Tom Brady awaits the NFL ownership vote that will allow him to become the newest minority shareholder in the Los Vegas Raiders, but there’s one unofficial box he’ll need to check.
At least that’s what Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels believes.
The «Tuck Rule» originated from an infamous play during an AFC divisional round game on January 19, 2002, between Brady’s New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.
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McDaniels suggested that Brady should admit that he was a fumble before officially owning part of the franchise.
«One hundred percent. Without a doubt,» McDaniels said via Pro Football Talk.
Raiders legend Charles Woodson sacked Brady in that game, forcing Brady to fumble, and Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovered it. With the Raiders up 13-10 in the snowy game, it was all but sealed that they would face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game.
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However, NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, since known as the «Tuck Rule», changed everything. It established that any intentional forward movement of the arm initiates a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball while attempting to drive it toward the body.
That is the key here. Brady was trying to dunk the ball as his arm went forward, acknowledging that Woodson was about to hit him. If he drove the ball to the body cleanly, and then Woodson picked it off, it would have been a fumble.
Instead, the Patriots kept possession and tied the game with a field goal to force overtime. Brady ended up carrying his team down the field in overtime, and Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-winning field goal to advance the Patriots and end the Raiders’ Super Bowl hopes.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year and the Brady-Bill Belichick dynasty officially began, though the Raiders faithful never forgot what they thought a fumble should have been.
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The «Tuck Rule» is no longer in the NFL. The teams voted 29-1 in 2013 to abolish it. The Steelers were the only team to vote against repealing the rule.
McDaniels was a beneficiary of Brady’s excellence during his time as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. He’s excited that Brady has shown interest in being a stakeholder in the Raiders.
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«I think everyone knows how I feel about Tom as a person,» McDaniels explained. «So if that comes to fruition, I’m obviously going to be incredibly excited that he’s just someone who’s in Raider Nation and has a vested interest in us doing the best we can to try to bring a championship football team here to Las Vegas». .»