Patriots

Bengals 'not happy' that Patriots' videotaping is being treated 'like a joke'

Bengals 'not happy' that Patriots' videotaping is being treated 'like a joke'

While the Patriots await word of discipline for videotaping the Bengals' sideline this week, the team they're facing Sunday is hoping for a stiff punishment.

Appearing on Pregame Live before the New England-Cincinnati game Sunday, the MMQB's Albert Breer detailed what the Bengals are thinking.

"I will say this — the Bengals are not happy," Breer said. "I know that they've taken offense to people treating this like a joke. And look, there's probably a little bit of an inferiority complex, and I think part of this is, 'You better not give these guys preferential treatment because their owner is Robert Kraft and our owner is Mike Brown.' 

"I think when this thing started to turn into a joke on Tuesday and Wednesday, the coaches who are involved here, their radar went straight up — 'Wait a minute, we don't want to let this narrative get to that point' — so the Bengals, I will tell you, are not happy about the way this was handled. And I think that if the league doesn't come down on the Patriots here, you could see retaliation from Cincinnati."

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On Sunday morning, Jay Glazer aired exclusive footage of what the Patriots shot — and an interaction with an employee from Bengals security. The video shows footage of the Cincinnati sideline — something that's explicitly against NFL rules.

"What's on that video is basically shots of the sideline, where you see the coaches and then it pans out and you see players running on and off the field," said Breer before the video aired on FOX Sports. "This is part of what pro scouts do; they try to pick up on personnel signals so they can see substitution patterns. I've talked to a bunch of pro scouts who said that's exactly what they're doing.

"Now the Patriots' excuse could be — and this would make sense — well, the cameraman, the producer went to our advance scout, asked him what he does, then he goes and says 'OK, this is what this guy does, I'm going to go get video of it.' Totally makes sense.

"The problem is, if you're the New England Patriots, the one piece of equipment that no one under your employ can get caught with is a video camera. There is one thing that you cannot get caught with in this organization, whether you're freelance, whether you're full-time, no matter who you are — is a video camera."

And there's the problem for the Patriots. Having already been disciplined by the league once for illegally videotaping an opponent, another related instance could lead to harsher penalties from the league office. 

Now whether those penalties include fines and/or draft picks? We'll have to wait and see.

Rod Woodson sends powerful message to Robert Kraft about Tom Brady's free agency

Rod Woodson sends powerful message to Robert Kraft about Tom Brady's free agency

Tom Brady's pending free agency is a delicate situation.

The New England Patriots quarterback rightly wants to get paid what he's worth after years of playing at below market value. But the Patriots may not be able to pay Brady what he wants in 2020 and still field a competitive roster around him.

Rod Woodson sees things a bit more cut-and-dry.

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The former Oakland Raiders defensive back and Pro Football Hall of Famer joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertand" on Tuesday and cut right to the chase about how Patriots owner Robert Kraft should approach Brady's free agency.

"I would be shocked -- shocked -- if Robert Kraft said, 'Go ahead Tom, leave,' " Woodson told "Zolak & Bertand" from Radio Row in Miami, as aired on NBC Sports Boston. " ... Robert Kraft: It's your turn. I know Bill has gotten you six trophies. I got that. But you paid for that team. It's your money. You choose what to do with that money.

"And if you let that guy walk, shame on you. Shame on you, because he deserves what he deserves. He's given you a hometown discount his whole freaking career. That guy should be making $30 million every year, minimum. And he doesn't ask for that. Because he wants other players, he wants to win.

"(This is) the one time you can give him what he wants. Give him $30 million. Give him $25 million. You have to give him that one year and say, 'Tom: one year, $30 million, and then off to the sunset.' (Kraft) should do that."

Brady had a cap hit of $21.5 million last season, so the Patriots would have to get creative to shell out $30 million on their 42-year-old quarterback.

But as a former player, Woodson offers good insight into how Brady may make his case to Patriots: pay up, or I'm heading elsewhere. We'd also imagine many current and former players share Woodson's sentiment that Brady deserves to get paid.

Brady, meanwhile, has said he's "open-minded" about his options in free agency. Translation: The ball is in Kraft's court.

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Kyle Shanahan reflects on 28-3 collapse, gifting of Jimmy Garoppolo from Patriots

Kyle Shanahan reflects on 28-3 collapse, gifting of Jimmy Garoppolo from Patriots

MIAMI — The most famous comeback in Super Bowl history — maybe sports history — happened in Super Bowl 51 three seasons ago.

Everyone knows the Patriots role in it. The credit for the tsunami of playmaking on both sides of the ball when all margin for error was spent is shared between dozens of players and coaches.

But when the blame is ladled out, it mostly falls on the shoulders of one man. Former Falcons defensive coordinator and current Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan wasn’t responsible for the ineptitude that led to blockheaded holding penalties, Matt Ryan’s lack of pocket awareness, or the defense’s inability to get off the field. But he was the one calling the shots when his team blew a 28-3 lead. And he was the one who, after Atlanta had reached the Patriots' 23 with four minutes left and a 28-20 lead, dialed up a first-down throw. That throw turned instead into a sack. Then came the hold. Then came an incompletion. Here came the Patriots.  

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I asked Shanahan if Sunday is an opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of that memory.

“Not really,” he said. “I know it comes off that way from a media standpoint, the narrative. I’d like to drive a stake through that if it works out right. But that stuff, as a coach, it was harder for me early in my career.  

“The four years in Washington (as offensive coordinator from 2010 to 2013) helped me a little bit where you start to realize that you can’t worry about what everyone says, you just got to prepare and do as good as you can and not hesitate.

“Sometimes when you worry about being blamed for stuff that’s when you will hesitate and make mistakes. I go through everything. I’m always hard on myself but I try to lay it out there, lay it on the line and not try to play it safe. We’ll see what happens this week but that’s how I treated every game before that Super Bowl, that’s how I treated that Super Bowl and that’s how I’ll treat every game going forward.”

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Even though he was victimized by Bill Belichick — a longtime friend and admirer of Shanahan’s father, Mike — the Patriots head coach went out of his way to be gracious with the younger Shanahan after SB51, calling Shanahan to check in with him after the loss.

“I know him and my dad had a good relationship through the years, I remember when the Broncos beat the Patriots (in the 2005 playoffs), Bill coming into my dad’s locker room and talking to him. I got kicked out, but I remember my dad saying how cool it was, him coming over after they had lost and talk ball with him. He knew he was just a true football guy and loved talking ball any time.

"It was cool how Bill reached out to me after the Super Bowl just to talk and it was cool to spend some time with him at the Combine which I was very appreciative of (Belichick and Shanahan reportedly met “for hours” at the Combine). Any time that guy talks, everyone in the world listens. Especially someone like me who’s aspired to be a coach and tried to do things like he’s done.”

Belichick’s warmth for Shanahan didn’t stop at comforting words. When he was out of options for what to do with prized backup Jimmy Garoppolo, Belichick sent him to Shanahan and the 49ers straightaway in October of 2017. Belichick initiated the transaction with a text to Shanahan requesting the Niners coach call him. That’s when the ask — a second-round pick — was made.

This was a part of Belichick’s statement after he dealt Garoppolo.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jimmy,” he said. “I couldn't ask for him to give us any more than he's given us. The 49ers are getting a good player, and they're getting a good person, and they're getting a great teammate and they're getting a good quarterback. Jimmy is getting a good coach. His career is moving forward. He's a talented individual, was a great person to coach. I met with him weekly and, again, have a tremendous amount of respect for him. As his career moves forward we have to look to our team, both this year and beyond, and that's a consideration we have to make.”

It’s abundantly obvious that sending Garoppolo to a good football home was a priority for Belichick. And he believed Shanahan would provide that.

“Having someone like Bill say something like that is as cool a compliment as I can have so that feels great,” Shanahan said when asked to reflect on Belichick’s comments. “Hopefully that’s true. But I’m very glad he felt that way because I feel very fortunate that we were able to get Jimmy.”