Thursday, September 13, 2007

NFL Discilpines Belichick and the Patriots [J. Mark English]

The happy go lucky days in the NFL of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been replaced by the disciplinary age of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell and the NFL have come down hard on the New England Patriots. Here is the latest from CBS:

The NFL has fined New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the team a total of $750,000 for videotaping an opponent's signals. The team also has been told to forfeit draft choices.

The Pats were caught videotaping the New York Jets' defensive signals during last Sunday's 38-14 win at the Meadowlands.

CBS 2 HD has learned Belichick was hit with a $500,000 fine by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The team will have to hand over $250,000.

The Patriots will also have to forfeit at least one draft pick in 2008, but that will depend on how they finish this season. If they make the playoffs, they will lose a first-round pick. If they don't make the postseason, they will give up their second-and third-round picks.

Belichick will not be suspended.

Thats not all... Not only did Belichick and his team spy on the Jets, but they have been accused in the past of spying on the Packers last year. Further more, some members of the Philadelphia Eagles that squared off against the Pats in the 2005 Super Bowl, suspect some dirty dealings by the Pats in that game. This comes from ESPN:

Sheldon Brown and the Eagles hoped a blitz would rattle Tom Brady.

One problem: Every time the Eagles rushed Brady in the Super Bowl, the Patriots nullified the defensive attack with screen passes. Lots of them. On almost every play defensive coordinator Jim Johnson called for a blitz, the Patriots used the short pass to confuse the Eagles.

After the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 in 2005 to win the Lombardi Trophy, Brown thought the Patriots beat them with nothing but sharp offensive playcalling. Now, he's not so sure.

With spying accusations leveled this week against the Patriots, some of the Eagles left from the NFC title team are wondering if New England used bootleg film to their advantage in the Super Bowl.

"Do I think about it? Mmm hmmm," said Brown, their starting cornerback. "It's crazy. I just don't know how far back it goes. Something's not right about that."

Comment -

There will be much ado about this whole filming/cheating scandal. But I remember what Wellington Mara once said about the 1986 New York Giants. He said that that team was so good, that they could go into a game and the opponents would know exactly what play they were going to call but it didn't matter. The Giants simply overpowered their opponents. I'm not sure how much of an edge knowing the calls of the other team gives you. But no matter what, the end result is what happens on the field. If you can't throw the ball, catch the pass, make the run on fourth down and inches, or stop the team on defense, then who cares what the call is in the end. The Patriots have won their championships because of what happened on the field, not because of cheap gimmicks.

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