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Friday, May 08, 2015

What I would do with Brady

Now that we've all had a couple of days to digest the whole Patriots' deflating footballs situation, here are my two cents on the issue.

Tom Brady must be suspended.

While Brady's supporters will point out that the evidence is circumstantial, there is also a preponderance of it. And let's remember, this isn't a criminal case. The NFL doesn't need to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Brady was involved in having the footballs adjusted.

The league just needs to be pretty sure something happened. Ask Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger was suspended for six games - later reduced to four - in 2010 for his involvement in an alleged sexual assault even though a Georgia district attorney did not feel there was enough evidence to convict the Steelers' quarterback in a court of law.

If Brady is innocent of any involvement of doctoring the footballs, why didn't he turn his cell phone records over to NFL investigators? That's what an innocent person would have done.

Brady, however, did not.

And those poo-pooing this as not a big deal should look at how these kind of things are handled in other sports.

In baseball, if you doctor a baseball or bat, you are suspended. In NASCAR, crew chiefs are suspended if their car is off by 1/8 of an inch.

Cheating is cheating. And if it wasn't a big deal and didn't give a competitive advantage, why would Brady risk doing it?

His agent's assertion that the league ran a sting on his client in conjunction with the Colts is laughable. The league provided footballs, to be sure, but it did not provide any needles or drop any hints that a deflating the balls might be a good idea.

Brady should draw, in my opinion, at least a two-game suspension and the Patriots, as a team, should be fined and docked at least a second-round draft pick.

While I don't doubt that there are other quarterbacks who have done this in the past, the league has to make sure it doesn't happen again. 


Anonymous said...

from your keyboard to Troy Vincent's ears

Marc said...

Brady should be suspended for the next 4 playoff games of his career. Cheat in the playoffs, then pay in the playoffs. Out of the box idea, but it would send a big time message and also punish the pats.

Dale Lolley said...

Without Brady, that would be four years worth of playoff games. He's not playing four more years, Marc.

emac2 said...

It's odd that the league punishes players in addition to their court punishment but cheating enough to win superbowls and turn yourself into the "best QB of all time" is somehow going to rate at the bottom of the punishment scale.

Showing bad personal judgement in your off time is one thing. Cheating to the point that you dominate the sport and still keep cheating shows a complete disregard for the league.

Pete Rose is more of a punishment comparable then LeVeon Bell

Anonymous said...

First, Dale, you are one of just a couple of Steelers sports writers who's knowlege and opinion I respect the most.

As for the topic at hand, I concur with your opinion.

IMO, the "Deflate Gate" issue has everything to do with the Patriots' Belichick, ("Spy Gate") and Brady's, ("Deflate Gate") willingness to compromise the integrity of the game. In addition, it's been reported that the two incidences were not singular, stand alone decisions, but rather the result of an ongoing practice of circumventing the rules. From the outside looking in it's apparent that Belichick and Brady adhere to the philosophy that, "If you aren't cheating then your aren't trying."

In addition, no amount of damage control or spin doctoring by Brady's disingenuous agent, the Patriots' P.R. department, or the appologetic sycophantics in the main stream media can or will ever undo their well earned reputation as being cheaters. For many, there will always be an asterix next to their championships and the blame falls squarely on Belichick's and Brady's shoulders for that well earned perception.

It goes without saying that given Goodell's questionable handling of Spygate and his initial handling of the Ray Rice incident, his rightfully eroded his credibility in the minds of the vast majority of NFL fans. He positioned himself as being a hypocrite.

The fact that he was partying at Robert Kraft's home the day before the 2014 AFC championship game further damages his reputation and credibility in the minds of a great deal of football fans. As far as I am concerned, Goodell's actions and his still questionable decisions in the high profile Spygate and Ray Rice incidences position him as being untrustworthy.

Anonymous said...

Just as a side note, I look forward to dismantling this team in their own stadium on national TV the night they raise their banners. Doesn't make up for the Championship game when they were stealing our signals, but I would be prepared grind them into grit week 1.


Anonymous Brian said...

I think he should get four games. Ideal world I would make it simply one playoff game since the time they got caught was a playoff game.

Can't wait for the Pats' complete BS us-against-the-world attitude in the fall. Still remember how they managed to feel that THEY were the ones being wronged throughout 2007, once the evidence of THEM cheating was made public.

Anonymous said...

If it was a sting operation, they wouldn't have lost track of the balls. The NFL security guy in the locker room would've been watching McNally and the bag instead of the conclusion of the NFCC game. And they would've rechecked the balls after McNally disappeared with them. And they would've had a camera in the officials lounge. And they would've had a less clumsy, more clinical halftime study. And Coleman would've had just one gauge instead of two. Or at least remember or know which one of the two he was using. And they would've rechecked the bag of back-up balls instead of just the Patriots balls and a handful of the Colts. Even though they were made aware ahead of time, it's obvious they paid little to no attention and were still caught off guard and didn't have a procedure in place to handle what happened. And even after the balls disappeared, they still didn't even consider they were tampered with until after the Colts INT. If that was a sting operation, it was the worst one since Wile E. Coyote.

During Spygate, Goodell said he didn't hand out suspensions because he felt losing draft picks and fines were, "in fact more significant and long-lasting, and therefore more effective, than a suspension."

Maybe he considers 7 years 'long-lasting'. If this was an isolated incident. But who knows how long they've been doing this.

7 years is a long time in NFL years. But Brady was there then. And none of what happened to his team seems to have dissuaded him from cheating. So, obviously not as long-lasting as Goodell hoped or expected.

And Brady got up in front of his team and said it was all a lie. That he didn't tamper with the balls. And his coach said, "I got your back". Then went out in front of the media and made a jackass of himself. His team owner said, "I got your back" and went out in front of the media and made a jackass of himself disingenuously demanding an apology from the League. Two nights after Goodell and Kraft were chumming it up as Kraft's house.

Brady has to now look those guys in the eye every day. His coach, the owner, his teammates. It taints their SB. How pissed will those guys be? Is that irreparable? Or do they all blow it off because he gives them the best chance of winning? Being suspended won't help those chances much. Will be interesting how that plays out.

Brady is central in this. And maybe Belichick and the organization didn't know about it ahead of time. But the organization wasn't fully compliance to the investigate, denying access to employees for interviews and follow ups. And has Wells referenced in the League's Constitution and Bylaws, that is considered conduct detrimental. Any punishment shouldn't end at and with Brady (and the two clowns). The organization should also feel the sting. Not for their role in the act of cheating. But for their role in hindering the investigation.

joe said...

of course brady should be suspended. having fun ribbing a buddy from boston over this.
as for billicheat and craft, didn't king dog set the bar when he said something about ignorance of the rule breaking is no excuse ?
suspend billicheat and fine kraft also, maybe some draft picks lost too

Anonymous said...

Brady should be suspended for one game, but that game already happened.

-Zac in Tempe

Marc said...

Dale, I agree. It would basically be the end of the patriots until they dump Brady and would also effectively end his career.

JPOK said...

First off I'd like to see how big of a advantage it is. Mark Brunell said he could throw a ball with less pressure 10-15 farther. Jerome Bettis said it's easier to hold and less likey to fumble.
I would like someone to get a group of college or high school quarterbacks and have them do some drills with balls with different PSI and without them knowing and see if there's any difference.
I personally think it's big advantage not just for the quarterback but everyone that touches the ball.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis never fumbled in 500 plus touches as patriot lost 5 as a Bengal in less than 500 carries.
Even Blount seemed to keep the ball off the ground less as a patriot.

I'm smelling a rat and I think it's been going on for quite some time. I also not buying into that Belichick knew nothing he knows everything that's going on and leaves no stone turned.
This may sound over the line or come off as a patriot hater but I'd go a year for both Brady and Belichick. Then force Kraft to sell the team because it's obvious that people he hires to be in charge can't be trusted. I
Again I feel this is a huge advantage that is shared by the entire team. After what they did to the Saints for bountygate with less evidence and affected outcome of games less. It seems fair.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what's on his phone. If it was just texts to the ball guys why not turn it over since the league had the other side of those texts.

To me not cooperating makes it look like he has more to hide than deflated balls.

Randy Steele said...

I think you're letting him and the Patriots off a bit too easily. There is a long, documented history of the Patriots playing fast and loose with the rules, and it must stop. Hit them with a punishment right between the eyes, one that finally gets it into their thick skulls that you play the game by the rules, not by how well you skim the rules.

HACK said...

I think 4 games should probably be the min...and it honestly should probably be more due to him not being compliant with the NFL's requests.

Some of this goes back to the New Orleans Bounty gate, as well as Ben's problems. If I remember New Orleans was hit with some punishment because Goodell did not feel they were being honest and forthcoming....the head coach,general manager, assistant head coach and obviously defensive coordinator all were suspended....they lost draft picks and the organization was fined.

Goodell said of bountygate
"We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised."

The cheating involved here ultimately ended in a Super Bowl victory. I feel the message must be sent that you can not cheat your way to a Lombardi and walk away with a slap on the wrist.


adamg said...

This is cheating plain and simple. It's not BR being stupid. It's not Ray Rice cold-conking his wife. It's not NO having a lockerroom system that paid if you hurt designated opponents. It's not LeVeon Bell smoking a joint, then 2 hours later driving to the airport. None of those go to the integrity of the game.

Reading the summary report, it sure appears that deflating footballs went on for a lot longer than just the game vs Indy. If I were Goodell, Brady would have a 1 year suspension. Belichek also under the same reasoning as Sean Peyton was suspended. The organization should be docked their first round pick for 2016 and 2017. I'd also impose a fine, a cap penalty of 10-15M and a revenue-sharing penalty for those years. Other teams should get the message loud and clear that cheating doesn't pay.

Ideally the SB wins would be vacated, but that won't happen.

For the statistically inclined, the blog weighed in on the report.

emac2 said...

Since it supposedly doesn't matter that much how about making the patriots use an over inflated ball for the next decade.

adamg said...

The verdict is in. Brady gets 4 game suspension, team loses 1st pick in 2016, 4th rounder in 2017 and has to pay a 1M fine.

IMHO, not nearly enough. You can't tell me cheating is one game worse than smoking a joint.

Marc said...

I was surprised they did that much. It will be knocked down upon appeal, imo.

marc said...

after further thought, i think the penalty is fair. similar to first time PED user.

what doesn't make sense, if you are trying to compare punishments, is 3 games for bell for DUI/pot. the real question is, how is that only 1 game less than a PED user?

Dale Lolley said...

Marc, the controlled substances and PED suspensions are spelled out in the CBA. Use of a PED is considered an attempt to gain a competitive advantage, while controlled substances are strictly a violation. No advantage gained. In fact, in many cases, they hurt the performance.

Marc said...

I understand that. so why is a first time PED 4 games, but controlled substance 3 games (with no advantage gained)? doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Dang, Dale you're all over it. It's the pattern with this team. Cheating is obviously a part of their culture. You think they had the Steelers line calls in those AFC title games? I do. Everything they have ever done is tainted in my book. Want proof? look at the rub routes that predicate that entire offense's success. Those are supposed to be illegal, too. It is who they are, have been and likely will be. Good call Dale. After the appeal, you're probably right on.

Marc said...

I just watched tape on holliman. man, does he have an aversion to contact or what. one decent hit in 10 minutes of video, a bunch of piling on at the end, and many times trying to protect himself instead of laying into someone.

his coverage seemed decent and he clearly was looking for the pick every possible chance.

I'm not so sure he will make the team. with his aversion to contact, he won't do much on special teams, he's certainly not going to provide much help on the run. so he better standout as a pass defender if he wants to make it.

adamg said...

Deion Sanders had an aversion to contact, too. And he's in the HoF. Just sayin'...

Marc said...

agreed. I actually referenced sanders somewhere else on the blog with regards to Holliman. but that's also my point. he better be like a blanket on the receivers if he wants to make the team, because he doesn't really bring much value anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

if Holliman causes a few turnovers, he's an instant upgrade