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Steelers’ Mike Tomlin Not a Fan of New Overtime Proposals: ‘I Don’t Fear Sudden Death’



Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin

With the NFL set to vote on a pair of overtime changes at the league meetings this week, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is not a fan of the proposals to change the current sudden death format.

For Tomlin, the current sudden death format is fair, as each team has had a full game of opportunities to make winning plays by that juncture.

“To be quite honest with you, I’m a sudden death advocate. I’m a traditionalist,” Tomlin, who is a member of the league’s Competition Committee, said this week. “I don’t fear sudden death and I never have, but obviously I lost that battle a decade ago. But my position remains unchanged. I am one of the few sudden death advocates I would imagine.”

The push to overhaul the league’s overtime format reached its peak during these past playoffs, when Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills did not have a chance to match the game-winning drive orchestrated by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. After a back-and-forth with both quarterbacks playing exceptionally well, many felt the ending was anticlimactic and unfair. Buffalo is one of the teams that has proposed a change to the rules as a result.

“I just think 60 minutes everybody has had a fair opportunity to win the game,” Tomlin added. “When you’re talking about changes as it pertains to competitive fairness, I speak to the first 60 minutes that we all had. So, win the game. I don’t fear sudden death.”

One proposal would give each team an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime, while the other would only allow a team to win the game on their first possession if they score a touchdown and convert a two-point conversion. Out of fear that too drastic of a change to the current format could result in confusion, Tomlin prefers the league keeps it simple.

“I think simplicity is best,” Tomlin said. “I don’t think you want to be in the most significant moment in time, in a game, and be explaining the nature of the rules to your football teams.”

Still, Tomlin is confident that a resolution to qualm overtime concerns will be reached at some point this week.

“I’m sure that we’ll find some resolution to address it,” Tomlin said. “How? You know, the final proposal that we all rally around I think will be determined in the next couple of days. But I think everybody has a desire to address the issues and so we’ve got a couple proposals on the floor. I’m sure we’ll narrow that and hopefully come to some resolution here, while we are here.”

For one of the proposals is to be adopted, it will require 24 out of 32 votes to pass.


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