Belichick explains challenge replay technology

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Belichick explains challenge replay technology

FOXBORO -- Last week against the Steelers, Rob Gronkowski caught what looked like a touchdown right at the goal line. He was ruled down inside the one yard-line and the clock ticked away on the Patriots' chances at a comeback.

There was no replay shown on the CBS broadcast, likely because Tom Brady and the Patriots continued to run their no-huddle offense and the television crew would have risked missing the next play if they elected to show a replay of Gronk's catch.

Belichick elected not to challenge the play, which, replays later showed, probably would have been reversed and called a touchdown.

On Friday, Bill Belichick clarified once and for all how the challenge process works and what teams have to use when making the decision:

"There's no DVR capability," Belichick said. "There's a monitor in both coach's booths. It's the exact same feed. Whatever the networks feed it, that's what they see. Sometimes it's nothing. Sometimes it's what's on the big screen (in the stadium). Sometimes it's what the TV shows, which may be different from what the fans in the stadium see. We try to look at all those."

The best plays to challenge are the ones where coaches are provided multiple views. Between the big screen in the stadium and the TV in the coaches booth, there are sometimes multiple views of the same play. Belichick will look at the big screen while his assistants will look at the TV in the booth and they'll make a call based on those replays.

"The harder one is when you see the play with your own eyes and you say 'I don't think that's the way it should've been called,' " Belichick said. "But can you find another picture of it that confirms what you actually saw? That's a question."

Believe it or not, there are times when Belichick is guessing out there.

"There are the plays that, maybe you think you got a 25 percent chance of being right on, like, 'Maybe we can get this, I doubt it.' But it's such a big play in the game, maybe you don't need your timeouts. Maybe it's the end of the first half and your timeouts just arent that critical at that point, and it's a huge play in the game. Maybe you take that lesser percentage chance."

Other times, there's no replay at all to go off of, but Belichick will challenge anyway.

"Sometimes you make a challenge and then you see the play replayed," he said. "You're looking at it saying 'Oh . . . there was no point in challenging that play, we're not going to get this.' But you haven't seen the replay before."

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .

1) David Price isn’t having fun

Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.

Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.

“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”

Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.

But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.

So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “

But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.

So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.

His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.

Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.

Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both. 

2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth

Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.

A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.

Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?

Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?

What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.

3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.

Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.

Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.

His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.

Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.

“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”

Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.