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Minor Tweaks Ahead for 2017 Senior Bowl: Officials, Kickoffs & 2-Point Conversions

MOBILE, Ala. — The Senior Bowl is continuing this week in its 68th rendition, but there will be a few tweaks to the annual college all-star game and its practices.

Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said Monday that NFL officials, who have previously worked games, also will monitor three days of practices by the North and South squads.

"NFL officials have always done the games, but now we have them doing the practices, which is a really important element that will be added because the professional game is refereed and called differently than a college game," Savage said. "We think that the players can get some feedback during the practices and from their coaches and these officials in the film reviews. We think that's going to be a real added bonus for them."

The Vikings have tabbed cornerbacks with high picks in each of the past two drafts, selecting Trae Waynes in the first round in 2015 and Mackensie Alexander in the second round.

Waynes and Alexander, who both entered their drafts with a year of college eligibility remaining, have drawn some pass interference penalties early in their career as they've adjusted to differences between NCAA and NFL policies regarding contact by defenders. 

During the transition period, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Minnesota's staff have used those opportunities to further illustrate the differences to Waynes and Alexander.

This year's participants should get helpful transitional reps this week.

2 kickoffs

Savage said this year's game will only have two kickoffs, one at the start of each half. Savage was meeting with North/Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox and South/Cleveland Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson after the media session, but did offer:

"I think there may be a modified version of the kickoff return, and I'm anxious to find out a bit more about this, but we are a lab for the NFL," Savage said, "and I think they want to do some experimentation with the kickoff, although there will only be two of them in our game."

After touchdowns

College football continues to kick points after touchdowns from the 10-yard line (20-yard total distance), but the NFL began kicking from the 23 (total distance of 33 yards) in 2015.

Extra points after touchdowns will be from a distance of 33 yards in Saturday's game, except during the second quarter when both teams will be required to go for two-point conversions after touchdowns.

"The other element to the game is that in the second quarter, the Reese's 'Go for 2' promotion will be in play because after every touchdown in the second quarter, they will be required to go for two," Savage said.

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