Archive for the ‘New England Patriots’ Category

Ross Tucker’s allegation of the Patriots using players from IR

May 29, 2008

A journeyman player’s look at the NFL from the inside. Ross Tucker played for 5 teams over a 7 year period. He was there long enough to know that players on IR are not allowed to (and did not) practice with the team. Except at the Patriots. The other interesting nugget was a story of how a coach was fired midseason and then returned the favor by giving Jim McNally of the Bills information on defensive formations his offensive line would be seeing that weekend.

The allegations about the Patriots using players on Injured Reserve are pretty strong stuff imo. That essentially allows a team to umbrella more players in its organization without having to necessarily waive them. Another illegal advantage.

You can draw your own conclusions about Spygate, Belichick and breaking the rules in the NFL. The more I read about Spygate, the more I know I do not know. I know other teams in the NFL do nasty things, but then I hear many times how the Giants are one of the classiest organizations in the league. I have to wonder- does that means that the Giants treat their players with respect? do they treat other teams with enough respect not to stoop to this level of play? Why do the Patriots always seem to be the ones with the dirt clinging to their clothes? After a while the coincidences stop being coincidences.

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Spygate and the New England Patriots, Installment 29

April 1, 2008

Spygate continues, and nobody likes that more than the New York Times. They have been at this story when everyone else gave up on it. They do not want it to die. They have enough unanswered questions for it to deserve continued coverage, especially when the owner chimes in on the subject.

What is interesting is that Matt Walsh claims he signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) while under the employment of the New England Patriots. The Patriots do not even bother addressing such an issue. My guess is that (1) Walsh did sign an NDA (2) he does not have a copy anymore (3) New England has a copy (4) it is filed away in some place they do not even know exactly where and (5) this is more than awfully convenient for the Patriots and the NFL. It is obvious that without Specter this would have died a quiet death many moons ago. In fact, it did EXACTLY that! But the pot got stirred up again a few months ago; Specter/Comcast and the media are clearly the only ones who really care about it coming out.

I will never forget that Patriots run. The Patriots proved me dead wrong that season. I kept saying they were going to get unmasked, that other teams would knock them off. Remember, this was the year of the infamous tuck play, where a Brady fumble versus the Raiders was ruled a non-fumble. And of course this was the year where a resurgent Greatest Show on Turf Rams team was two touchdown favorites over the seemingly weaker Patriots. This is how the Belichick Genius Legend began. Until the allegations of cheating, I was always quietly impressed by how they engineered that victory. If it was cheating, it would answer a lot of questions for me. And for many others.

Spygate saga continues

March 10, 2008

The Goodell-Specter-Walsh-Belichick Spygate saga does not go away. The bottomline here is that Matt Walsh is a private citizen with alleged material in a private industry that is dangerous to private parties. So nothing has to happen for everyone to be happy. But Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is not happy with that. He has asked some interesting questions and will not disappear so easily.

The power structure of the NFL (the owners) does not want a black eye at this point, even if it means justice for one or two teams at the expense of an another. Their logic is simple… from a utilitarian viewpoint, further discussion of the matter hurts the NFL. Apparently Goodell had convinced owners (of franchises that could have been harmed by Patriots spying) that even if they were eventually redressed by the results of a deeper investigation, it would harm the NFL so much that redressed teams would not come out winners either. Since Walsh (the alleged videotaper) has requested immunity in order to come forward, Goodell up to this point has not offered that because he has no incentive to proceed any further with the inquiry.

That apparently has changed- a deal to get Walsh to talk seems closer. Goodell is certainly getting pressure. As much as he has tried to make this thing go away, he is likely getting threats with other actions if the investigation does not continue. You can tell in his press release how he words everything to demonstrate that the NFL is not acting passively, at least not anymore. At this point he is trying to prove effort as much as anything else.

Behind Enemy Lines

March 8, 2008

I am up in New Hampshire in Patriots country. There was a death here. A Patriots death! The five stages of grief are anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I can officially report that they have finished with anger and denial. They would still like to arrange some sort of way out of their misery, so they are clearly bargaining. Depression? yep, someone stole their dog and they are still looking. Acceptance? They realize it has happened but are certainly not all the way there.

The death of the Patriots was as sudden and unanticipated as the Giants’ Super Bowl Championship. No one who was rooting for the Patriots saw this coming. NO ONE! Logically, given the tens of thousands of Giants fans who sojourned to Arizona, there certainly were plenty of Giants fans who thought it could happen, even if the odds were long. But I can assure you- there were exactly ZERO Patriots fans who saw this one coming. Acceptance will not be complete until opening day of 2008.

Jerry Reese and Zach Thomas

February 23, 2008

Reese
Zach Thomas
I continue to be impressed by Reese’s professionalism, his perspective, his understanding of the NFL, and his priorities in getting the Giants to where he wants them to be. Actions speak louder than words, but both seem to be fairly consistent and dovetail one another.

What does this have to do with Zach Thomas going to Dallas in a 1 year deal? Everything. I have never seen a 34 year old LB improve a team. In fact the only position which I have seen a 34 year old football player improve his team is in some special situations at Quarterback. When other teams get younger, stronger, FASTER, that is when I get concerned. The Young/Accorsi/Reese structure of staying away from free agents >30 years of age may not work for EVERY situation but it is a reasonable model for enabling competitiveness.