Bill O'Brien on Gronk catch: I know I can take a T.O.

Bill O'Brien had a night to sleep on it.

After stubbornly denying he should have spent a timeout in a key situation, the coach admitted Monday he could have tried to force a review of Rob Gronkowski's contested catch that helped the Patriots take a 21-6 lead into halftime.

"One thing that's made clear to the coach on the sideline is put your red flag away," O'Brien explained Monday. "I handed my red flag to Mike Parson. They tell you everything that is reviewable is subject to a booth review.

"When Gronkowski made the catch, upstairs our guys said 'Hey look I can't really tell.' It looked to me from the field that he made the catch. I don't really have benefit of nine different angles. The clock was running down. I wanted the Patriots to operate and see if they can do what they needed to do relative to taking a timeout to allow New York more time to review.

"I very much realize I can take a timeout there. I decided not to because I felt from my vantage point that it was a catch and that's what I went with. They didn't buzz down in time. OK, I do realize that I can take a timeout. I just didn't make that very clear or answer that question very well last night."

Sunday night, O'Brien was adamant the responsibility to initiate a review of a close call was not his, but the officials. Referee Tony Corrente explained after the game the call to the field to review the play came too late. To the Patriots' credit, Tom Brady rushed the offense up to the line to get another play off so the reception couldn't be reviewed.

Upon replay, it was difficult to tell whether it was or wasn't a catch, especially in the new world of the rewritten catch rule. We're all still getting to know how the policy will be applied.

O'Brien said after his own postgame review, he thinks it was a catch.

"On the coach's film, I really do [think it's a catch]," O'Brien said Monday. "He went up; he caught it; he kept both hands underneath it. Now relative to some TV angles and some other video angles that I've seen, maybe it was questionable. From the coach's vantage point on the coach's tape, it looked like a catch to me.

..."The clock was running and I felt like I did not want to take a timeout there. I felt like we still could hold them to a field goal in that situation."

The Texans did not hold them to a field goal in the situation. New England scored five plays later on a 14-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett with 0:23 left in the half.

In a game that finished within one score -- 27-20, in favor of the Patriots -- a review could have been the difference between a win and a loss. Then again, though, hindsight is 20-20 -- even if the film isn't as clear.

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