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NFL Commissioner: Coaches had their chance to discuss overtime rule

Ultimately, the owners have final say on issues such as overtime, Roger Goodell says.

Associated Press

Ultimately, the owners have final say on issues such as overtime, Roger Goodell says.

ORLANDO — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was unapologetic Wednesday, less than 24 hours after owners voted to change overtime in the postseason — despite the objections of many coaches.

"We went through a full discussion (Tuesday) with the coaches in the room and a full debate," Goodell said. "And of course it's probably no secret that there are certain owners who may have a different view than their coaches. But there are 32 clubs and 32 votes. And this may not come as a news flash, but the owners have the vote."

Goodell made no effort this week to hide his rabid support for the measure, which eliminates the possibility of a team winning a postseason game with a field goal on the opening possession of overtime. And Goodell wasn't shy about expressing his support for expanding the policy to the regular season, either. The competition committee will study the issue over the next couple of months, and it's expected to be debated when owners convene in Dallas in May.

"I think it will be (implemented)," Goodell said. "I think what we'd like to do is continue to analyze it and go back and talk to our players about it also. There was a strong consensus for expanding it into the regular season."

Some coaches, such as New Orleans' Sean Payton, voiced forceful opposition to the rule, but it still managed 28 yes votes. Twenty-four are required for passage.

CLAYTON'S ROLE: Bucs WR Michael Clayton is a lightning rod for criticism from fans, especially after signing a five-year extension during the last offseason. But the Bucs have made no guarantees about his future after a disappointing 2009.

Coach Raheem Morris talked Wednesday as if Clayton, who had 16 catches for 230 yards and a touchdown in 13 games, is in the team's plans for 2010, but he didn't let him off the hook either.

Asked if Clayton is on the bubble, Morris said, "Everybody is on the bubble. … We thought he was going to come back and have a better year. Unfortunately, he pulled a hamstring. He did this and did that and kind of slowed down and didn't have the production we would like to see him have."

MOVING ON: Speaking of receivers, Morris defended the team's decision to let Antonio Bryant walk away in free agency.

He denied the decision had to do with Bryant's demands for the football but didn't quite explain the decision, either.

"Every decision we make will be a football decision," he said. "The production wasn't there like it was the year before. We tend to live in the past; in what a player has done. And I'm not knocking Antonio Bryant because he's a good player.

"He fought through injury, and he had a whole bunch of other things he had to deal with last year. And it's to his credit. … But it's time to move on."

Bryant signed with the Bengals.

NFL Commissioner: Coaches had their chance to discuss overtime rule 03/24/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010 12:03am]
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