Denver Post columnist says Pats 'cheat system'


Denver Post columnist says Pats 'cheat system'

Remember the outrage and indignation when the Dallas Cowboys hired Paul Pasqualoni back in 2009?

The Dolphins' defensive coordinator, fired at the end of the regular season, was hired by Dallas for their playoff run. He was brought in because Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham was taking a job with the University of Georgia.

You don't remember the outrage? Know what? Me neither.

So when I read the, "Not fair! Not fair" foot-stomping column written by my friend from the Denver Post, Mike Klis, whining about the Patriots hiring Josh McDaniels for the playoff run after the Rams let McDaniels out of his contract, I know it's justan instance of someone wantinga separate set of rules for 31 teams and another set of rules for the Patriots.

This is what happens when you become in the eyes of the NFL media and the majority of NFL consumers the NFL's Godzilla.

This is what happens when you go fromtheir cuddly "Little FranchiseThat Could" in 2001 to boring, relentlessly excellent dynastyby 2004.

This is what happens when the head coach isn't a laugh-a-minute soundbite machine, is prickly with the media even on his best days, gets drawn-and-quartered by the league for the equivalent of a second-offense speeding ticket (Spygate) and still continues to win and win and win.

Otherwise sane people like Klis get emotional and insist that new rules be drawn up to stop the evil Patriots and the diabolical Bill Belichick. Absurd.

I'm not saying that the hiring of McDaniels after the Rams' season ended passes the smell test of propriety with ease. That's why I contacted NFL VP of media Greg Aiello on Saturday to check that the whole thing wasn't going to get squashed and was told it was all legal and within the rules.

From there, you shrug and say, "What the hell, good play by them. Pretty smart."

Instead you get from Klis: "Once again, Bill Belichick has figured out a way to cheat the system. And once again, he caught the NFL standing there sucking their collective thumbs."

Klis goes on to explain how awful McDaniels has been since getting fired by Denver last season and then says he brings a competitive advantage to the Patriots even though Denver's played 25 games since he left.

The "Good vs. Evil" storyline that's too easy to pass up has been hatched. Consider this the first of many salvos between now and Saturday night.

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.