Saints pay for not learning from Patriots

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Saints pay for not learning from Patriots

PALM BEACH -- It's deja vu in Palm Beach,

In the Spring of 2008, the NFL's annual league meetings were here and a large portion of that event was a bloodletting by the Patriots.

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft stood before a room of their peers and apologized for videotaping opponents' defensive signals from the sidelines during games.

Accentuating the cleansing, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell advanced a fair playsportsmanshipethics platform. Henceforth, coaches, GMs and owners were to police themselves and sign off that they were clean and pure as the driven snow.

And within a year, the New Orleans Saints were running a program in which players were rewarded for injuring opponents.

This week, Saints coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are expected to do some penance in front of their peers and the assembled owners.

There's been a lot of discussion about the Draconian punishment handed down by Goodell in this so-called Bountygate mess.

But to me, the reason the commissioner was so penal has its roots in the 2008 meetings. The Saints directly defied investigators, yes, but they also put pen to paper and signed off on their program being ethically clean.

Doing that while maintaining a bounty program was -- along with everything else -- a raised middle finger in the face of Goodell.

In handing down his punishment, Goodell specifically cited the amendment enacted in 2008.

"A 2007 amendment to the NFL Constitution and By-Laws obligated coaches and supervisory employees 'to communicate openly and candidly with the principal owner andor his designated representative; to ensure that club ownership is informed on a complete and timely basis of all matters affecting the clubs operations; and to avoid actions that undermine or damage the clubs reputation or operating success.' The obligation to supervise the coaching staff and players is also expressly set forth in the employment agreement signed by Coach Payton."

In addition to being on a different planet entirely from what the Patriots were cuffed around for in 2008, the Saints are also paying the price for ignoring the law-and-order, fair play standards handed down here at The Breakers four years ago.

And now they are where the Patriots were. In more ways than one.

Rask missing from Bruins practice after Sunday exit

Rask missing from Bruins practice after Sunday exit

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- A day after exiting a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins with complications from migraines, Tuukka Rask was missing from a full Bruins team practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Tuesday night’s home date against the Detroit Red Wings.

Rask pulled himself out of the game midway through the second period with his team trailing after he’d stopped 20-of-22 shots, and was motioning toward his eyes as he exited for the Bruins dressing room. The Bruins goalie confirmed to reporters following the deflating loss that he indeed was suffering from ocular issues consistent with migraines, the same issue that knocked him out of a home loss to the Rangers a couple of years ago.

The Bruins brought in an emergency goalie to practice with the team on Monday along with backup netminder Zane McIntyre, who allowed three goals in the third period on the way to the Bruins imploding in Pittsburgh.

Both Colin Miller and Kevan Miller returned to practice on Monday morning, and the Bruins coaches shook up the forward lines after they were only able to cobble together one goal on 45 shots on Sunday afternoon. Torey Krug was also missing from practice along with Rask.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Monday morning’s practice that started roughly an hour late due to the team doing some video work together:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Krejci-Backes

Schaller-Nash-Beleskey

Spooner-Moore-Czarnik/Hayes

Chara-Carlo

Liles-McQuaid

K. Miller-C. Miller

Morrow

McIntyre 
 

Brady makes 'The Hangover' reference, calls QB group his wolf pack

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Brady makes 'The Hangover' reference, calls QB group his wolf pack

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are starting to make a habit of this.

After clinching the AFC East title during the regular season, they made sure to grab a picture together that they could throw on their respective social-media pages. They did the same again on Sunday night. 

Sporting their brand new AFC Championship hats -- and Brissett, who didn't dress for the game, in a championship t-shirt -- the trio posed in front of their lockers like the three best friends that anyone could have.

When Brady posted the shot on his Instagram page Monday morning, he captioned it with a speech from the movie "The Hangover," calling Garoppolo and Brissett part of his "wolf pack."