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Overtime proposal for regular season likely to be tabled

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responds to a question

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responds to a question during a news conference at the NFL meetings. (May 25, 2010) Credit: AP

DALLAS — There is a growing feeling here that NFL owners will elect to table a measure that would have expanded the modified overtime system to regular season games.

"If it's not tabled, then I'll say something about it," Browns president Mike Holmgren said. "I'm not in favor of it." 

Owners approved a modified overtime system for the playoffs, allowing each team at least one possession unless the receiving team scores a touchdown on its first possession. The move was made to address a growing statistical imbalance trending toward teams that win the overtime toss going on to win the game.

Since 1994, when kickoffs were moved back to the 30-yard line, 59.8 percent of overtime games have been won by the team winning the overtime coin toss. In a game that may have been a major factor in prompting owners to approve the measure, the Saints beat the Vikings in overtime in last year's NFC Championship Game after winning the coin toss and driving for the winning field goal on their first possession.

"That's the thing I don't like about it," Holmgren said. "When I was on the competition committee, I always felt that we shouldn't change a rule in reaction to an incident like that. And I think that's what happened."

Holmgren, who took over this year as the Browns' president after coaching stints with Green Bay and Seattle, said he voted in favor of the overtime proposal in the playoffs at the urging of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (pictured). In the run-up to this week's meetings, Goodell has not openly prodded owners to approve the measure for the regular season.

New York Sports