Late in Tennessee’s upset wild-card win over New England, Titans coach Mike Vrabel did something that visibly irritated his former coach.
Knowing full well how to manipulate the game clock while clinging to a one-point lead, Vrabel intentionally committed multiple dead-ball penalties in order to keep the game clock moving beyond the total time his team would have burned had it ran a play. On the other sideline, Bill Belichick was seen muttering with displeasure at such a manipulation.
Of course, it was far from the first time this was done by an NFL head coach. But depending on the outcome of the upcoming league meetings, it may have been the last.
Elimination of such a clock manipulation is on the table as one of the rule-change proposals offered by the league’s competition committee, of which a full list was released Friday by NFL football operations. Proposals also include adding more personnel to the officiating crew in an effort to better officiate the game, as well as offer an alternative to the onside kick, which has become less effective since the NFL removed the running start from all kickoffs.
Also included was a contentious topic: overtime rules. One of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ four proposals addressed the extra period and how it should be handled, resulting in a proposal to “restore preseason and regular season overtime to 15 minutes and implement rules to minimize the impact of the overtime coin toss.”
With the second part of that proposal being very vague at this point, it’s likely to spark even more discussion and debate at the meeting. As for naming the clock manipulation rule (if it passes), we’ll have to leave that to the fans of the Titans and Patriots.