One NFL coach is already criticizing the league’s new OT rule, admits he wanted his team to vote against it – CBSSports.com

When the NFL’s 32 owners voted last month to change the league’s overtime rules, the proposal passed overwhelmingly with 29 owners voting for it and only three voting against it. The Ravens weren’t one of the three teams to vote against the proposal, but they would have been if John Harbaugh was in charge of the team’s vote. During a recent interview on “The Rich Eisen Show,” not only did Harbaugh reveal that he’s against the new OT rule, but he also revealed that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti voted for the rule even though he knew Harbaugh didn’t like it. “Even though our team voted for it, they voted for it over my objection,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think it solves the problem. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, it’s the most important aspect of the game.”The new rule, which will guarantee a possession for both teams in overtime, was approved one year after an overtime proposal by the Ravens got shot down by the NFL’s 32 owners. In 2021, the Ravens proposed a “spot-and-choose” rule that came nowhere close to being approved. Only three owners were on board with the idea, which is well short of the 24 needed for a proposal to become a rule.  Under the spot-and-choose proposal, one team would choose the yard line where the overtime drive starts and the other team would choose whether they want to play offense or defense. For instance, if Team A and Team B were playing in overtime and Team A won the coin toss, it would pick any spot on the field where the first drive of OT would start. If it picked the 10-yard line (90 yards away from the end zone), then Team B would get to choose whether it wanted to play offense or defense. The overtime in this proposal would be a sudden-death period, which means the first team to score would win the game. Harbaugh thinks that proposal made way more sense. “We tried to mitigate it [with our proposal] last year with field position, which is two things: possession and field position. And that got three votes,” Harbaugh said.”So now we’re just gonna add possessions and it’s like, ‘Well, how many possessions are we going to add and when is it going to stop? Are we going to extend the game into the fifth quarter and into the sixth quarter?’ We keep tacking plays on.” Adding extra plays to an already physically taxing game is why the Vikings and Bengals were two of the three teams to vote against this year’s proposal. At the NFL’s annual league meetings in late March, Harbaugh made his disdain for the new rule clear, but it wasn’t enough to convince the owners to vote against the proposal. “I’m not bashful about saying it, I said it front of the whole league,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not for [the new OT rule], I don’t think it’s the answer. I think there will be a better way to do it at some point in time, but we did have to do something. That’s kind of where we’re at. This thing is still full of holes in terms of adding more plays to the game.” One thing that led to the push for a new overtime rule was the fact that Josh Allen and the Bills offense never got to touch the ball during overtime of their 42-36 divisional round playoff loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. If the new rule had been in place for that game, the Bills would have received a kickoff following Kansas City’s touchdown. With the new rule now in place, Harbaugh was asked if the coin toss winner might start by choosing to kick off at the start of overtime instead of receiving, which is something that has never been done in the playoffs under the previous rule. (Of the 12 playoff games that went to OT under the previous rule, all 12 coin toss winners chose to receive.)  “It does become a more viable of an option,” Harbaugh said of kicking off if you win the coin toss. “Although I still think having possession first is what people are going to look at as a plus. If it’s two great quarterbacks — a Mahomes-Allen situation — both offenses are going strong, both quarterbacks are playing strong, if both teams score, I’m still going to get the extra possession and now it’s going to be sudden death.”Harbaugh clearly hasn’t quite figured out just yet what he’s going to do if he’s ever in that situation, but he does know how he feels about the NFL’s new overtime rule and he doesn’t like it. 

Leave a Reply