Mark Davis says Josh McDaniels told him Tom Brady fumbled on famous ‘Tuck Rule’ play


Josh McDaniels said what now?

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“When I met Josh on Saturday, we met in the hallway as we were passing before the interview process was going to start,” Raiders owner Mark Davis shared Monday while introducing McDaniels as his new head coach. “I said ‘Hey’ and introduced myself and everything. He looked me in the eye and said, ‘There’s one thing. It was a fumble.’ So Raider Nation, if you’re worried, he’s already come over to the dark side.”

Davis, of course, is referring to the famous “Tuck Rule” play that occurred during the 2001 AFC Playoffs, which many cite as the beginning of the Patriots’ dynasty. In what would be the final game played at Foxboro Stadium (Gillette Stadium opened the following year), Tom Brady, then in his second NFL season and first as a starter following an injury to Drew Bledsoe in Week 2, was hit by Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (Brady's teammate at the University of Michigan), resulting in what appeared to be a fumble.

However, upon review, officials determined Brady’s arm was moving forward, which, according to Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, constitutes an incomplete pass. The little-known Tuck Rule (which the league would eventually repeal) allowed the Patriots to keep possession, setting the stage for Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal in overtime.

Assuming this encounter between Davis and his new coach actually took place, one would assume McDaniels was either A) joking or B) angling for brownie points by buttering up his new boss. McDaniels was hired to replace Jon Gruden, who, ironically, was on the Raiders’ sideline for the Tuck Rule game.

With McDaniels off to Vegas, many suspect the Patriots will tap former Texans coach Bill O’Brien as their new offensive coordinator. O’Brien, who currently serves as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama, spent five years on Bill Belichick’s staff before defecting to Penn State in 2012.

Conveniently enough, ESPN will air a 30 for 30 documentary revisiting the Tuck Rule game Sunday night after the Pro Bowl, which is being played in Las Vegas for the first time.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Jim Rogash, Getty Images