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alittlejazzbird
05-27-2008, 01:18 PM
Opinion: Pats' new scandal is serious business
Some say letting injured players practice more serious than Spygate
OPINION
By Mike Florio
updated 4:18 p.m. ET, Mon., May. 26, 2008

Those who love the New England Patriots continue to squabble with those who don't regarding the implications of Spygate and subsequent follow-up with former team employee Matt Walsh earlier this month. But there's an issue still floating around that can't be ignored, no matter how much the league might prefer to do so.

When Walsh met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he blew the whistle on the Patriots using players on injured reserve during practice. Goodell chose his words carefully at the press conference following the May 13 meeting with Walsh, explaining only that Walsh said "there was a tape at one point in time of a player inappropriately practicing." The question left unanswered is the extent to which the Patriots engaged in such conduct outside the presence of a camera lens, and after Walsh left the team in 2003.

Enter Ross Tucker. The former Patriots offensive lineman has joined the media, and he recently wrote that the Patriots were using injured players in practice as recently as 2005. Tucker also says that none of the other three teams he played for did the same thing.

Goodell has said that he'll investigate Walsh's claims, but that he won't impose further penalty on the Patriots if Walsh's claim is corroborated.

But what if Tucker's claim is corroborated, too? And what if an investigation reveals that the Patriots have been using injured players in practice for most of the Bill Belichick era? Can Goodell really do nothing further to the team at that point, especially since he made it clear last year that the Patriots had a chance to come clean, and that any future evidence of undisclosed cheating would result in harsh sanctions?

As one league source opined to ProFootballTalk.com last week, the use of injured players in practice is more significant than the videotaping of defensive coaching signals. As the source explained it, the tactic allows "injured" players to be stashed on the roster, preventing other teams from claiming them on waivers. It gives the "injured" players an opportunity to develop their skills. It gives the healthy players a break from practice reps.

So, yes, this needs to be investigated. The league office needs to talk to a wide variety of league sources, and the league office needs to also investigate whether other teams are doing or have done the same thing.

It's the element that was missing in Spygate. Faced with unprecedented hand-in-the-cookie-jar evidence of cheating, the league arguably acted rashly against the Patriots, punishing them before asking whether and to what extent other teams do the same or similar things. Before making any hard decisions on punishments if any in response to these new allegations, the league should be more deliberate in its assessment of whether the Patriots' ways are the exception, or the rule.

And the league shouldn't talk only to folks currently employed with NFL teams. The league should interview former coaches and front-office personnel as well, like former Cowboys and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson, who made clear in September that other teams engaged in the same videotaping practices for which Belichick was fined $500,000, and for which the Patriots lost $250,000 and a first-round draft pick.

If the investigation reveals that the Patriots have been using injured players in practice, that the violation is regarded by a consensus of current and former league insiders as a big deal, and that other teams generally weren't doing it, then something needs to happen. What that something is depends on the extent of the proof, the strength of the feelings from others in the league about whether the violation creates an unfair advantage, and the relative dearth of evidence of other teams doing the same thing.

And action needs to be taken even if it means that Patriots fans will go bonkers, or that the Patriots' legacy will be further tarnished, or that Belichick will go public with any and all cheating that he has witnessed or heard about during his three-plus decades in the game. Those interested only in the short-term good of the game might counsel against pushing the issue; the long-term interests of the game, however, require the tough questions to be asked and answered, and fair and appropriate decisions to be made.


URL: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/24830585/

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-27-2008, 01:36 PM
I dont think this will be perceived as worse than taping signals.

Its still a bit disturbing and in line with making MLB Ted Johnson practice with a concussion to the point that he cant remember what he had for lunch today.

I think the Belichek era will always have an unwritten asterix on it .......just like the Sosa-McGwire home run era in baseball.

RoethlisBURGHer
05-27-2008, 01:37 PM
I agree that this is a bigger deal than spygate.

I hope that Goodell & Co. realize that this does not coencide with spygate and is a different offense that deserves it's own punishment.

Dino 6 Rings
05-27-2008, 02:36 PM
not saying its true. but, if you get away with one type of cheating or doing something illegal, very rarely do you stop there. People who lie always tell bigger lies, people who cheat always look for other ways to cheat. Doesn't surprise me if it comes to light that they in fact did break the rules in regards to practicing players they shouldn't have. It would just be another thing they were caught doing that was against the rules.

paw-n-maul-u
05-27-2008, 02:46 PM
It makes me absolutely furious that the pats get away with the bullshit that they do. AND that Roger G is such a stupidddddddddd mother f*cker.

Every single one of these tapes should be available to watch, I dont give a shit where. NFL. com ... put them on a special website ... hell, even put them on youtube (I know they'd be there anyways if they got released)

Everyone should be able to make their own decisions. People should be able to watch the practices taped, and the hand signals recorded, THEN go back, watch the games, watch the quarterback audibles ... watch the defensive hand singles, and see if there is any correlation.

If there is any, strip those SOB's of everything. Asterisk everything. Because that is what they are ... fuggin cheaters.

MACH1
05-27-2008, 02:55 PM
I'm getting the feeling this is just the tip of the ice burgh with what their getting away with. We all know how great of a coach belicheat*** was in cleavland. And over night he gets to the sb with the cheats***?

Godell's not going to do a thing unless he's somehow pressured into it.

memphissteelergirl
05-27-2008, 02:59 PM
Godell's not going to do a thing unless he's somehow pressured into it.

Sad but true...and even if he does anything it will only amount to a little smack on the wrist.
I actually think Bellichucklehead likes it. :sissies:

Galax Steeler
05-27-2008, 03:06 PM
There will not be nothing done to them godell is just as crooked as belicheat.

lilyoder6
05-27-2008, 03:21 PM
it is sad that they are doing this

RoethlisBURGHer
05-27-2008, 03:44 PM
I'm getting the feeling this is just the tip of the ice burgh with what their getting away with. We all know how great of a coach belicheat*** was in cleavland. And over night he gets to the sb with the cheats***?

Godell's not going to do a thing unless he's somehow pressured into it.

That's for sure.

In Cleveland, he couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper bag.

Then all of a sudden in New England he becomes one of the greatest head football coaches of all time?

TackleMeBen
05-27-2008, 04:02 PM
Sad but true...and even if he does anything it will only amount to a little smack on the wrist.
I actually think Bellichucklehead likes it. :sissies:
they dont call him porno bill for nothing:chuckle:.