NFL Notebook: Movement made toward new playoff overtime rule
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell likes the proposal to modify overtime in the playoffs. Can his support sway enough owners to approve it for next season?
The competition committee recommended Monday in Orlando, Fla., to the 32 owners that a team losing the coin toss and then surrendering a field goal on the first possession should have a series of its own in overtime. Such a rules change would need 24 votes for ratification.
"This stays true to the integrity of the game," Goodell said. "The competition committee has come up with something very much worth considering. It keeps the tradition of sudden death, and I think it is responsive to some of the issues that have been brought up. It's getting a lot of thought. It's got potential to be a better system."
Statistics examined by the committee showed that since 1994, teams winning the coin toss win the game 59.8 percent of the time. The team that loses the toss wins the game 38.5 percent in that 15-year span, or since kickoffs were moved back 5 yards to the 30.
Those numbers alarmed Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian, a member of the committee.
"We felt the stats are so arresting that something needs to be done," Polian said. "The original framers of the rule did not project the movement of the kickoff, or [the trend] in improvement of kickers."
Goodell's positive outlook on the overtime modification can't hurt its chances of passing, according to competition committee co-chairman Rich McKay.
"It's important," McKay said. "He's the one the owners would listen to. I think he'll leave it to us as a committee to make sure we make the case on the competitive aspect ..."
Also, a proposal for a play to be whistled dead immediately when the helmet of the ballcarrier comes off also will draw much debate by owners. If passed, the ball will be spotted at the "progress spot where the helmet comes off," said the other competition committee co-chairman, Jeff Fisher, coach of the Tennessee Titans.
San Francisco has a new man in charge of personnel decisions merely a month before draft day. Scot McCloughan is out as the 49ers' general manager in a "mutual parting," and director of player personnel Trent Baalke will lead the team into the draft. Team president Jed York, speaking at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, said the move was a "private personnel matter."
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards signed a tender offer worth $6.1 million with the Jets. ... The Ravens reached an agreement on a two-year deal with former Seattle defensive end Cory Redding. ... Restricted free agent linebacker Akeem Jordan will return to the Eagles after signing a one-year tender offer. ... The Rams re-signed veteran defensive end James Hall. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ... Police say Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, who was in the suburban Atlanta area for his parents' anniversary, has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
First Published March 23, 2010 12:00 am