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Rodney Harrison on MFB: NFL ‘trying to get it right’

09.09.14 at 12:39 pm ET
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NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to talk about the Ray Rice situation and the Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Dolphins. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

“I think everybody could be in agreement that the NFL got it wrong,” Harrison said. “When I saw the video … I was just mind-boggled by what Ray Rice did. And I think the biggest mistake he made was he didn’t admit to it, he didn’t come out and just flat-out say to the NFL and the commissioner, ‘Hey, I punched her.’ Now I don’t know if he said he pushed her or if he was defending himself. But in a situation like that zero tolerance is needed, and there’s no reason why you ever put your hands on a female, point-blank, period.

“I think the Ravens did the right thing. I think the National Football League did the right thing. It’s just one of those things where it makes me a little nervous, it makes me a little unhappy, just very, very disappointed even talking about it.”

Roger Goodell is facing heavy criticism for the league’s initial two-game suspension. Many have speculated his job in his jeopardy, especially if he had viewed the damning video that TMZ released Monday.

“I don’t know [how Goodell comes out of this]. I don’t know right now,” Harrison said. “I think he’s done some really good things with his term in office. I think just like anytime a new person comes in, he’s in charge of the National Football League or a business, there’s a lot of pressure, there’s a lot of expectation. And he hasn’t been the most popular among a lot of the players as well as the fans.

“I dealt with him one-on-one in a couple of situations, and I think he’s still the right man for the job. … It’s one of those situations where you’re not going to always be the most popular because you hold one of the toughest jobs in football, if not the toughest. But it’s one thing he’s learning, and I think he finally got it right. The indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, I think that was something that was needed. I think it sends a message across the league, just like the new domestic policy. And I think it’s one of those things where as a fan you have to look at the league and say at least they’re trying to get it right.”

As for the question of if Goodell or the NFL investigators viewed the video, Harrison said: “It’s just hard for anyone to tell me that the league couldn’t get access to that video. It’s just very hard. I don’t know if they just dropped the ball, didn’t think about it, if they just didn’t want the video. I don’t know what the situation was.

“It’s just one of those things where when you saw the video, it just made you sick.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, ray rice, Rodney Harrison

Ray Rice’s wife blasts media for causing ‘horrible nightmare’

09.09.14 at 10:02 am ET
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The wife of Ray Rice criticized the media after her husband was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely Monday.

After video emerged Monday of Rice knocking out then-fiancee Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February, the running back found himself out of a job.

Janay took to Instagram to defender her husband, writing: I woke up this morning, feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself. No one know the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.

To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happines away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!

Meanwhile, the NFL continued to deny it had a copy of the video, which the Revel Hotel and Casino claims was given to the police.

“Security for Atlantic City casinos is handled by the New Jersey State Police. Any videos related to an ongoing criminal investigation are held in the custody of the state police,” the league said in a statement. “As we said yesterday: We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us.”

Read More: Janay Palmer, ray rice,

Robert Kraft says Roger Goodell ‘had no knowledge’ of Ray Rice video

09.09.14 at 9:48 am ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft defended Roger Goodell, insisting the commissioner had not seen the video of Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator when he made the decision to suspend the Ravens running back for just two games this past offseason.

In an interview on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, Kraft responded to accusations that the NFL had a copy of the video months ago.

“It’s really unfortunate and I know our commissioner has taken some heat. I just want to say that I spoke with him yesterday when this came out, not knowing what was going to happen and knowing I was coming in here, and he didn’t, he had no knowledge of this video,” Kraft said.

“The way he’s handled this situation himself, coming out with the mea culpa in his statement a couple of weeks ago, or 10 days ago, and setting a very clear policy how we conduct ourselves in the NFL, I thought was excellent. Anyone who’s second-guessing that doesn’t know him.”

Do you think NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had previous knowledge of the Ray Rice video?

  • Yes, he had to have seen it earlier (46%, 182 Votes)
  • Surely someone with the NFL watched it, but I can believe that it was kept from Goodell (34%, 134 Votes)
  • No, I believe that he had not seen it, because if he had he would have suspended Rice longer (20%, 79 Votes)

Total Voters: 394

Loading ... Loading ...

Kraft predicted that Rice, who on Monday was released by the Ravens, would have trouble finding another job in the league. He said the Patriots certainly would not consider him.

“I don’t think he’ll play another NFL game,” Kraft said. “I’ll be shocked if some team would pick him up.”

Added Kraft: “I think anyone that witnessed that video yesterday has to be outraged and really disgusted to see someone associated with [the NFL] doing something like that. Anyone who’s a real man doesn’t hit a woman.”

Read More: ray rice, Robert Kraft, roger goodell,

Following the flags: Tracking Patriots penalties for 2014 season

09.09.14 at 8:45 am ET
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Through one game, the Patriots have been flagged for 9 penalties for a total of 100 yards. Here’€™€™s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots this year, not including penalties that were declined or offset:
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Tracking opportunities in Patriots passing game

09.09.14 at 7:30 am ET
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Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat ‘€” a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback ‘€” it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. Here’€™s a look at the target breakdown after one game of the 2014 regular season.

TE Rob Gronkowski: 4 catches on 11 targets
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 5 catches on 10 targets
WR Julian Edelman: 6 catches on 8 targets
RB Shane Vereen: 5 catches on 8 targets
WR Brandon LaFell: 0 catches on 6 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 3 catches on 5 targets
TE Tim Wright: 3 catches on 3 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 2 catches on 2 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 1 catch on 3 targets

Read More: targets,

‘No panic’ for Patriots after season-opening loss to Dolphins

09.09.14 at 6:00 am ET
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The Patriots have turned the page on Sunday's loss and are now focused on Minnesota.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Patriots have turned the page on Sunday’s loss and are now focused on Minnesota. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots locker room was a quiet, empty place late Monday afternoon as the players had just wrapped up their day reviewing the ugly game film from Sunday’€™s 33-20 loss to the Dolphins.

Many of the players walked to their lockers, grabbed their belongings and left without much interaction. The Patriots had not lost a season-opener since 2003, so it was an unusual feeling for the players this early in the season as they went 4-0 during the opening month of last season.

“€œIt’€™s never a happy meeting room after a loss,”€ safety Devin McCourty said. “There’€™s no panic — watch the film, correct what we need to correct and try and move on. It’€™s the first game of the season. We can’€™t let that affect the rest of the season. We still have a lot of football left to be played. We have to keep improving and the focus is to go out there and win on Sunday.”

It was the Patriots’€™ first loss by more than one possession in the regular season since Nov. 7, 2010 when they lost 34-14 to the Browns.

Instead of dwelling on the loss and kicking themselves for their mistakes, the sentiment among all the players was they have already turned the page on Sunday and are now focused on correcting the miscues for Week 2 against Minnesota.

“I think the biggest thing for us this week is going back to square one and focusing on the fundamentals,” said special teams captain Matthew Slater. “I think fundamentally we need to do a number of things better and it wasn’€™t for a lack of effort or anything like that. We just need to go back to the basics and try and improve.”

The team is full of veteran players who have won in the league before and know one loss isn’€™t going to make or break the entire season. Therefore, the confidence level among players hasn’€™t changed after one rough game.

“Confidence is fine,” safety Duron Harmon said. “€œWe know it’€™s a long season and we just need to fix it and keep moving in the right direction.”

Read More: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Matthew Slater, Patriots

Report: Patriots work out 4, including ex-Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas

09.08.14 at 9:42 pm ET
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The Patriots have four players in for workouts on Monday, according to Field Yates of ESPN: running back Daniel Thomas, quarterback Brock Jensen and tight ends Evan Wilson and Brian Wozniak.

Thomas is a 6-foot-1, 235-pounder out of Kansas State who has been in the league for three seasons. The 26-year-old, who was released by the Dolphins in August, had his best season as a rookie in 2011, when he finished the year with 165 carries for 581 yards and 72 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Jensen is a rookie who was initially signed this spring by Miami but later cut loose. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder out of North Dakota State is 23, and last year, he quarterbacked the Bison to a 15-0 record and a third consecutive FCS Championship.

Wilson is another ex-Dolphins who came by South Florida via Illinois. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder had one catch for six yards in the preseason. He had eight catches in his last two seasons at Illinois, and is known primarily as a blocker.

Wozniak is another rookie who was released earlier this summer by the Falcons. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder out of Wisconsin had six catches for 33 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Badgers.

Read More: Brian Wozniak, Brock Jensen, Daniel Thomas, Evan Wilson
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