The Saints' penalty needs to exceed New England's


The Saints' penalty needs to exceed New England's

The sideline videotaping the Patriots were apprehended for in 2007 was stupid and deceitful and arrogant.

The pay-for-prey operation the Saints were found guilty of Friday is stupid and deceitful and arrogant and dangerous.

The Patriots betrayed the integrity of the game. The Saints betrayed the sanctity of the NFL's brotherhood.

I don't feel like debating which deed was "worse." But I do believe the Saints deserve harsher punishment than New England received.

The reason? The whole dog-and-pony show the league went through at the owner's meetings in March of 2008 in the wake of Spygate has been treated by the Saints like a farce.

The Patriots peed on a memo from the league? The Saints peed on a code of moral conduct the league hatched after Spygate.

You remember that at those meetings, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft both stood up in front of the league's 31 teams and asked forgiveness.

That act was applauded because, by then, the Patriots had been hammered and re-hammered for in the court of public opinion and been fined significantly.

"I'm happy they did it," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said at the time. "I don't know they had to do it. But it was good to hear from them. We're all trying to move on from this thing. What was said will stay in the room, but it was good."

"From a working stiff's point of view, (Robert Kraft) certainly doesn't need to apologize for anything. The New England Patriots have been a bellweather for this league as long as the Kraft family has owned them. As far as being good citizens of the NFL, they're at the top.''

Also during those meetings which were long on efforts to ensure integrity all 32 owners agreed to a policy proposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell entitled "Integrity of the Game and Fair Competition."

The policy requires all club owners, executives and head coaches to certify annually that they have complied with league rules and policies and have reported any violations they know.

That was in early April 2008. Meanwhile, you have a defensive coordinator running a hit operation on NFL employees months later.

Again, both infractions are beyond stupid. But when it comes to meting out penalties, the fact that the entire league was on notice and had agreed in writing to be good citizens while this was going on should be a greater affront to the NFL Commissioner's office and the 31 other teams than a lackey with a videocam.

Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury


Hogan 'feeling good' as he recovers from thigh injury

FOXBORO -- Patriots wideout Chris Hogan indicated after Saturday's divisional round win over the Texans that he'd be OK, and he doubled down on that stance when meeting with reporters Tuesday. 

The veteran receiver, whose first season with the Patriots has brought his first career postseason experience, injured his thigh against Houston. He left in the third quarter and did not return. 

"Feeling good," Hogan said. "Just had a little minor setback in the game. I'm working back every single day and feeling better every day."

Hogan had an awkward collision with Texans defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney at the end of the first half on a play at the goal line. To that point, he had reeled in four passes for 95 yards as the team's primary deep threat. With Hogan out, Brady relied upon Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd as wideouts.

Hogan explained that he was expecting to practice this week.

"I'm just gonna go day by day," he said. "Come in here tomorrow. Everything's been feeling better day by day. I'm looking forward to getting out there and practicing this week."

Strahan picks Steelers to upset Patriots in AFC Championship

Strahan picks Steelers to upset Patriots in AFC Championship

Michael Strahan saw the Patriots lose a Super Bowl first-hand, but he doesn’t think they’ll lose Super Bowl LI. That’s because he doesn’t think they’ll be participants. 

Appearing on The Tonight Show, the former Giants defensive end and current Person Who is Frequently on Television said that he expects the Steelers to upset the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship.

“I think in the AFC, I think Pittsburgh might pull the upset this year,” Strahan said. 

When Jimmy Fallon objected, Strahan said Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ pass rush would be enough to beat the Pats if New England plays the way it did in the divisional round. 
“If you watched the Houston Texans, they had a shot; they just turned the ball over,” he said. “And the Houston Texans offense is in no way, shape or form near what Pittsburgh has. They don’t have the quarterback that [Pittsburgh has]. Defensively, Houston had the really good defense, but Pittsburgh [puts] the good pressure on the quarterback. And from my Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady does not like pressure. I’m just saying I feel like if there’s anybody who’s going to pull an upset, it will be them.” 

As for any rooting interest, Strahan said that he hopes the Falcons win the Super Bowl, citing Matt Ryan being overdue for a title and Julio Jones having a Brady-like quality of putting team goals before his own legacy.