Game week. Thank goodness.

After a weekend where New England witnessed more transactions than Ted Wells’ credit card at a Village People costume convention, the team seems to have more or less settled on their 53 for the 2015 season opener. You can check out a current depth chart on Patriots.com.

Some thoughts on who’s around, and why, below.

Every Silver Lining’s Got A Touch Of GreyWow. Let’s consider Jonas Gray’s meteoric Patriots career for a second or two. In 2014, he had 33 rushing attempts leading up to his breakout game at Indianapolis, where he carried the ball 37 times for 201 yards (5.4 avg) and four touchdowns. The next week, after he slept late, New England signed LaGarrette Blount. Gray had 20 carries for the rest of the season (not including his lone tote vs. the Colts in the playoffs, for four yards). What a weird, difficult turnaround, especially considering Blount’s suspension for Thursday’s game.

Looks like the Pats feel content with James White, Dion Lewis, and Brandon Bolden, who have shined during the preseason. Not bad to have Tavaris Cadet aboard as well, as he can catch the ball out of the backfield or the slot.

In terms of personnel, perhaps the rushing game was most affected by…

Between The Develin The Deep Blue Sea: Some difficult decisions left in the wake of fullback James Develin’s season-ending leg injury.

Develin (6-3, 255 pounds), a former defensive lineman at Brown, makes us hearken back to the traditional New England fullback days of Marc Edwards. Edwards (6-0, 245) played in all 32 games in his two years in Foxboro (2001-2002), carrying the ball 82 times for 237 yards and catching 48 passes for 362 yards. More importantly, he blocked for Antowain Smith, who averaged 1,000 yards per season in those two years. After Edwards left, the Pats signed Fred McCrary, who got hurt during the 2003 season.

McCrary’s injury may have led Coach Bill Belichick to believe that he could survive without a traditional fullback, as the next year Corey Dillon ran for 1,635 yards (4.7 avg) with none other than 217-pound Patrick Pass taking on lead-blocking duties. In ensuing years, defensive ends like Richard Seymour, offensive linemen like Dan Connolly, and linebackers like Junior Seau would take turns as backfield blockers. It’s a testament to how much Belichick appreciated Develin that he revisited the role 10 years later. Now, maybe the tight ends will take some reps in the backfield.

Get well soon, Develin. In the meantime, we’ll watch this run against the Texans.

Safety Dance: Ah, a reference to the days when music really meant something. In any case, maybe we shouldn’t feel surprised at the Patriots holding on to six safeties. It seems like they have been looking for larger, run-supporting defensive backs. They did, after all, draft linebacker/safety hybrid Matthew Wells in the sixth round (then traded him to the Bears for lineman Ryan Groy). They also brought on undrafted rookie safety Brandon King (before cutting him Saturday). It seems they’ve gotten newfound appreciation for Tavon Wilson’s abilities recently. Now in his fourth year, Wilson had 15 tackles in four preseason games and showed consistent field awareness that he seemed to lack in his first two seasons.

New England added rookie Jordan Richards and still have Devin McCourty, their best overall defensive back. Safety doesn’t look like it will be a problem.

Logan’s Run: Well, despite our uncertainties stated in a previous post, it looks like Logan Ryan will continue his career in Foxboro. Not that he’s bad; he’s just inconsistent. After cutting Robert McClain – not a huge surprise after a disappointing performance in the fourth preseason game – New England’s down to four cornerbacks. (As of Sunday, Daxton Swanson had made the practice squad). Look for the Patriots to address this position via free agency over the next week; or, possibly, over the course of the season.

Move … Get Out The Way, Get Out The Way: After letting go of Tim Wright, it looks like the Patriots weren’t looking to hold onto the “move” tight end position this season. We had some hope for rookie Jimmay Mundine, but he got waived before final cutdowns. New England traded for Asante Cleveland, who ended up on the practice squad. Cleveland looks like a decent pass-catcher; his blocking, however, has seemed ineffective (we’ve nicknamed him SPF Zero). Plenty of moves to come over the course of the season, but gaining a smaller, quicker tight end doesn’t seem to make the list.

The Aaron Of The Grievances: Time for receiver Aaron Dobson to step up and become the player the Foxboro front office hoped they’d get in 2013’s second round. Maybe Dobson can still contribute – he did have 37 catches his rookie year. Heaven knows the Pats could use the help, but additions haven’t come easily in the wake of Brandon LaFell’s injury. Reggie Wayne felt about as comfortable here as a Colt quarterback during the playoffs. Josh Boyce can now add his name to receiving draftees who never fully fit in Foxboro. It’s not just about learning the offense, it’s about learning how Tom Brady wants you to learn the offense. That familiarity and comfort had to be the main reasons for the return of current practice squad receiver (and past Patriots hero – Unicorns! Show ponies!) Kenbrell Thompkins.

Speaking of undrafted rookies who figure it out, how about this Chris Harper kid? Fifteen receptions for 150 yards and a TD over four preseason games, showing precise routes and consistent hands. He also returned punts. You can’t predict a career over the preseason, but he seems like the multi-faceted type of player who has the potential to stick.

So, what’s the secret? What makes guys like Harper seem smooth after a few months, while Boyce has a three-year rough patch? Why Kent State’s Julian Edelman in the seventh over Florida’s Chad Jackson in the second? If you figure it out, tell me. And only me. And together, we shall be rich.

The Rufus, The Rufus, The Rufus On Fire, We Don’t Need No Water (Etc.): Well, congratulations to Rufus Johnson, a 2013 pick of the Saints who flashed enough to warrant making the opening day roster. He deserves extra kudos considering the pass-rushing position at Gillette got as crowded as the pro shop during a Goodell Dartboard giveaway. The Tarleton State alum adds more youth along with rookies Trey Flowers and Geneo Grissom. The numbers bumped seventh-rounder Xzavier Dickson off the roster, which disappointed us because we kinda-sorta predicted the Pats would draft him (see: “Alabama Guy”). Glad that he made it to the practice squad.

This season, New England has added Jabaal Sheard and the above youngsters to their pass-rushing crew. Could get interesting in opponents’ backfields.

The Ghost Is The Machine: Just a little reminder that kicker Stephen Gostkowski has remained awesome. That’s it.

Enjoy your Thursday, people. Should be a banner night.

Chris Warner can be tweeted: @cwarn89

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81 thoughts on “Pats Roster Review, Week One

  1. Chris,

    We’re far from done.

    Looks like ESPN has a piece in their little magazine and will be on OTL today:

    In fact, many former New England coaches and employees insist that the taping of signals wasn’t even the most effective cheating method the Patriots deployed in that era. Several of them acknowledge that during pregame warm-ups, a low-level Patriots employee would sneak into the visiting locker room and steal the play sheet, listing the first 20 or so scripted calls for the opposing team’s offense.

    It’s long and there’s a lot more.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/13533995/split-nfl-new-england-patriots-apart

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  2. ESPN is rounding up a posse to try and take down the Patriots yet still. This is getting ridiculous. M and M are going full bore with spygate article from the magazine.

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  3. I know it has been lost in the Berman decision and now this 13-year-old “breaking news” expose on OTL, but Shaughnessy is going to get away with either:
    – Making up two anonymous sources for a column (which is kind of a Globe tradition); or
    – Saying nothing when his column is edited of a key point that makes his ultimate boss look a lot less bad.
    Neither scenario shows any journalistic integrity.

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  4. If the NFL won the court case this NEVER sees the light of day. Or if it does, it’s heavily edited and maybe is like 3-5 minutes long. Hell, it might be an article in the magazine and not on TV at all. Absolutely certain they had two versions of this story ready to go.

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        1. Completely coincidental! There’s no way this smacks of a concerted league effort to get its message out in the wake of its abject failure in court! Also, buy this bridge!

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  5. Funny how they never quote or mention Jimmy Johnson, Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, Dick Vermeil, et al. You know, the Super Bowl-winning coaches who publicly admitted to doing similar, and in some cases the same thing(s) the Pats were doing. Vermeil, in fact, went one better and said he had “seen a lot worse things” in his 20+ years in the NFL. Kraft has to do something. He at least has to threaten legal action (and yes, I know any such case, from a legal standpoint, is virtually unwinnable–but a threat might bring some of those morons in Bristol to heel, at least for a little while). This b.s. has to stop.

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    1. Goodell may have committed fraud, or something similar, but an 8 year old story about the Pats with little new news is the big headliner. Makes sense to me.

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  6. I just wanted to note that Chris has had terrible luck with posting his (very good) player analyses at precisely the same time as some Deflategate discussion issue, thereby causing the comments to be totally hijacked. Sorry, Chris. You’re still doing good work, even though we’re not actually talking about it….

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    1. And on a relevant note…. does anyone know if Xzavier Dickson is actually on the practice squad or not? The Pats release said he was, but then Jeff Howe said he was released in favor of Cameron Fleming.

      I don’t really truly care, other than I love the name “Xzavier” and want him to be in the NFL.

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      1. Last I heard was the Fleming in, Dickson out story, but I’m not sure if that’s official. I actually would rather see them keep Dickson and move on from someone else. Tremendous athlete. A project, for sure, but worth having a look at him for a year IMO. You can never have enough edge rushers in today’s NFL.

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    2. Chris wrote a player analysis. Sorry Chris…I missed it…I was too busy reading Dave’s snarky media comments.

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  7. People say Patriots fans are paranoid, and maybe to some
    extent we are, but honestly days after the NFL takes it on the chin in a major
    federal court decision, arguably the two biggest names in sports “journalism” have reports out that are about how the Patriots are cheaters. And here’s the kicker
    to me, none of it is new information. It’s all innuendo and anonymous sources. This wreaks of the NFL getting back at
    the Patriots. Total hatchet job. What did Boomer Esiason say about the league,
    if people really new how petty people in the league are…

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    1. What infuriates me is that apparently the ESPN hit piece quotes “former Patriots coaches and players”; but, of course, none of them are named. Who the hell are they? If one of them is Mangini, then that’s a completely illegitimate source. Is one of the players a guy BB pissed off at some point (Bledsoe? Law?). Who are they? I think we have a right to know if these guys who allegedly worked and played in Foxboro are actually out there confirming what a bunch of cheating cheaters the evil Cheatriots have always been. Hiding behind anonymous sources when you’re trying to smear and destroy an entire NFL franchise is cowardly, to say the least.

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      1. I have long held that anonymous sources should only be protected in cases of government corruption, or something in the best interest of the general public. Sports are entertainment. There should be zero anonymous sources in entertainment. If someone won’t put their name on it, you can’t print it.

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        1. I am glad you not only have long held this but that you chose to inform us of that fact. Had just stated your opinion I would have assumed you just came up with it over lunch.

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        1. Pees would make a lot of sense. I don’t think his parting with BB was amicable, especially since he went ahead and originally took a lesser position with the Ravens before he became their DC. Yes, the Ravens, no doubt one of the organizations (Biscotti) who have Goodell’s ear and who think the Patriots cheat, even when they follow the rules (“NOBODY has ever seen those ‘deceptive’ formations before” — John Harbaugh).

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    1. This is the academia equivalent of a lawyer who listens to the police scanner to find personal injury clients.

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    2. In all my reading/study of Watergate, I never until now realized that Woodward and Bernstein actually just regurgitated already-known facts and combined it with a lot of anonymous comments about how Nixon was a dick. Boy, that “All The President’s Men” film got it all wrong!!!

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      1. There IS a Watergate story here, but it’s Goodell who’s Nixon. The story of the NFL trying to take down the Patriots, aided and abetted by media lackeys, will make one hell of a book. If anyone has the stones to write it, that is.

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          1. I would love to read BB’s book, if he ever writes one, but what I really want is someone(s) to go Woodward/Bernstein on the NFL. I want the real Deflategate story – how it went down in the NFL offices, and who were the Erlichmans and Haldemans. It will take serious digging by someone with connections, and no ties to the Patriots. Is there anyone capable of pulling that off?

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    3. So Rich Hanley is in charge of teaching journalism to young minds but he is not thorough enough to read all the deflate gate documents, understand what really happened at spygate and it appears think independently. Scratch Quinnipac off the list of “academic” institutions that my daughter is now not applying to…not that she was considering it anyway.

      I really wonder if people understand what it takes to win a 3 point game and how little these “perceived” advantages really come into play.

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  8. Pretty sure ESPN had this Spygate article teed up and ready to go on Tue or Wed after the AFC title game. What better a tradition during the run up to a Patriots Super Bowl than another rehashing of this silly story? Happened in 2007 and 2011. Then Ballghazi happened.

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    1. No — I bet it was teed up and ready to be Roger’s “SHOWER ME WITH ACCOLADES, FOR I HAST SLAIN THE DRAGON” victory lap after the courts upheld the suspension. But, of course, NFL ineptitude got in the way. And no sense in wasting good fan service….

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  9. So, let’s think about this for a moment. Is this how it’s going to be all season? Is this the type of b.s. that the once-again defeated in court and butt-hurt NFL, through its media conduits, is going to put out there every week so that BB’s pressers will be filled with questions about the latest accusation and not about football? If so, it accomplishes one of two things: 1) BB will stay on message and tell the Breer’s of the world that he’s not going to discuss anything but this week’s opponent. Those clips, of course, will be shown on TV every night and will be accompanied by chortles like, “Well, he didn’t deny the accusation, did he?” Or, 2) It will serve to distract the coaching staff and the organization from properly preparing the team for games (unlikely, since they went 16-0 the last time a league/ESPN-driven sh*tstorm engulfed them during the regular season, and they won the Super Bowl last year despite two weeks of Deflategate media hysteria). I’d say the NFL and ESPN should be ashamed of themselves for doing this, but then again……..you have to be able to feel shame in order to be ashamed. Also, who’s happier today than Greggggggggggggg Easterbrook? He was trying to tell everyone, all along, during the 2007 season that the NFL was “hiding something” from the public about Spygate by destroying those tapes. Now his employer has, in his mind, validated his personal Quixote-like pursuit of the story 8 years ago.

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    1. Yes it will be. It has been for years and won’t stop until Belichick, Brady, and everyone who have been part of this run are gone. The Lawyer Milloy 31-0 “they hate their coach” game was 12 years ago and the nonsense has yet to stop.

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      1. You really have to wonder, at this point, if the goal is to so piss off and frustrate BB that he just decides to call it quits within the next couple of years, rather than put up with the constant stream of b.s. accusations and the heavy panting of the media morons in the wake of said accusations. I think we can all agree that if BB leaves Foxboro, the anti-Patriots climate in the media and on Park Avenue will cool considerably. That, in the end, has to be the underlying agenda driving all of this madness, doesn’t it?

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        1. I have always thought so and was confirmed after Ballghazi began and most of the hysterical commentary focused on urging Kraft, “if he had any integrity” to fire Belichick. Hopefully he is not going to retire soon, and thus spite Goodell and the NFL, but I think it will happen sooner than anyone thinks and he will not move up to the front office.

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        2. Since most outside distractions don’t seem to phase Belichick (and, to boot, he is astute enough to use them to motivate his team) I don’t think all this noise will have an effect on the timing of his retirement. He’ll step down on his terms, unless Kraft goes even softer and succumbs to the league pressure. I’m just hoping it happens in the next decade so my 8-year-old son can play lacrosse for him at Wesleyan.

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      1. Nah…see mine and SJC’s posts below…..when BB finally decides he’s had enough of this b.s. and retires, it will all end. He’s still the Great White Whale in all this, and the league office/the media are a couple of Captain Ahab’s.

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  10. When “Bountygate” happened, I didn’t pay too much attention, but when Scott Fujita was named as one of the offenders, I took notice. I knew something of Fujita, that he was not only a good player, but a good person. My BS meter kicked on, and from that point I thought the NFL was full of it.

    Now Tom Brady, a guy who worked his way to the top, never had anything handed to him, reportedly a decent, kind person, gives time/treasure to charity, good family man, no stains on his character, is being called a liar, a cheater, a prima dona, a selfish *****. On zero evidence. Because of a smear campaign orchestrated by an NFL office filled with petty, vindictive, stupid liars.

    I don’t understand it. Yes, I know envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins for good reason. But the certainty and the viciousness of so many people is not just mind-boggling but frankly disheartening. And I don’t mean as a Patriots fan, but as a human being.

    It’s McCarthyism. That was before my time, but the very notion of it makes me shudder. At least in this instance Iives aren’t at stake.

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    1. “Good family man”…. well… “okay family man” is more like it. He did drop his baby mama like a potato to go bang a supermodel, after all. Let’s not gloss over that.

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      1. He broke up with Moynihan before they knew she was pregnant. He pays support, is an active father to their son, and he and his wife are friendly with Moynihan (she has always been supportive of him on Twitter).

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      2. What Charlotte says is accurate. That gets repeated just like the line about taping practices. It really changes the perception of Brady if you perpetuate that he has a baby momma that he left.

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  11. Sad thing is that none of these guys with their names on the ESPN report will bother coming on the radio here to answer actual questions. Some NFL “integrity” there. Must be nice to live in the bubble.

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  12. Dan Wetzel fires back:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/alleged-locker-room-break-ins–secret-tapes-and-hamptons-parties–the-patriots-way-191617766.html

    If the Patriots were covertly
    sending low-level employees into opposing locker rooms to steal play
    sheets, how in the world did New England ever lose a game? The Patriots
    had a defense featuring Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Richard Seymour, Ty Law,
    Rodney Harrison and other all-time greats. They also knew the plays the
    other team was running. Yet they didn’t win each game 77-zip? Why did
    they always need Adam Vinatieri to bail them out?

    Someone might want to fire Belichick for being such a lousy coach.

    Why didn’t they just set up a camera and catch New England’s thieves in
    the process and get Belichick banned from football forever? Or have a
    security guy pop out of a locker in an otherwise empty locker room?

    Honestly, if the AFC East is so incompetent they couldn’t bust this, they deserved to lose every game.

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    1. “Tuesday delivered the latest episode of “As the Patriots Turn,” and it was pretty eventful, even by New England standards – “New England Standards” being that having a former star tight end convicted of murder this offseason was like the franchise’s 14th biggest storyline.”

      Sad but true…. Hey, did anyone notice that one of Aaron’s buddies is flipping on him about the double murder?

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      1. I saw it. I wonder if he looking for more leverage in his civil suit although for the life of me I can’t see there be anything left by the time he gets his judgement.

        As for Wentzel’s column…it was quite funny. The problem is only someone who has done any reading would get it. The rest of the world…in their ignorance…would not know the laugh lines.

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  13. Bruce and others pointed this out:

    Don Van Natta, Jr. told Bill Simmons in December, on his podcast, the owners agreed to destroy the Spygate Tapes. in the “bombshell” today, he said they were shocked. Big difference, as if Goodell acted alone.

    Context is talking about the NFL and seeing or not seeing video. Paraphrasing:

    BS: “Seems like Spygate, they [owners] wanted to go away…”

    BS: “It seems its fishy they destroyed the tapes..”

    DVN: “Why is that so perplexing? If they had not been destroyed and got leaked out. This was a decision that had been made, a private meeting with owners behind closed doors, with all the other owners agreed to destroy them. It threatened their livelyhoods.”

    Go 44:30-45:00m in to the podcast (Video). I linked to the segment @ that time:

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  14. Anyone see the “teaser” headline on CSNNE’s website calling Belichick/Adams “sleazy” in the way they do things (based on the ESPN “report” today, of course)? Guess who the quote is attributed to? Yup….the newest Patriots contrarian in town, Tanguay himself. Man, he’s really butt-hurt over not getting the play-by-play gig, isn’t he?

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    1. I remember when he was filling in with Lou and Christian and he asked Gronk, live on the air, how many chicks he’s f**ked (in so many words).

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  15. Hmmmm…another member of the world wide leader engaging in Twitter harassment. Wonder if he’ll get a suspension like Simmons or Schilling.

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    1. Do the Pats play a MNF game at home this year? If so I hope the stadium is just LITERED with anti-ESPN signs and t-shirts. I’m sure Barstool will get something going. It would be awesome to see ESPN not even be able to show a crowd shot without a giant F-U directed at them

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        1. They actually said the same thing I did, on D&C this morning. Gerry said Barstool Nation will probably make this happen.

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  16. After digesting all of this nonsense today, one thing really stands out: the congratulatory tweets from the likes of PK and others about the “excellent reporting” done by the authors of the ESPN hit piece. I’ve mentioned before that I have a journalism degree. I didn’t pursue it as a profession, but I don’t ever remember being taught that citing unnamed source after unnamed source after unnamed source constituted “excellent reporting.” In fact, in my classes, we were taught just the opposite: try to attribute all direct quotes to a named individual. This, apparently, is how far a profession that already had an unflattering reputation with the public has fallen in the internet/Twitter/24/7 news cycle age: printing unsubstantiated rumors planted by unnamed sources, without a shred of proof to back them up, is lauded as “excellent reporting” by some of the biggest names in the so-called profession. Hell, not even 10 minutes ago, ESPN referred to the unsubstantiated, unsourced rumors as “new findings in the Spygate scandal” in their “news scroll” at the bottom of the screen. Note to ESPN: you did not uncover “new findings”, you reported (as fact) new, unfounded accusations by unnamed sources. “Excellent reporting,” indeed.

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    1. Same boat here, and frankly it’s embarrassing. I’ve said it several times since this whole stramash started, but my Journalism 101 prof is undoubtedly spinning in his grave. Calling the ESPN report anything other than a collection of unsubstantiated paranoia and sour grapes is vomit-inducing. If my professor was still around, he would have rolled up that report and smacked its author upside the head with it.

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    2. I work in the media world and have been an anonymous source myself on numerous occasions. While I understand why some think that unnamed sources shouldn’t exist at all, they are fully ingrained in the modern media experience. That said, there need to be clear rules for unnamed sources, which this story (and many other sports pieces) completely flouted.
      First, you shouldn’t build an entire story around unnamed sources. Second, before using a source a reporter needs to understand the source’s motivations. If it’s sharing information that has a public good fine, but if it’s strictly for payback that’s not ok. Third, the sources need to truly be independent. How many of Van Natta’s sources are currently paid or have been paid by ESPN? I would guess that at the very least this would apply to Polian and Mangini. They are not independent sources if they are part of your “news” organization.
      Speaking of unnamed sources, Shaughnessy still hasn’t explained why the reference to his sources was excised from his column on Orsillo.

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      1. Agree. Unnamed sources are OK within limits and, as you pointed out, the ESPN piece uses nothing but unnamed sources. And yes….there is no question that Polian is the “Competition Committee” source they quoted. No question about. They took Bill Polian’s word for it…..Bill Polian, the guy who, more than anyone in league history (OK, maybe second to Don Shula), used his influence on the CC to help his team and hurt his team’s rivals, one rival in particular. Not to mention the fact that, to borrow a line from Polian’s former team, “it’s well known around the NFL” that the Colts pumped in fake crowd noise at the RCA Dome when Polian was running that organization.

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      2. It sounds like you agree here but ESPN claims it does not pay for sources, as in it’s above a “TMZ”. Motivations: And, this is something I bring up all the time because once you really open your eyes up to it, the entire world of “news” becomes a bit different.

        I’m not sure how much of the ESPN piece you read but if you’re alleging
        everything from cheating to crimes that could incur federal charges,
        shouldn’t there be more to them than what was sourced in the article?

        It hits at what I said this morning but what ESPN “reports”, which people later claim is true, is that the Patriots have committed hundreds of not just rules violations but things there would be an indictment sheet longer than Whitey Bulgers.

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        1. I should have been more clear on the paying thing. I guess i believe them that they don’t pay sources for info, but I was referring to using sources who work for (and draw a paycheck from) ESPN. In cases of paying for information, there is usually a pretty high standard, for the networks or even TMZ, that includes presenting some corroborating evidence that the source is not completely fabricating the story. In this case, ESPN has a narrative and uses its employees to back it up as “independent” (© Judge Richard Berman) sources who are “in the know.” In some ways that is worse and less ethical.

          And, yes, i think that there could be another shoe to drop with some sort of investigation into the Patriots’ alleged illegal practices and the NFL cover up. It could be by Congress or a local prosecutor outside of New England.

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          1. I don’t. I think this makes good theatre but the last thing the NFL wants is some government agency looking into gamesmanship especially when the NFL knows there is nothing to any of these stories. People have far better things to do with their time and tax dollars. This is like the Montreal police looking to investigate a hit that occurred on the ice. At some point there will be a responsible adult who will stand up and say no.

            Congress investigating steroids is one thing. There are health issues and drug distribution law violations that might be at stakes. Whispers about a team maybe stealing a play sheet left out in the open in a space on their own property… politicians pander but very few are that stupid. The NFL may hate the Pats success but they would fight that type of investigation with every dime they had.

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  17. Via Florio. Gotta love wordsmithing.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/08/si-com-story-on-pats-has-compelling-but-inaccurate-anecdote/

    “[E]very Friday teams must announce which injured players are
    doubtful, questionable or probable to play that Sunday,” the report
    explains. “Teams usually take 53 players to the game and announce,
    90 minutes before kickoff, which seven are inactive. But sometimes, at
    Saturday-night meetings, Belichick tells his staff which players on the
    opposing team were not on the flight to New England, a source with
    knowledge of the meetings tells SI. It’s not clear how Belichick knows.
    But he does.”

    Here’s how he knows: By league rule, injured players who don’t make
    the trip must be downgraded to out. It happens all the time, and it’s
    one of the benefits of being the home team. Since the home team doesn’t
    travel, its questionable or doubtful players can remain questionable or
    doubtful until 90 minutes before kickoff. Road teams don’t have that
    luxury; it an injured player doesn’t make the trip to the site of the
    game, he’s definitely not playing — and the team definitely has an
    obligation to immediately let the league, the opponent, and the media
    know.

    That’s how Belichick knows. It’s how the coach of any home team knows that players from the visiting team didn’t make the trip.

    The report suggests that Belichick has spies in every NFL city, or at
    a minimum at every NFL airport. On one hand, it deepens his mystique.
    On the other hand, it unfairly adds to the perception that Belichick is
    an evil genius with tentacles stretching from the Atlantic to the
    Pacific.

    CHEATRIOTS

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    1. Are they talking about Bill Belichick or William Wallace?

      Reminds me of this:
      NE Patriots Accussed of “Sorcerey, or something.”

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  18. D+C have some dolt from a Miami paper on.

    “ESPN piece is a smoking gun”

    He’s being called out and backing right down since he’s got nothing.

    Same old.

    “Gotcha game!!!!!!!!!”

    Kinda resonates what the rest of these “journalists” claim is true.

    If the league is so f-cking concerned with integrity, as Goodell continues to use as his buzzword, why wouldn’t they, for not just the “integrity” but the other 31 teams look into all of it?

    If 31 other owners, or lets say 19, as SI claimed, think all of this is true, went to Goodell and said that they need to investigate serious cheating investigations that the league would not investigate? Some of the stuff actually borders on actual crime, crime, like.. oh.. the Cardinals hacking another team’s computer.. crime crime that people do actual time for.

    Again, this “lets believe the league” when we didn’t believe a damn thing they would say or do 9 months ago stuff is entertaining.

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    1. That was maybe the best “whack-a-troll” ever. That guy showed up to a knife fight with a wilted flower. Golly gee, fellas…shucks, I don’t know. Ya got me. Happy now? Click LOL

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  19. Yesterday I was in and out of the car a lot so I couldn’t get the jest of what was happening until I read the posts here and the Herald ten point break down last night. What a joke these people are.
    To tell you the truth I’m loving it now and how comical these media dirt bags are. I think this will be a boom for eei and a ratings turn around from the trolls of the hub station just as the Bruins run helped them in the ratings. I think weei taking on the role of the defender of truth ie patriots and the fandom . I can’t wait for tomorrow’s headline that bb is really satin. I really think they are saving those stories for pre game.

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  20. I know we entered silly season a long time ago but I have now had 24 hours to digest the ESPN and SI pieces. What I take away from it is the fact that repeating innuendo and accusations has replaced facts and true sourcing of them as a fundamental part of the news business.

    Okay…I get it…the vast majority of people/fans don’t read. I even understand how “reporters” don’t bother to put in the time to do the research needed to write a simple story. The number of professionals who still think Spygate was about the Pats taping the Rams walkthrough boggles my mind. I am depressed because I thought we should expect more.

    When I was a kid I played on a Little League team. On the first day of practice the coach said to us…I have three rules. 1) If you want to play in games you come to practice on time everytime. 2) I will give you opportunities to try playing where ever you want in practice. But in games my word is final. 3) If we lose it is not because of an umpire, an call, a rule or something…it is because we were not better than the other team that day. I do not ever want to hear you whining or complaining about something that caused us to lose. If I do you will not play the next game.

    I think a lot of adults could benefit from having these rules placed on them.

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