Can you imagine an infuriated Bill Belichick and an over the clock loophole play? The New England Patriots head coach loses his mind once in a while and Mike Vrabel knows it best.
In the Tennessee Titans’ AFC Wild Card playoff game against the New England Patriots, the Titans took two minutes off the clock by making a few dead-ball penalties while in punt formation on fourth down. Did Vrabel give Belichick a taste of his own medicine? The Patriots head coach exploited this clock loophole in the game against the New York Jets earlier in the same season.
The former Patriots linebacker actually confronted his former head coach. Simple as that. Vrabel talked to NFL Network’s Dan Hellie on the “Helliepod” podcast and his response was a rather diplomatic. However, Vrabel did admit he was well aware of Belichick’s opinion. The Patriots head coach was far from happy with this tactics. He sure felt terrible back then.
“He’s like, you gotta see Bill, Bill’s losing his mind,” the Titans coach said.
Vrabel added that Titans assistant John Streicher also known as “Stretch” saw an an angry Belichick from the Titans’ press box.
“Stretch does a fantastic job upstairs. He’s committed to being my eyes upstairs … He’s like, ‘You’ve got to see Bill. Bill’s losing his mind,’ ” Vrabel said.
The broadcast footage showed an angry Belichick as the Titans got some nice time off the clock.
Vrabel tried not to get distracted by the whole thing.
“It’s all relative, you know what I mean?,” he said. “I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to finish this game off and we’ll see what happens.’ It was only done four times last year. It’s got to be the right situation. I would have gone for it (on fourth down) but we lost like five yards on third down.”
Vrabel wouldn’t take this any further. The Titans faced Belichick’s team and it was bad. He may be the last to exploit the loophole as the league approved a rule change to prevent NFL teams from doing this and making consecutive dead-ball penalties.