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Several coaches not thrilled about how owners held OT vote

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The new overtime playoff rules aren't being welcomed by all coaches, some of whom still weren't pleased Wednesday that the vote on the changes took place earlier than expected and while many of them were out golfing.

Coaches didn't have a vote on the matter, but some felt duped after the owners moved forward Tuesday while knowing many coaches would be outside of the Ritz-Carlton Resort, where the meetings are being held.

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"Kind of interesting the vote could be 28-4 when one of the owners was out on the golf] course with us," said [Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress, whose owner, Zygi Wilf, was one of four to vote against the changes. "I'm sure they have kind of a proxy system here. [The results of the vote] got to us about Hole 15. Their prerogative."

Some coaches expressed their displeasure, as several owners expected, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the process during his Wednesday news conference.

"We went through a full discussion yesterday with the coaches in the room and a full debate, and the owners heard it," 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 added that the vote came one day early because some owners couldn't attend Wednesday and "we had come to a resolution."

There was sentiment among some coaches at the NFC breakfast Wednesday that even though the overtime changes were voted in for the playoffs only, they might as well be used in the regular season, too. That possibility had some momentum before Tuesday's vote, and it could come up for a vote -- at least serious discussion -- at the league meetings in May.

"It's the old analogy: A soldier should never do anything for the first time in combat," Childress said. "I wouldn't want to be experiencing that for the first time, mindset-wise for my guys, the elation that, 'We won it,' then, 'No, we didn't. We've got to keep playing here.'


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"You can explain it, explain it, explain it, but once again, you've got to practice things, be it the two-minute drill, come-from-behind, red zone. It's got to be examined. There's probably some unforeseeable unknowns in the rule."

Goodell said he believes the overtime rules will be expanded to include the regular season. However, he didn't sound concerned about coaches and players dealing with the changes for the first time in a playoff setting.

"We think that's part of the attractiveness of it," Goodell said. "It involves a different strategy, which is fun for our fans. It's something our fans will really engage in.

"It does involve more for the coaches because they have to think differently about it. And, of course, like the rest of us, they are going to be subject to criticism. That's part of our job -- to keep innovating and making the game more exciting for our fans. We think this is a good way to do it, and we think it's better for the game and the integrity of the game."

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