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Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed Tuesday that they voted against the playoffs overtime rule change.
But since Bisciotti was out-voted by a 28-4 margin at Tuesday’s owners meetings in Orlando, all three are preparing for the modification.
“Sometimes change is good and we’ll adjust to it,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll start studying the strategies and come up with plans for the new rule. If we get to the playoffs and we get to overtime we’ll do whatever we have to do in overtime to win.”
Bisciotti, along with the owners of the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings, opposed the new rule.
“We did vote against the new overtime rule, and that is consistent with my position on overtime since I’ve been the owner of the Ravens,” Bisciotti said. “I have voted against previous overtime proposals and I didn’t find the new rule compelling enough for me to change my mind. But I do respect the process. A lot of thought and research went into it. And I support the decision in the end.”
Newsome was one of two members on the eight-man NFL competition committee that voted against the change.
“With my work on the competition committee, we’ve looked at many proposals this year and in previous years,” Newsome said. “With this proposal, I didn’t have a true conviction that it would be good for the NFL. In the end, I didn’t think the rule that passed was better than what is now our old overtime rule for the playoffs.”
Under the old system, overtime began with a coin flip that determined possession and the first team to score any points won in a sudden-death format.
With the new system, there will still be a coin flip to decide initial possession. But the team that loses the coin toss will get a chance at a possession unless a touchdown is scored (offensive or defensive) on the first possession. The sudden death format will go into effect if the score is still tied after each team has had an attempt at a possession.
The new rule currently just applies to playoff games, but according to NFL.com the owners also expressed interest in having discussions about adopting the changes for the regular season during their next meeting in May.