of us have been avid Madden players for the last 15-20 years. With the advent of fantasy drafts, our ability to build rosters our own way allowed each of us to consider where and when and how to add specific kinds of specialty players. In the very late rounds, all sorts of one-dimensional players are available. You could add that receiver with 98 speed, but 46-rated hands. You might find yourself a gargantuan backup tackle that could bench press a truck, but whose lack of awareness and pass blocking would make him a prime suspect in the certain murder of his quarterback after one or two plays. I usually found a lightning fast running back made out of glass. He would take one to the house in the first quarter and be gone for the season by the second half. The point is, as general managers, we get to add a player or two...specifically for a play or two.
3. In the least surprising news of the day, this is the part of the draft where I typically have taken Tim Tebow. He was never brought in to be my main quarterback, or even to serve as the primary backup. This is Madden...not some meaningless endeavor that has no real-life consequences. Tebow joins my team for one reason and for one reason only: extremely short-yardage downs, and goal-line situations. For a while there, I had used Daunte Culpepper for this role--one year I had Jared Lorenzen, which was simply a delight.
4. In addition to saving my quarterback from being blown up on dive plays, the extra meat on the bone for these bigger guys almost guaranteed 1.5 yards per attempt. Tim Tebow had/has a better Truck rating than most fullbacks, and he rarely--if ever--fumbles. In games against the computer, Tebow just came in and got the job done. In games against my friends, Tebow was a demoralizing presence--his real-life story followed him right onto my television screen.
5. Getting that one or two yards seemed so easy that it was only a matter of time before I was going for two on 99.9% of my touchdowns. I didn't enjoy a 100% success rate, but it was pretty damn close, so much so that I often wondered why there weren't real-life teams making this decision--at least one rogue organization. And then Chip Kelly signed Tim Tebow. I believe in my heart that two-point attempts is exactly what Tebow was brought in to do all along (it was the first thing Kevin Ewoldt and I discussed at the time of the signing). Whether the rule changed or not, you just know that a coach like Chip Kelly is all about trying to find something that nobody else really embraces and then make it a core part of his gameplan. Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford have the top quarterback spots locked up in Philly. Tebow is not going to beat either one of those two guys out. I am not even convinced that Tebow would be the preferred starter if those two guys were both lost for the season. I think he is there to go on the field and be the same guy for Chip Kelly that he has been for me in Madden all these years. Further (and I hate to say it), I think he will be wildly successful.
6. All that to ask the question: which player likely to make our final roster has the best chance to succeed as a two-point specialist for the Redskins? I am open to any and all suggestions. The truth is that there may be no better option than Robert Griffin III on such plays, but we can all rest assured that Gruden won't subject him to those kinds of hits. (Then again, if and when Griffin is out there for these plays, we will officially know how he feels about Griffin.) I am not asking if you think the Redskins SHOULD employ such a specialty player. That is a debate for another day...perhaps for a master debate? I am asking if you see someone on our roster who is ready to step up and convert AT LEAST 75% of his two-point conversions. This means that for every four touchdowns, the Redskins would add six extra points, good for an extra two points over what we could get with one of the aforementioned superhero kickers. I really liked the Anquan Boldin set that Arizona had early in his career. He was more than capable as a thrower, and his ability to carry the ball was exceptional. Darren McFadden was a pretty solid "Wildcat" player, making him somewhat ideal as a two-point specialist (as long as you can turn injuries off in real life, that is). Do the Redskins have a guy like this? I will bat leadoff on this and throw out Jordan Reed. As a four-star high school recruit, Reed was highly regarded as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. At the University of Florida, he sat behind...you guessed it, Tim Tebow. I don't know how much you can forget about being good from two yards out, but I would be willing to believe that Reed would be up to the task.