Posted on: January 16, 2011 12:27 pm

Pats outed for using 'sideline wall' against Jets

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets were fined a large chunk of change ($100,000 to be exact) for "TripGate." The extent of the fine was based on Sal Alosi's physical actions on the sideline against the Dolphins and Mike Westhoff claiming the Patriots engaged in the same tactics.

Turns out, they (allegedly) do just that. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported Sunday that the Jets found out about the Pats illegal sideline antics and actually showed a videotape of a Pats sideline wall with the final member attempting to trip the Jets gunner.

Apparently, a former member of the Patriots practice squad told the Jets that New England practiced the sideline wall manuever, and it appears that the Jets pulled the footage from a game against New England.

Glazer pointed out that if the Jets had sent this footage to the league office, then it probably would have been the Patriots getting fined and not New York. He's probably correct, too, because a large portion of the league's fine of the Jets stemmed from Westhoff's public comments. If, instead of making public allegations about the Pats behavior was similar to Alosi's, the Jets had sent the tape to 280 Park Avenue in New York, there's a pretty good chance Bob Kraft would have been cutting a check too.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 6:09 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2010 6:46 pm

Jets fairly fined $100K for 'TripGate'

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL reached some resolution on the "TripGate" incident involving Sal Alosi and members of the team and staff who formed a wall against the Dolphins, announcing Thursday night that the Jets were fined $100,000 for the incident and calling it "a competitive violation as well as a dangerous tactic."

"The fine has been imposed on the Jets to emphasize that clubs are accountable for the actions of their employees," the NFL said in its statement.

The Jets, who suspended Alosi for the rest of the season sans pay and fined him $25,000, also released a statement in which they said they'll "comply with the league's decision."

The NFL also indicated that the the fine was shaped by Mike Westhoff's decision to imply that the Patriots might engage in similar tactics.

"The discipline imposed on the club also includes the response to the incident of coach Alosi and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff, who made public comments accusing other teams of employing similar tactics," the NFL's statement said.

Those two aspects of the fine make the 100 grand a fair amount even it's certainly more than the NFL has fined anyone for a helmet-to-helmet hit, and it's twice the amount the Broncos were fined for taping the 49ers walkthrough.

That's because Alosi's actions need to halted immediately, and because when a member of one organization calls out another organization, it's not something the league takes lightly, particularly since what Westhoff did could construe libel in normal venue.

More important, though, is making sure that the Jets (and by virtue of the public fine, all other NFL teams) understand they can't risk the health of opponents through cheap tactics designed to find a competitive advantage vis-a-vis an often overlooked rule.

And although the steep nature of the fine might mean Alosi's working for free next year (if he's even working), you can guarantee that the NFL got everyone's attention when they hit the Jets with the amount.

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Posted on: December 19, 2010 12:29 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2010 12:49 pm

NFL keeping a close eye on all sidelines Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

"TripGate" (in which Sal Alosi wrecked Nolan Carroll on a return) has taken on a life of its own, such to the point that the NFL is investigating whether or not this is a common practice amongst teams.

Charley Casserly reported on The NFL Today that the Jets aren't alone in the teams the league is looking at, and that the NFL also found a previous instance of the Jets behaving in such a manner

"This is NOT the only time the Jets did this," Casserly said. In looking at tape, I saw it against Cincinnati -- here you can see the Jets personnel lined up in a very similar fashion. Also, the NFL is not only reviewing the Jets, it's reviewing Carolina and other teams for this kind of activity during the course of the season.

"Here's what will happen today. The referees, in all games, will go to the head coaches and remind them where the rules are for where they should stand and where the players should stand. Also, in the command center, here in New York, they're going to monitor sideline behavior. If they see anything out of the ordinary that they don't like, they're going to call the in-game supervisor and have him warn the team to correct it's actions."

In other words, it's a case similar to the helmet-to-helmet hits. There WERE rules in place prohibiting a certain action but the actual compliance of that rule was overlooked as long as it was relatively harmless.

Once someone else actually starts getting a) hurt or b) busted doing something that's classless, the NFL resorts to its rulebook to correct things.

This doesn't mean broaching the sideline will eventually result in a 15-yard penalty and a $75,000 fine (though it could!), but remember, this is better than the NFL having to make up entirely new rules to govern the game.

UPDATED (12:45 p.m.):
FOX's Jay Glazer, on that network's pregame show, showed video from last week of Panthers DL Tyler Brayton upending a Falcons gunner from the sideline on a punt return. The video showed Brayton actually moving from the bench area to the sideline to impede the Falcons path and then took him down.

Brayton, of course, most likely will be fined for what appears to be a very cheap shot. - JSK

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