|03.24.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
Pretty much covered it with the title, but we had a ton of e-mails on Tuesday about what the new rules changes for overtime mean. So thanks to our man Berger from the Dale and Holley show, here’s a complete PDF document — direct from the NFL offices — that details all the rules changes involving overtime that were recently passed by the owners.
|03.24.10 at 3:21 pm ET|
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, SI.com and NBC chimed in with Dale & Holley on Wednesday to discuss some of the offseason issues in the NFL. With the implementation of new overtime rules, which reportedly upset many coaches, King said Roger Goodell and the owners pulled together to pass this new rule to prove a point to the players
“It was also a good example that these owners want to show that they were a united front and going into the negotiations with the players that 28 of them didn’t agree with this deal still voted for it,” he said. “I believe there was a message that was sent yesterday by the NFL and by Roger Goodell.”
King also talked about a more open communication from the Patriots, the Ben Roethlisberger alleged sexual assault case and gave us an update on everyone’s favorite draft pick Tim Tebow.
To read the interview look below, but to listen click here.
How mad were the coaches about the new overtime rules?
Mad. I just posted a story on SI.com about an hour ago, of Sean Payton ripping not only the decision by the owners, but how it was implemented. He told me that, “I hate it. They snuck it through the back door on us. They know we didn’t want it.” He said, “I was with seven coaches at the time of the vote on the golf course and including me we were all eight no votes.” So they are upset. I sort of ended my story by saying in essence welcome to the world: owners own and coaches coach. This was a great example of that. It was also a good example that these owners want to show that they were a united front and going into the negotiations with the players that 28 of them didn’t agree with this deal still voted for it. I believe there was a message that was sent yesterday by the NFL and by Roger Goodell to the players that basically said that, “This isn’t just about this rule, this is about us showing the fact that we are behind our commissioner and we are going to remain that way in negotiations with players.”
|03.24.10 at 8:32 am ET|
The Patriots have officially signed tight end Alge Crumpler, according to multiple outlets. The 32-year-old veteran, who had agreed on a deal earlier this month, has played for both Atlanta and Tennessee. Crumpler was known as a pass-catcher earlier in his career, but has become more of a blocker the last two seasons with the Titans. With Tennessee, he had 51 catches for 479 yards, including 27 receptions for a career-low 222 yards and one touchdown in 2009. New England lost its two tight ends — Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker — earlier in the offseason, as Watson departed in free agency and Baker was released. The team has yet to officially announce the move.
|03.23.10 at 11:39 pm ET|
The contract troubles that have bubbled up this week between the Patriots and left guard Logan Mankins caused me to go back and take a good look at Mankins’ performance since arriving in Foxboro in 2005.
I’ve always been unapologetic in my feelings about Mankins — at the end of the 2009 season, I ranked him as the sixth most-important player on the active roster. But what I found simply reminded me that Mankins remains an underappreciated bedrock along the New England offensive line.
Since he first arrived in 2005, Mankins has been as regular a part of the football landscape in Foxboro as pregame traffic on Route 1. The quiet left guard out of Fresno State has started every game since his rookie season — a streak of 80 consecutive regular-season starts. That durability is impressive in and of itself, but with the help of Pro Football Focus, a closer look at the numbers reveals the true grit Mankins has displayed, especially this past season.
While he’s been able to go wire-to-wire the last five years, 2009 was particularly impressive. Last year, Mankins not only started every game, but according to Pro Football Focus (which ranked him as the best left guard in the AFC East), he was involved in every single offensive snap until the regular-season finale against Houston, when he took nine snaps off. Slacker. He’s become so reliable that it’s now news when Mankins misses a practice, and his durability has been recognized with two trips to the Pro Bowl.
But it’s tough to measure just how good an offensive lineman really is. Outside of sacks allowed — and even that’s a wildly imperfect stat — there remains no significant way to measure how good an offensive lineman really is. One way to gauge one offensive lineman’s ability is to ask another one: Joe Andruzzi — who preceded Mankins as the left guard along New England’s offensive line — considers Mankins “one of the top linemen in the league.”
|03.23.10 at 11:31 pm ET|
WEEI.com isn’t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.
Last week, WEEI.com’s weekly mock draft saw an enormous shakeup in the Top 5. While those picks remain locked in place this week, 10 players are going in different spots this week, including what should be the Patriots’ dream coming true with the 22nd pick.
1. St. Louis (1-15) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma How has an Advent calendar for draft buffs not been made for Bradford’s Pro Day? Either way, when Bradford shows off his arm on March 29 for the first time since October, his status as the potential top pick should be much clearer.
2. Detroit (2-14) Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State The Lions have already begun to address their defensive line this offseason, and while adding a Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy would be a tremendous step, the Lions’ priority should be finding a way to make Matthew Stafford’s job as manageable as it could possibly be. One scenario worth considering for Detroit would be to ship its first and second picks to the 49ers for picks No. 13 and 17, which would allow them to grab an offensive lineman and an elite skill-position player such as C.J. Spiller or Dez Bryant.
3. Tampa Bay (3-13) Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma Buccaneers’ fans miss the glory days of Warren Sapp. Even if Suh is available to them, the quicker McCoy might be more attractive to the Bucs, who would plug him in as a starter from the get-go. The Bucs missed on their last Top 5 defensive lineman (the late Gaines Adams in 2007), but McCoy’s marketability alone makes him a no-brainer for a team that lacks an identity.
4. Washington (4-12) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska There is no better scenario that could play out for the Redskins. Quarterback is still an option depending on whether Mike Shanahan wants Jason Campbell for the long haul, but after the release of Cornelius Griffen, there’s likely nobody the Redskins would rather bring in at this spot. Even with the team switching to the 3-4, Suh would be a good fit at end, which would help to make up for the money paid to Albert Haynesworth to play an unnatural position for him in nose tackle.
5. Kansas City (4-12) Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa Much like the Lions with Bradford, the Chiefs are committed to Matt Cassel as their franchise quarterback. And there is no better way to give him more confidence following a mediocre debut in Kansas City than by solidifying the offensive line. Eric Berry is also an option here.
|03.23.10 at 3:25 pm ET|
NFL owners voted 28-4 on Tuesday afternoon to change the league’s rules regarding overtime. Under the new proposal, the team that loses the coin toss at the start of OT would still get a possession — unless a touchdown is scored on the first possession of overtime. The sudden-death format would resume thereafter. For 2010, this rule change will only apply to playoff games. However, the league may amend the rules again during its next series of scheduled meetings in May.
According to several reports, the four teams who voted against the plan were the Bills, Vikings, Ravens and Bengals.
The Patriots were one of the teams that voted in favor of the plan, even though coach Bill Belichick has publicly voiced his displeasure with the proposed new format — as well as the current one. In an interview with ESPN.com earlier this week. Belichick said he likes “the rules of the game as they are in regulation,” which would extend to a timed overtime period, something he advocated in a 2007 interview in The Boston Globe. “I think that’s the way it should be in overtime, but that’s not the way it is,” Belichick said of the timed format. “So whatever it is, it is.”
|03.23.10 at 12:23 pm ET|
Quarterback Tom Brady has reported for offseason workouts at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots confirmed Tuesday.
While his absence through the early stages of the offseason workouts raised some eyebrows, Brady’s appearance Tuesday morning wasn’t a surprise. Owner Robert Kraft told the media at the NFL meetings on Monday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if before these meetings are over [Wednesday], he wasn’t at the offseason workouts.”
Brady had been spotted working out in Southern California last week, but his teammates didn’t seem too worried he wasn’t at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s the offseason right now — everyone has different schedules,” wide receiver David Patten said earlier this month when asked about Patten’s absence. “I’m quite sure when he’s in, he’ll get his receivers together, because what I remember from that time, he was big on putting the time in during the offseason, so I’m quite sure when he gets in, he’ll get us all on the same page and we’ll all be together.”
NESN.com’s Jeff Howe first reported Brady’s arrival on Tuesday.
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