NFL: Houston Texans-Training Camp

The NFL announced yesterday that the Houston Texans will be on this season’s version on Hard Knocks. Hard Knocks is an HBO series that chronicles an NFL team through training camp each season. The series focuses on all aspects of an NFL team coming together, from roster cuts to preseason games to the first day of training camp.

The Texans being on Hard Knocks will have a bit of a New England flavor to it as defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, head coach Bill O’Brien, and quarterback Ryan Mallett all reside in Houston. Romeo Crennel, the three time Super Bowl champion as New England’s defensive coordinator, will also be on the show, he serves the same position with Houston.

Patriots fans will get their first glimpse of Wilfork in another uniform and get to see if one of Tom Brady’s former backups, Mallett, can win the starting job. O’Brien should also be interesting to watch as many former Bill Belichick coordinators have failed as head coaches in the NFL. Considering the Patriots will likely never be featured on the show, this will give fans a chance to see some semblance of how a Patriots camp might look from the inside.

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The Associated Press has reported that Tom Brady’s appeal of his four game suspension will not be heard for Wednesday. Wednesday is the 10 day deadline for both sides to set a date for an appeal, the appeal does not have t be heard in that window. The date can be pushed back if both sides mutually agree to do so.

The delay most likely has to do with two factors in the appeal process. The first is Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy’s appeal for his 10 game ban on May 28 due to domestic violence. The league and players association will get Hardy’s hearing done before moving to Brady’s. Continue reading Tom Brady Appeal Won’t Be Heard Before Wednesday »

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nfl-owners-meetings

When Robert Kraft strolled to the podium at the NFL Owners’ meetings on Tuesday, one could expect just about anything. Since the “Deflategate” controversy and league penalties, one of the league’s most powerful owners was at odds with the offices on Park Avenue in New York.

Given his harsh statements toward the league prior to Super Bowl XLIX and his statements both after the league sanctions and to Peter King over the weekend,  he was viewed as an owner that would not only appeal the penalties, but possibly (although unlikely) go all the way to court.

Instead, Kraft did a 180 and announced that the team would accept the NFL penalties “reluctantly.” These penalties include the loss of a first and fourth round draft pick as well as a $1 million fine. Quarterback Tom Brady is still going ahead with his appeal of a four game ban.

Kraft said in part: ““I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he (Roger Goodell) has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric, and we won’t appeal.’’

A league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Kraft and Goodell had met prior to this press conference and even hugged. Many believe that Kraft offered to accept the team penalties in exchange for a lessening or eliminating of Brady’s suspension. So far, nothing has changed on the Brady front.

The reaction among fans was mixed. Some felt Kraft was doing the right thing by accepting the penalties and trying to move on. Others felt he was turning his back on his team for the good of his fellow owners and profits. Still more were puzzled at why an owner who had insisted on innocence was now accepting some measure of guilt by taking the penalties.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Kraft still may feel his team is innocent, but that he would not win the appeal fight. If he was able to cut a deal and get Brady on the field for week one, then it is understandable. If not, then it is tough to justify spending so much time publicly fighting something to then just change course unless Kraft either knows members of his organization are guilty or he didn’t have the support of other owner’s in his fight.

One has to wonder also how Bill Belichick feels about all this. His press conference the Saturday after the allegations broke was the strongest public defense any member of the organization has done. He is also someone who highly values draft picks and has now lost two of them. And it is safe to say he would have been able to get the Patriots to play well without Brady in the first two or four weeks of the upcoming season. Now it seems all his efforts to prove his operation’s innocence has been for not.

The next crucial date in this saga will be Brady’s appeal. If the four games hold up, then Kraft’s acceptance is not only a loss for New England, but likely to ruffle the feathers of his two most important employees, Belichick and Brady. If the suspension is reduced, then Kraft will be praised for putting Brady above himself. Until then, it is likely we won’t hear anything from either side.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell smiles during a news conference after the NFL owners meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, in Irving, Texas. Goodell said he "fundamentally disagrees" with former league boss Paul Tagliabue's decision not to discipline players in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Roger Goodell will be the person who hears the much anticipated Tom Brady suspension appeal. Goodell, who has the power to appoint himself or someone else to hear appeals has chosen to hear the case himself.

At the hearing, Tom Brady and the NFLPA with newly hired lawyer Jeffrey Kessler will get the opportunity to present their case as to why they believe his suspension is unjust. After hearing the evidence, Goodell can decide to uphold or reduce Brady’s suspension. Continue reading Roger Goodell To Hear Tom Brady’s Appeal »

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Evil Tom Brady

The NFLPA has filed the appeal of Tom Brady’s ridiculous four-game suspension.

Good luck, Roger. You’re going to need it.

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A.J. Feeley

Just like we saw with Spygate nearly eight years ago, accusations of cheating are starting to swirl around the Patriots again with the Deflategate scandal catching headlines.

Appearing on 97.5 FM in Philadelphia, former Dolphins (and Eagles) quarterback A.J. Feeley accused Tom Brady and the Patriots of using illegal footballs in their 2004 Super Bowl season.

Feeley said the Patriots were using old, worn-in footballs during a game against the Dolphins that season. Continue reading Tom Brady, Patriots Used Illegal Footballs in 2004, A.J. Feeley Says »

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In a rather stunning announcement early Monday evening, the NFL levied some of the most severe punishments a team has ever faced against the New England Patriots in the aftermath of the Wells Report. The team was fined $1 million, the most a team has ever been fined, as well as being docked a 2016 first round draft pick and a 2017 fourth round draft pick.

The biggest news though was the four-game suspension of future Hall of Fame quarterback and four time Super Bowl winner Tom  Brady. Pending an appeal, Brady will miss the Patriots first four games plus the team’s week four bye week. He will be allowed to participate in off-season activities and training camp, but once the season begins he will not be allowed at the Patriots facility. Continue reading On #Deflategate, The Patriots Were Wrong, But Now The NFL Is Too »

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