Light: Players' appeal process needs to change

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Light: Players' appeal process needs to change

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- As he will do with every team, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will meet with the Patriots Thursday at Gillette Stadium to discuss the decertification process in the case of a potential lockout after this season.

And as expected, the players are looking forward to giving their unanimous consent.

"Anytime you have the leadership here and in place, they're here to deliver a message, and to let the guys know what they're thinking, and what we're all thinking, and what we need to be planning for, and what we need to do," said Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light. "So it should be very informative. That's their job, to inform guys of the upcoming battle and what to expect. I think a lot of these guys have been waiting for this for a while. So it's good they're here, and it will be a good meeting."

Light spoke prior to the meeting on Thursday and talked about some of the things that would be brought up. One of his biggest issues, right now, is the players' input, or lack thereof, on fines and suspensions for on-field actions.

"Fairness is a concern," said Light. "I mean, you've got to make sure that these things are fair, that they're measurable, that you can judge them, that it's not just one person's opinion. You have to be able to measure these things up against something else."

Light said the appeal process needs to be fixed, and that the players' union should have more say before the penalty is final.

"One of the biggest problems, the problem I've always had with the whole system, is that they take the money out before you actually have a chance to appeal, or go through an appeal process," said Light. "So that is something that we'll have to address. That's something that definitely needs to be tightened up, and we'll see how it goes from there.

"You can't take a guy's money before he's been found guilty, or had a chance to appeal a decision that's been made," he added. "If it was a drug policy, if a guy gets fined due to drug policy, that money's not removed until the final verdict's come down and that they've had a chance to appeal. It should be the same process with what happens on the field. It's just not, right now."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

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Quick Slants Podcast: Antonio Brown’s betrayal; Matt Light; eyeing up Pittsburgh

Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss the aftermath of Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video. Curran interview Matt Light ahead of the AFC Championship. They dissect the press conferences of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and look at how to beat the Steelers.

SUBSCRIBE iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | AudioBoom

2:29 Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live aftermath

13:14 Stopping Le’Veon Bell

27:16 heywassyonumba? with Patrick Chung and Kyle Van Noy

32:30 Injury report updates for AFC Championship

36:51 Brady and Belichick’s press conferences

44:50 Matt Light interview

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round.