The League

Dick Vermeil
Former Head Coach

Dick Vermeil

Has won the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl and multiple coaching accolades.

Not a Gamble


Having been there and done it myself, you just have to go with your gut. But it's not a gamble.

Since you have about a 50-50 shot of making the two point conversion it's the right move, because making the extra point will only tie the score and send you to overtime. In OT, if you lose the coin-toss, you probably lose the game, so it comes down to feeling it. Shanahan didn't want to put his defense out on the field again. He felt this was the best thing to do for his team and he was right.

I faced a similar situation as head coach of the Chiefs against the Oakland Raiders in 2005. With five seconds left, we trailed by three with the ball on Oakland's 1-yard-line. Even though it was an automatic field goal for kicker Lawrence Tynes, I chose to go for the win, not the tie. We sent Larry Johnson over the top for a 27-23 victory. It wasn't a multiple guess question, it was the right move. And it sparked a trend. Expect to see more coaches going for it because of Shanahan's win.

Ironically enough, my 2005 game was against current Chargers head coach Norv Turner, who has suffered his share of last minute loses and bad calls of late. When there are humans involved there will be mistakes. That's why they call it a game, even though it's serious business.

But when you work seven days a week, 18 hours a day and you lose the game because of a bad officiating call, it eats you alive. You may feel vindictive. But if you can't handle it you shouldn't play. And if you coach long enough, the good breaks and the bad breaks will even out. Just ask Mike Shanahan who has certainly had his share of heart-breakers over the years.

By Dick Vermeil  |  September 15, 2008; 11:43 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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