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Browns lost to the Jets because of a clock-management screw-up—tell the Browns’ media

Posted by John Reed on

My son Dan says I should look at the clock management screw-up in the Browns-Jets game yesterday. I wrote the book on that: Football Clock Management.
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https://johntreed.com/collections/football-coaching-books/products/football-clock-management-5th-edition-book-by-john-t-reed
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Mkay.
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Browns 24 Jets 17
The Browns were ahead and had 1st & 10 at the Jets 12 at 2:02. Jets just used their last timeout.
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The Browns scored a 12-yard running TD on the next play. The ball carrier should not have scored. When he crossed the two-yard line, he had gotten another first down, and, by gaining that first down put his team in the take-a-knee period.
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My pertinent rule is my Rule #3.01 which says, “When you are in the take-a-knee period, take a knee.” My rule 3.02 is not really a different rule. It just points out two situations where Rule #3.01 happens ON THE FLY. “When a ball carrier crosses his team’s first down line to gain and by doing so, puts his team into the take-a-knee period, he should take a knee just before he is touched by a defender.”
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The other is when you need a field goal to win. In that case, you take a knee when you get inside your kicker’s likely success range. You can also enter the take-a-knee period on the fly on defense: when you do a take-away and your offense will be in the take-a-knee period the moment you get possession.
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You may think that is easier said that done. I am not buying that. My book says to have a clock management assistant coach. Before each snap all game he signals the clock situation to his team on the field. In this situation before the 1st and 10 at the 12, the clock assistant coach would drop down to one knee on the sideline and signal first down with his arm. The whole team is trained daily in practice to glance at the clock coach—who wears an easy-to-spot uniform—before every play. By doing that, he is saying to the ball carrier, “When you cross the two yard line, take a knee.”
Page 68 of my book has the take-a-knee table. It says you are in the take-a-knee period when your opponent has no timeouts when the clock is at or under 1:59.

If the ball carrier had taken a knee just past the two, the clock would have been about 1:56. The clock would have stopped for the two-minute warning.
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1st & goal snap then take a knee takes :02 for the play then :40 until the next snap. That next 2nd & 13 snap would be at 1:56 - :42 take you to 1:14. Then another :42 comes off for the 3rd and 16 snap taking you to 1:14 - :42 = :32. Then for the 4th & 19 snap you take a knee at :30 and the :40 play clock starts. When the play clock hits :10, the game clock will hit :00. Game over.
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Nobody did this before my 1997 book, but it has happened multiple time in the NFL since my book came out. Maurice Jones Drew did it in a regular season game in a slightly different situation. His team was behind, but only needed a field goal to win. After he took a knee at the one, they did three slow-down snaps running the clock down to :03 then kick the go-ahead game-winning field goal.
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Also, Eli Manning tried to do it in one Superbowl and the running back screwed it up and fell into the end zone. In a subsequent Super Bowl, Eli called for it again and the running back did not screw it up.
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Again, do not even think about telling me this to too difficult. The clock assistant coach signals to the team between every play and there is a unique signal for this play, which is practiced. My book says every play and drill in practice must have a clock situation and clock consciousness must be happening on every play of the game. I think only someone who did not read my Football Clock Management would say the Browns guy could not have been trained to think of and execute this play.
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More on the Browns loss to the Jets: My 58-year friend Dick Steiner also told me about the clock mistake and sent me a link to an SI article about it. I somehow missed the email and that is why I failed to give him credit along with my som Dan.
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Here is Dick’s email to me:
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Dick Steiner
Sep 19, 2022, 5:54 AM (1 day ago)
to me
Flacco Explains Thought Process After Chubb’s Decision to Score
The veteran QB couldn’t believe what unfolded in the closing moments of Sunday’s game against Cleveland.
Read in Sports Illustrated: https://apple.news/A0eHxipaYTGCl9qymWlcmbA
“Jack Reed should have been coaching the Browns yesterday. They had poor clock management at the end of the game and Joe Flacco and the Jets took advantage for an improbable win with two TDs in the final two minutes.”
Shared from Apple News
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Dick Steiner and I were in the same pair of squads starting on our first day at West Point in 7th New Cadet Company on 7/1/64 and that lasted all summer. After that summer. We were both assigned to company C-2 for the next three academic years. There are about 30 guys from each class in each company. Senior year, we were both reassigned to Company D-2 as part of expansion of the student body from 2,500 when we entered to 4,400 when we graduated.
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Also, In July of 1967, Dick was assigned to be a New Cadet company platoon leader and I was assigned to be the platoon sergeant of that company. So we were roommates for July 1967, the first month of being New Cadets for the class of 1971.
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Also assigned to that company as a New Cadet was John F. “Jack” Reed. That Jack Reed was almost certainly assigned to that company because he and I had the same name which was famous at West Point at least among the classes ahead of me. Here is why:
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That New Cadet Jack Reed is now Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). My link to the Big Picture TV episode in which a fictional cadet wannabe named “Johnny Reed” made that name famous there no longer works. It says that is no longer available.
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Dick was also my ranger buddy and we were roommates a number of times when we were Army officers. He was also my co-inventors of The System which we invented to meet girls quickly when we were assigned to new Army bases. I met my wife through The System. Dick was our Best Man. I just visited him and his wife in Denver in July.

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