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."

Despite Crowder's ties to Falcons, Celtics pulling for Patriots in Super Bowl

Despite Crowder's ties to Falcons, Celtics pulling for Patriots in Super Bowl

WALTHAM --  Go up and down the Boston Celtics roster and you won’t have any trouble finding players who will be cheering on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
 
But there are some Celtics who understandably have mixed feelings about the game.
 
Among them is Jae Crowder, who grew up in Villa Rica, Ga. which is about 32 miles outside of Atlanta.
 
“I’ve been cheering for the Falcons all my life,” Crowder said. “I’m here in Boston; I’ve been a Patriots fan.”
 
And within that fandom, Crowder has developed a friendship with New England players, among them being Patriots running back LaGarrette Blount.
 
Not soon after the Patriots punched their ticket to the Super Bowl, Crowder got a text message from Blount.
 
“He knows,” Crowder said of Blount. “Yeah, he knows I’m in between.”
 
Isaiah Thomas, whose hometown Seattle Seahawks were beaten by the Falcons, said Crowder didn’t become a Falcons fan until they made the playoffs.
 
“Bandwagon? But I just took his money though,” quipped Crowder, referring to the Falcons beating the Seahawks in an earlier round of the playoffs. “We did them Seahawks real dirty; bandwagon.”
 
He’s not the only Celtics player with ties to Atlanta.
 
Boston rookie Jaylen Brown grew up just a few minutes outside of Atlanta in Marietta, Ga.
 
Thomas said Brown is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
 
“I don’t know how that is,” Thomas said. “Don’t let him tell you he’s an Atlanta Falcons fan. Jae just started reppin’ them when they made the playoffs. They can do what they want; they might as well root for the Patriots.”
 
For Thomas, cheering for the Patriots is more than just supporting his fellow professional athletes. As he tries to continue growing as a player and a leader for the Celtics, the Patriots and the way they do things in many ways has been a blueprint of sorts for Thomas.
 
“They’re the team you want to be,” Thomas said. “Every year they give themselves a chance. From top to bottom, they’re 100 percent professional. They think championship every year. That’s how you should be. We want to model that. Hopefully the can go out and win it, and we can try to piggy-pack on what they did.”
 
Another Celtic with Atlanta ties is Al Horford, who made it clear which team had his support.
 
“Going to school in Florida, being in the south for so many years, college football is kind of my thing,” said Horford, who revealed that he never attended a Falcons during his nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. “I would watch them on TV and stuff like that. I know it’s exciting for them. It’s a big deal to be in the Super Bowl. But I’m here in New England now so I’ll be cheering for the Patriots.”

Andy Dalton named Tom Brady's Pro Bowl replacement

Andy Dalton named Tom Brady's Pro Bowl replacement

With Tom Brady spending this week and next preparing for the Super Bowl, Andy Dalton has been named his replacement in the Pro Bowl. 

This will mark Dalton’s third Pro Bowl appearance. He finished fourth in the AFC in passing yards (4,206) and tied for 10th with 18 passing touchdowns. Brady threw 10 more touchdowns in four fewer games. 

Though he’s often skipped the actual games, this was the 12th season in which Brady was named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster. He’s been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last eight seasons.