FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, the league’s longest-serving head coach, reiterated his position Monday that coaches should be allowed to challenge plays of less than two minutes.
Belichick did so after being asked about a key play in the Minnesota Vikings’ thrilling 33-30 win over the Buffalo Bills, in which Gabe Davis’ catch of Gabe Davis with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter was not judged by officials.
NFL senior vice president on duty Walt Anderson later said the game — which was critical in setting up an tying field goal to send the game into overtime — should have been reviewed and incomplete.
The NFL doesn’t allow coaches to challenge play in the last two minutes before halftime or the end of the rules, in part so they can’t strategically manipulate challenges to stop the clock.
“If the team has a challenge, they should have the opportunity to really challenge every game. That’s for sure,” Belichick said during his Monday video conference.
In a Monday interview on sports radio WEEI, Belichick added: “There have been other examples of that, plays that have taken place in situations where teams could not challenge because the rules forbade it.” [it].
“I’m making progress, and things like that, that you can’t challenge. I’m not talking about that. I’m saying I don’t have the ability to challenge a game that can affect the outcome of the game – even summon like holding and relaying interference and things like that — I don’t see why those plays can’t be judged [by a coach’s challenge].”
Belichick is in his 48th season as a coach in the NFL, his 28th as a head coach, making him one of the most influential voices in the league.
Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota’s freshman head coach who was called up as quarterback by Belichick in 2008, said of Davis’s reception on Sunday: “It was right in front of me. I didn’t think that was a catch mode, it must be.” to be something that is either from above [in the press box with the replay official]or possibly New York [at the replay center]. We have not received any clarity on this. I asked.”
As for Belichick, whose team was off this weekend, he often prefers to keep his comments about NFL rules private to coaches at the league’s annual meeting.
After sharing his thoughts on Monday’s Davis game, he added: “The rules are the rules. The competition committee and the league vote on those rules. Whatever they are, that’s what they are.”