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Tom Brady’s Appeal Set for Tomorrow

By on June 22, 2015 at 9:28am
tom-brady-nfl-super-bowl-xlix-new-england-patriots-press-conference-850x560 Tom Brady will get the chance to have his side of the story heard tomorrow. Photo courtesy fansided.com.

Tom Brady will meet face to face with Roger Goodell on Tuesday in the much anticipated “deflategate” appeal. Brady will be looking to have his four game suspension completely wiped out. Goodell will be the arbitrator and have final say on whether or not Brady’s  case merits a change in his discipline. If he chooses to uphold the punishment, Brady will likely sue the league in Federal Court.

Brady has some science on his side as several organizations have recently come out to debunk the science in the Wells Report, including a lengthy New York Times article.(http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/opinion/deflating-deflategate.html?_r=0)

Brady also has the issue of precedent on his side as no violation of this minor a magnitude has ever been punished so severely. There is also no direct proof that Brady ordered the footballs to be lowered below the league minimum or that he endorsed the practice.

However, Brady will still have to overcome the fact that he refused to turn records of text messages over to investigators and he will have to prove no wrongdoing. If he cannot do this, it is unlikely that Goodell will wipe his entire punishment away, something that would cause the league to lose face and would be a waste of the Wells Report cost, which was reportedly over $5 million.

The decision will have lasting effect on both the NFL and the Patriots. If the suspension is overturned, the entire process in which the NFL investigated the Patriots and Brady will be questioned. Also, Goodell’s handling of all discipline would be questioned also, as this would not be the first time he had a major decision overturned. If the suspension is upheld, the league will be facing a court battle with one of its biggest stars. Needless to say, the fireworks for the NFL are going to come early this summer, and they will begin tomorrow.

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There are some two months left before the start of the new NFL season, and two months left for New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick to prepare for the possibility of playing without Tom Brady.

The team is still awaiting the decision on Brady’s appeal, which could still see his four-game “deflategate” suspension overturned. Continue reading Week 1 Odds Have Pats Picked Over Pittsburgh »

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Former Patriots and Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident earlier this week. The penalty for Spikes is one year probation, a fine, and he has lost his license. The accident occured early on the morning of June 7.

Spikes crashed his Mercedes into another vehicle on route I-495 causing minor injuries to the passengers of that vehicle. When police arrived, Spikes had left the scene and was nowhere to be found. The Patriots released Spikes just over a day after the incident.

Spikes was first with the Patriots from 2010- 2013 before signing with the Bills prior to the 2014 season. He returned to New England in May of 2015, prompting him to say that he “and the hoodie kissed and made up.” The reunion was short, however, as Spikes total time with the Patriots in his second stint was one month. There is no word yet on if any other teams may try to sign Spikes, but right now that prospect seems unlikely.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Flynn, and Tom Brady at OTA's

With the Super Bowl rings now handed out to last year’s championship team, and OTA’s underway, eyes are turning to what kind of squad the Patriots will put on the field this fall. In New England, it seems there are always questions about what kind of team will be assembled. Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick seem to have had no issues parting ways with big names over the years like Wes Welker, and more recently Darelle Revis and Vince Wilfork.

The coaching staff under Belichick are always eager to begin the molding process of players that even avid Patriots followers will not have heard much about. So what questions do we have this year? What will the defense look like without Big Vince Wilfork? Will the secondary recover from loosing arguably the best defensive back in the game? Who will be in the backfield when the season starts? One question that hasn’t needed to be asked in a long time is who will be the starting quarterback? That question now looms ahead as Brady and New England await the decision of his appeal to the findings of, and subsequent suspension from the Wells report, which is now being handled by Rodger Goodell. Continue reading Preparing for Life Without Brady, a Look at Jimmy Garoppolo and Matt Flynn »

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Through the first four games of last season, the Patriots offense was in shambles. Tom Brady was constantly under pressure and the team was struggling to move the ball even against inferior opponents, such as the Raiders and Vikings. The woes culminated in a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The offensive line began to play better in the loss to the Chiefs, thanks to the insertion of Bryan Stork as starting center. The line stabilized and was solid through the rest of the Patriots championship season. That does not mean that the problems went away, however. Brady was sacked four times in a late season game against the Jets and twice in the Divisional Playoff win against the Ravens. The Patriots did a much better job of protecting and getting the ball out quicker as the season wore on, but it was an area that needed to be addressed.

The Patriots drafted Florida State guard (and former Stork teammate) Tre Jackson as well as Georgia Tech guard/center Shaq Mason. Dan Connolly, a mainstay on the Patriots offensive line, has not been re-signed after his play dipped a bit last season and Ryan Wendell has proven to be an adept run blocker but has had inconsistencies in pass protection. Currently, the Patriots would have Wendell, Stork, and Marcus Cannon as their three interior offensive lineman if the season began today. Cannon struggled mightily last season and despite having a full offseason to work at guard, his performance should not be expected to be strong.

Enter Jackson. The 6’4″, 326 pound lineman played 49 games for Florida State in his career there and was a unanimous All-American in 2014. He played both guard and center for the team in his career and could play either guard spot for the Patriots but he played mostly on  the right in college. His could potentially solidify the interior of the line next to Stork, so long as he improves his technique which was lacking at times in college. Dave DeGuglielmo will have the responsibility of improving Jackson’s technique so he can excel at the NFL level.

It is possible that both Jackson and Mason start for the Patriots at points this season, but the better bet is for Jackson. Mason is an excellent run blocker, but he is coming from a Georgia Tech team that rarely passed (203 total attempts in 2014) and his pass blocking skills need work. Jackson could be an immediate starter and contributor. There would be growing pains, as with any rookie, but if Jackson earns a starting nod the Patriots would go a long way in have a stable interior line for the foreseeable future.

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Boston sports frustration

Dear Beloved Boston Sports Fans,

In case you haven’t noticed, the Boston sports teams are all in a state of disarray. The Red Sox are quickly becoming the laughing stock of Major League Baseball with one of the highest payrolls in the league and a collection of underperforming players.

The only bright spot on the team thus far has to be the emergence of left handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Since being called up on May 29th against the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez has posted impressive numbers by going 2-0 with a microscopic 0.44 era and 21 strikeouts.

In probably the most disappointing team of the year, the Boston Bruins have to make some much needed changes this offseason. It started with Peter Chiarelli departing for Edmonton and hiring Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney to General Manager. The team also decided to part ways with Carl Soderberg. Recent trade speculation has been swirling around that defenseman Dougie Hamilton is seeking a deal worth up to $8 million per season, which may be too rich for the Bruins’ taste and a possible trading partner could be no other than Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, as stated by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Even though the Celtics made the playoffs this year, they may have been better off going into the lottery as they are trying to reposition themselves in the draft to get a higher selection. They have four draft choices this year. They are unlikely to keep all of those picks, as they will be looking for trading partners or use a few on European players and stash them overseas for a few years. Even though a man appearing to be LaMarcus Aldridge was spotted at Logan Airport last week, it is likely that he will sign with a team from Texas, according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher. It will be interesting to see what Danny Ainge has up his sleeve this summer, but if they keep to this model, it will be a few years until they can seriously go themselves serious contenders and out of the purgatory which is being mediocre in the NBA.

The Patriots have made a lot more noise off the field than they would have preferred. Star quarterback Tom Brady could potentially miss up to four games and they have released their first three starting cornerbacks in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington respectively. Longtime staple in the defensive line, Vince Wilfork, has moved on to play for the Texans. The Patriots will also have to forfeit a 2016 first round pick and 2017 fourth round pick. The Patriots have to turn to second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to fill the void of Brady’s absence.

In order of fan base confidence, it has to be the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and last and certainly least, the Red Sox. One might feel as though the Bruins and Celtics can be interchangeable based on the number of draft assets that Danny Ainge has to work with and the high volume of question marks surrounding this Bruins team. The two that are not debatable, however, are the Patriots and Red Sox. The Patriots are coming off of a Super Bowl win. Albeit difficult to repeat in the NFL, it anyone can do it, it is Bill Belichick and the Patriots, especially in a weak AFC Conference. As John Breech of CBSSports.com noted, the Patriots have the 11th easiest schedule in the league.

It is tough to look someone in the eye these days and say that you have confidence in these Red Sox. They blew a 7-run lead to the Toronto Blue Jays last night, which is nothing short of an embarrassment. Take into account the clubhouse, especially Wade Miley’s meltdown with John Farrell in Baltimore Thursday night. As a fan, you always want your team to succeed. However, this team doesn’t deserve to win the way they have been playing.

It is an interesting time to be a fan in Boston with a lot more question marks than answers. Hopefully they will be in our favor sooner rather than later.

Sincerely,
John O’Callaghan, an objective Boston Sports Fan

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Ted Wells Meme

Everyone, including its supporters, could find ways to poke holes into the Wells Report. Among its findings was some flawed science which found conclusions the NFL was looking for.

Enter the American Enterprise Institute, was a thorn in the NFL’s side during the Bountygate scandal. At that time, the AEI found that the Saints, whether they had a bounty system or not, were among the teams that inflicted the least amount of opponent injuries over a period of time. Months later, the players’ suspensions were vacated.

The AEI has now weighed in on the Wells Report, and if you’re a Patriots fan, you’ll be happy: Continue reading Group Uses Actual Science to Rip Apart Wells Report »

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