|Mueller report finds ‘no evidence’ NFL received or watched Ray Rice video||01.08.15 at 2:20 pm ET|
Roger Goodell is off the hook, at least for now.
The independent report overseen by former FBI director Robert Mueller III and commissioned by the NFL in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal was released has found the league, including Commissioner Roger Goodell, did not know of the infamous video of Rice striking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in an elevator before its release on TMZ in September.
Further, the report “found no evidence” that anyone in the league office had confirmed receiving the video, as The Associated Press had reported Sept. 7.
The report found, “(Despite) extensive investigation, we have found no evidence that anyone at the League received or viewed the in-elevator video prior to its public release. Likewise, we have found no evidence of a woman at the League acknowledging receipt of that video in a voicemail message left on April 9, 2014.”
So, Ray Rice isn’t playing this weekend but two days before the Ravens play the Patriots his story has reappeared.
|Rodney Harrison on MFB: Reggie Wayne ‘must’ve forgot’ old Patriots teams ‘flat-out kicked their butts’||11.18.14 at 12:30 pm ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots-Colts game and Adrian Peterson‘s suspension. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Last week, prior to the Patriots-Colts matchup, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne called this year’s Patriots secondary the “best complete” he’s faced from a Patriots team in his 14 years in the league. Harrison, a member of the Patriots from 2003-08, strongly disagreed that this year’s team was better than the secondary of the Super Bowl years.
“I thought he was crazy and I texted Ty Law and said I said, ‘Ty, he’s crazy,’ ” Harrison said. “He must’ve forgot what we did in ’03-04 and just flat-out kicked their butts, and it was one of those things — I don’t know if he was trying to take a shot at us or what he was to do, or maybe too many hits upside the head — he probably forgot what happened in ’03-04. But, to say that that secondary is better than our secondary — and at that point it doesn’t even matter. Just go out there and play.”
Wayne finished Sunday’s game with five catches for 91 yards. Harrison liked the Patriots’ game plan against him.
“What a great game plan by [defensive coordinator] Matt Patricia putting Darrelle Revis on him, and Darrelle wasn’t even worried about Reggie Wayne going deep,” Harrison said. “I felt like Reggie Wayne, he works extremely hard, he’s trying to run routes, but because of age and injury he’s just no longer the same player than he once was. He had a great career and he’ll still continue to make plays and he will finish strong, but some things you just have to keep to yourself.”
The Colts came into the game 6-3 and looking to prove themselves as one of the elite teams in the AFC, but Harrison said he knew going in they weren’t up to the challenge.
“The Colts really disappointed me,” he said. “I just felt like this was a good game to gauge if they were ready to get to that next level of upper-echelon teams in the AFC and everyone was talking about their No. 1 offense and I just knew they had a lot of weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball, just like I told Tony Dungy. I just knew they weren’t ready. As good as your quarterback is, you have some weapons offensively — you need a total team effort consistently and they haven’t played consistent football on the defensive side of the field.”
|Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘If you’re not going to give [Tom Brady] an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A’||11.07.14 at 1:28 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Tom Brady‘s grade heading into the bye week and other NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
WEEI.com’s Chris Price graded Brady with a B-minus through Week 9. Schefter said that’s grading the QB very tough.
“I would say an A-minus,” Schefter said. “And I mark him down from the A just because he struggled early on, the Patriots struggled early on, and it wasn’t very Patriot- or Tom Brady-like. But over the last four or five weeks, he’s arguably been the single best player in the entire league, right? They’re sitting there where they are because he’s been so good. So, no he was not perfect and they still have some work to do, but he was mighty impressive over the last month or so.”
Added Schefter: “To me, it’s a case where at the very least he gets a B-plus, probably gets an A-minus. Look, if you’re not going to give him an A-minus, I don’t know who in football deserves an A.”
While Brady has shined of late, the quarterback situation in Cincinnati is more concerning. Andy Dalton was historically bad in the Bengals’ Thursday night loss to the Browns, completing just 10-of-33 passes for 86 yards with three interceptions, two sacks and a passer rating of 2.
“Last night was one of the worst quarterback performances I’ve seen in a long time. I think anyone would agree that it was one of the worst performances they’ve seen in a long time,” Schefter said. “He had lowest completion percentage in Bengals franchise history for a single game. And if you watched it, there was almost never — almost never — any hope that anything was going to go the Bengals’ way. It was, it was, wow, I mean, again, it was a startling performance on a number of levels, not for good reasons.”
|Jonathan Kraft: ‘We are very happy with’ Roger Goodell||10.02.14 at 11:00 pm ET|
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft publicly backed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, saying that “we are very happy with him.”
“Roger’s our commissioner and we are very happy with him,” said Kraft. according to the Associated Press.
Jonathan is the son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and was speaking at a Bloomberg News luncheon in response to questions from a moderator. He did not take questions from reporters.
The commissioner has come under fire recently for his handling of the Ray Rice case. Initially, Rice was suspended for two games following an incident where he was seen dragging his then-fiance Janay Palmer out of a casino elevator.
After a second video surfaced showing Rice striking Palmer, Goodell suspended the running back indefinitely for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Ravens then released him, and Goodell acknowledged he ‘didn’t get it right.’
“I’m paraphrasing,” said Kraft, “but [Goodell] effectively said: ‘At the NFL, we hold ourselves to an extremely high standard, both on and off the field, and in a recent incident of domestic violence I didn’t do a good job, I didn’t get it right, I didn’t hold the league to that very high standard and that one’s on me.’
“[Goodell] realized without having to see the [second] video that domestic violence was a much more serious thing for society in general, but for our league to be setting an extremely strong message on about just how unacceptable it is and he didn’t do it.
“He acknowledged it, and after the video became public, he acknowledged it again.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Adam Schefter on MFB: Kansas City on Monday night ‘a tough spot for the Patriots to step into’||09.25.14 at 1:11 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter checked in with Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Patriots and NFL news. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Patriots have not looked impressive over the first three weeks, but Schefter cautioned pessimistic fans not to get too worried this early in the season.
“I’ll take a 2-1 start every time, with the criticism and questions, because teams evolve as the season goes on. There are peaks and valleys, fits where they go through where teams look better than they had,” he said. “They have not looked particularly strong. I think they’ve looked a little slow on the offensive side of the football so far. They just have not looked like the efficient machine that they’ve been in other years. Now, that’s not to say that they won’t become that starting Monday night in Kansas City, which is a tough place to play. But they just haven’t looked in rhythm. Maybe it stems from the protection that [Tom] Brady has gotten up front. Maybe it stems from a lack of speed and dynamic playmakers on offense. They’ve got good players. [Rob Gronkowski] doesn’t look all the way back to me right now. He looks like he’s laboring just a little bit. That’s just my sense of things.”
Added Schefter: “The offense through the first three games has lacked some of the explosion that we’ve seen in other years. Like I said, it used to operate like a machine. And it might get back to that point starting Monday. It just hasn’t looked as rhythmic and as routine and as easy for the offense as it has in other years. Maybe that starts up front. Maybe they’re holding back something. I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to that. I wish I did.”
The Patriots have a big challenge next on the schedule, as they play the Chiefs in a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium. While the Chiefs are 1-2 and have had issues on the offensive line, they get a big home-field advantage.
“On Monday night, at home, against New England, that place is going to be very loud. Very loud,” Schefter said. “It’s a tough place to play. It’s one of my favorite places in the NFL to watch a game. It’s always been just a great atmosphere, and it will electric on Monday night, and it will be a tough spot for the Patriots to step into.”
|Tedy Bruschi on D&H: ‘Roger Goodell’s integrity has been compromised’||09.22.14 at 3:57 pm ET|
Making his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show, ESPN analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi reiterated his stance that Roger Goodell should be replaced as commissioner of the National Football League. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
“It was just all about me saying what I believed in, what I felt,” Bruschi said regarding his statement on ESPN shortly after Goodell’s Friday press conference, suggesting it was time for a change in the NFL’s commissioner’s office. “Just that I’m proud of the time I spent in the National Football League. I tried to conduct myself during my 13-year career to do the right thing. I still feel part of it, a part of the integrity of the game to how I still conduct myself. My commissioner I want to be that man you can look to and he represents the integrity of our game. He’s got to be the figurehead. He’s got to lead in his image. He’s everything. He represents the players. He represents the owners. And, yes, I do feel he represents the players because he is the face with the shield. Roger Goodell’s integrity has been compromised. Now, has that been proven? There are still investigations. There’s an internal investigation with the NFL. All I’m saying, moving forward I just feel, personally, we need a new face.
“We need a new leader to implement new policies and to have a new image. Because going forward when you look to the NFL and you see the head of the NFL, and it is Roger Goodell, no matter what happens with the investigation, you remember and you wonder. You wonder what he’s saying. Is he telling the truth? Is everyone behind him? And right now there isn’t. Everyone is not behind him and I would like new leadership to lead the league forward.”
Bruschi also touched on his concerns in regards to his former team.
He noted that perhaps the biggest issue facing the Patriots is their play at the center and guards positions on the offensive line. If improvement is made on the line’s interior, Bruschi said, there could be a concern in regards to quarterback Tom Brady‘s ability to stay healthy for an entire season.
“There’s been only limited improvement over the first few weeks, so that’s somewhat discouraging,” he said. “Is there still plenty of time? Yes. But I really worry. I really worry about the health of Tom Brady and the interior offensive line and what they’re doing there. To me, inside-out, it starts at the center position, which is a very valuable position now in the National Football League. It’s getting to be just as valuable as the left tackle, how you have to solidify the center of that pocket and the running game because that’s where all the pressure is going to come from. Especially when you have a pocket passer, which is what Tom is. It’s the quickest track to get to him and it disrupts the running game the most, if you get to get disruption over the center and the left guard and the right guard. Right now, they’re having problems in there.
Bruschi added, “You can have the best coach there is, Dante Scarnecchia can still be there, and you still may have a center and a right guard that struggles because the players on the other side of the ball are just better. I think offensively what they’ll try to do is mask their deficiencies there. How do you have it more that the interior offensive line to have the advantage in terms of protecting your quarterback? You run the ball more. You try and be more physical. You use misdirection. You do play-action pass. Those type of things you have to win on first and second down and keep it manageable on third down because if it ends up second and long or third and long, I as a defensive pass rusher or linebacker we can attack those A-gaps, that’s where it’s going to come. If you have the problems there, coupled with your tackles getting beat like a drum, like they were at times on Sunday, you have some major problems going forward.”
|Current, former players mock Roger Goodell’s press conference||09.19.14 at 5:11 pm ET|
In the wake of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference Friday afternoon, several current and former players took to Twitter to mock the commissioner and his performance. Here’s a sampling of some of their reactions:
I'm too busy to be accountable. #RogerGoodell
— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) September 19, 2014
Now we take you live to Roger Goodell's PR team for comment. pic.twitter.com/4dWzuyg8O4
What Roger just said is the exact same thing that players say when they make a mistake and plead their case
Boo this man… Ã°»
This press conference is pointless
Anyone who thinks this press conference was going to be productive, shame on you. Lol
Judging by the tweets I am happy I studied film & worked through Roger's presser. Not interested in throwing up today!!!!