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Overtime Changes Sought

January 24, 2003|From Times Wire Services

NFL players are backing a change in the rules that would allow both teams to get the ball in overtime.

Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Assn., said Thursday that the union will recommend the change to the league's competition committee. If this group approves a new rule, owners would vote on it at their meeting in Phoenix in March.

To pass, 24 of the 32 teams would have to OK it.

"It only stands to reason that if you get into overtime, you should have a fair chance to win," Upshaw said.

There were a record 25 overtimes in the NFL in the regular season and nine of them were won by the team that got the ball first and scored without the other team getting possession.

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Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick (foot) and the Kansas City Chief running back Priest Holmes (hip) pulled out of the Pro Bowl because of injuries. Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson will replace Vick on the NFC roster.... Philadelphia Eagle defensive coordinator Jim Johnson signed a four-year contract extension worth more than $4 million, making him the highest-paid coordinator.... The Baltimore Ravens hired Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary as an assistant coach. Singletary, 44, replaces Mike Smith, who became the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars.... The Jaguars filled out their front office by hiring James Harris as their vice president of player personnel. Harris had been the Baltimore Raven director of pro personnel since 1997.... The Green Bay Packers hired former Cincinnati Bengal defensive coordinator Mark Duffner as their new linebackers coach.... The Bengals hired Oklahoma University assistant Jonathan Hayes as tight ends coach, completing the staff of Coach Marvin Lewis.... Quarterback Jim Druckenmiller, a former first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.

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