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League not investigating whether Alosi alignment was coached

MikeWesthoff

Now that the the Jets have suspended strength coach Sal Alosi, declaring that there’s no place in football for what he did but nevertheless saving a place for him, um, in football, the question becomes whether and to what extent the six-man formation that was positioned on the edge of the white stripe that lines the field with a punt return set up toward that side of the field was:  (1) spontaneous and coincidental; or (2) premeditated and orchestrated.

So we asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello whether the league is investigating the situation.  His answer?

“No.”

Aiello also said that executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson is “reviewing the issue of sideline protocols from a leaguewide perspective.”  We interpret that to mean Anderson won’t be trying to find out whether and to what extent the Jets and other teams are deliberately placing personnel and/or inactive players in position to impede the players trying to get down the field to cover punts, often called “gunners” or “flyers”.

As Aiello told us last night, there’s no rule that pertains to this situation.  “Obviously, players and staff stand on the sideline,” Aiello said.  “But Ray Anderson and his staff are reviewing the overall issue.”

Even if there’s no specific “thou shalt not” provision on the books, we think that this kind of deliberate action goes to the integrity of the game, and that perhaps an express rule prohibiting this conduct shouldn’t be needed in order to let people know it’s wrong to intentionally try to impede players who at times end up playing out of bounds.

In this regard, the league could be implementing one of the lessons learned in Spygate — that the Patriots possibly weren’t the only team videotaping defensive coaching signals.  Indeed, why haven’t the Dolphins complained about the possibility that the Alosi alignment was coached?  It could be that the Dolphins either do the same thing now, or that the Dolphins did it when Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff worked in Miami from 1986 through 2000.

We’re not saying the Dolphins are guilty of anything; we’re saying only that this could be why the Dolphins aren’t demanding an investigation.  As we understand it, the practice isn’t unprecedented.  We’re told that, in some cities, veteran special-teams players coordinate the placement of coaches and inactive players on the edge of the sideline during punts, which gives the coaching staff plausible deniability if/when the gunner ever hits the fan.

In New York, coach Rex Ryan said that he didn’t coach the move (even though he apparently was standing close to the group of men who apparently were lined up to limit Nolan Carroll’s ability to use the sideline to create a path to the punt returner).  Ryan didn’t speak for Westhoff.  That’s the guy that the league should be talking to — and if the league isn’t interested in talking to Westhoff, the media should be.

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41 Responses to “League not investigating whether Alosi alignment was coached”
  1. mackie66 says: Dec 14, 2010 11:19 AM

    Anyone who doesnt believe this incident was intended must be a JET fan, aka: nutsack. A mistake is made when you mispell a word. When u stick your knee into the path of a fast running footballer, knowing impacted is forthcoming, is a criminal act and most likely coached. Will Goodell begin an investigation,,not likely. Fines and suspensions have already been handed out and rather quickly. The nutsack should have been fired with cause.

  2. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 14, 2010 11:22 AM

    lol@Trip-gate

  3. pftisbecominglame says: Dec 14, 2010 11:24 AM

    Ok, now we’re getting ridiculous. Alosi is a douche, we know that. Rex Ryan is a scheming head coach. We know this too. It seems the only rule that was broken was Alosi’s knee jerk, and I think it’s best to leave it at that. The act of forming a human wall is actually a pretty good idea, although moving out of the way of the guy running full speed should be in order.

    Fact is, he did it, he’s being punished. Move on.

  4. billsgotballs says: Dec 14, 2010 11:37 AM

    Remember when Mike Tice got his knee “debacled” standing on the sidelines? Was that special teams play, or just a sideline tackle?

  5. billsgotballs says: Dec 14, 2010 11:40 AM

    Check this out.

    “The Minnesota coach sprained a ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants when Vikings cornerback Laroni Gallishaw blocked Jamaar Taylor into him on a punt return.”

    From

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2224041

  6. searcy69 says: Dec 14, 2010 11:41 AM

    As I stated yesterday,

    searcy69 says:
    Dec 13, 2010 11:12 AM
    I would like for everyone to take notice that what Alosi did WAS NOT A MISTAKE, IT WAS PLANNED!!! Look at where he was standing!!! His toes are on the boundary line. Any normal person would have moved back when they saw Carrol coming towards them! He knows what happens on a punt. Usually the gunner gets shoved out of bounds and have to work their way back into the field of play. Alosi PURPOSELY put himself in position to trip or impeded Carrol!!! His buddies were in on it as well. They did not make an attempt to get out the way either! If the Jets don’t FIRE ALOSI it would not surprise me. Rex Ryan and the Jets organizations seem to be HARBOURING a bunch of MISFITs!!!

    The Jets organization can’t fire Alosi because it was planned. If the the Jets Fire Alosi he will sing like a bird!!! The whole Jets organization will sink like the TITANIC!!!
    I can understand coaching guys to stand next to the boundary line but not making an attempt to get out of the way and sticking your knee out is to risk injury is ridiculous!!! That’s the mentality Rex Ryan is promoting! “If you not CHEATING, you not TRYING”!!!

  7. ispysomething7 says: Dec 14, 2010 11:43 AM

    What’s Ryan going to say anyway? I coached this? Of course he’s not!But you know damn well he did!

    Ladies and gentlemen, these are your 2010 New York Jets!

  8. larryfinfan says: Dec 14, 2010 11:45 AM

    The fine was adequate. It should have been set based on the fact that the player could have gotten hurt worse or even ended his career…You get stopped and punished for DUI even if you don’t hurt someone. The fact is that you could have hurt someone driving intoxicated, just like he could have ended Carroll’s career, potentially. Fortunately that didn’t happen. However, they should also put some rules into effect to keep it from happening again, like moving guys back further along the sidelines or something along those lines.

    Additionally, the perception is that there could have been some collusion and that it was premeditated. There isn’t any proof, other than some circumstantial stills from the video, but the perception is there. Is that a practice amongst teams?? I don’t know and have never even considered it. But if there is a way to circumvent the system, someone is looking for that way….put a rule into effect that virtually eliminates that issue from ever coming up…

    And as I mentioned before, I’m sure the players/coaches will get together some sort of gift to help this guy thru the rest of the season, if he needs it… That’s not a judgment on whether or not they should do that, just that it seems that with all the millionaire players, it would seem likely to happen…JMHO, no proof or judgment on it…

  9. joetoronto says: Dec 14, 2010 12:02 PM

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Alosi is merely the fall guy.

    Just look at the video, him and others are lined up, feet touching AND watching Carroll run by instead of the returner.

  10. benjaminbreeg11 says: Dec 14, 2010 12:02 PM

    The league is handing out huge fines for hits ‘not within the rules’ and they just brush this under the rug.?? Friggin pathetic.

    It’s only blind luck that this did not turn out to be a serious injury. As far as whether or not it was coached, all you have to do is look at the tape. The way the coaches are lined up is deliberate and calculated.

    THIS is REAL CHEATING. CHEATING that potential influences the outcome of the game as it is being played and potentially seriously damaging the health and career of the player.

    Clearly the JETS won’t fire this guy because they are scared of what he will say.

    The JETS and their FANBASE are dirt-bags. Ryan is a CHEATER.

    Have a nice day, all you Jet Fans out their in Loserville.

  11. descendency says: Dec 14, 2010 12:03 PM

    As a Patriots fan this might be confusing but I don’t see how tripping a guy who is illegally out of bounds already is wrong.

  12. importantpftcomment says: Dec 14, 2010 12:07 PM

    I’ve said many times that Alosi deserves to be fired, not suspended for what he did, but the NFL has better things to do than to investigate the conspiracy theorys of an internet hack!

  13. dg0122 says: Dec 14, 2010 12:19 PM

    of course it was coached, and of course he will not be paying his own fine…he played the good foot soldier and did what the boss told him to do, then took full blame for it…he will be rewarded accordingly

  14. patriotinvasion says: Dec 14, 2010 12:33 PM

    What? This is an outrage! I demand further investigation into this long line of CHEATING!

    Rex Ryacheat has systematically coached this blatant cheating for years!!!

    Long-live THIGH-GATE!

    I love how all the Jets fans just want this brushed under the rug for being no big deal (which it is by the way…not that big of a deal)…but these are the same bums trying to bring up spygate all the time.

    See how the media can make a mountain out of a molehill Jets fans??? Haha…stinks doesn’t it?

  15. jamie54 says: Dec 14, 2010 12:33 PM

    descendency says:
    Dec 14, 2010 12:03 PM
    As a Patriots fan this might be confusing but I don’t see how tripping a guy who is illegally out of bounds already is wrong.

    One of the most idiotic statements posted.

  16. hooterdawg says: Dec 14, 2010 12:35 PM

    benjaminbreeg: Keep trying. Each post exposes you worse than your previous one. But keep trying.

  17. hooterdawg says: Dec 14, 2010 12:41 PM

    “As a Patriots fan this might be confusing but I don’t see how tripping a guy who is illegally out of bounds already is wrong.”

    I am confused about this issue as well. If Nolan Carroll had collided with and seriously injured Alosi – while running out of bounds – what would have been the spin THEN? There are many observers on the sidelines who are watching the ball, not the gunner. Similarly, the gunner’s eyes are on the field, not the sideline personnel. Without a rule that disqualifies players running out of bounds at high speed, what is protecting sideline personnel?

  18. patriotinvasion says: Dec 14, 2010 12:50 PM

    @hooterdawg

    Your team is filled with dirty CHEATERS! They should vacate their Super Bowl III victory because “I guarantee” Joe Namath helped organize a human fence in that game and CHEATED their way to a title…It’s obvious the Jets have been CHEATING since the 60′s…

    Filthy CHEATERS!

    Haha…as a Pats fan, this is fun. You can just blurt out mindless blabber and get under another fan’s skin. Now I know why all you guys keep taking whoopins by the Pats but keep posting spygate garbage…it’s so easy

  19. nflhof says: Dec 14, 2010 12:50 PM

    Those coaches are lined up lock step. Why would they do that? Is this against the rules? I dont think this is against the rules but they are there for an advantage. They didnt budge one bit except to trip the player. The Jets are doing this for a competitve reason and thats why this happened. Rex Ryan is a cheater just like Bill Belicheck.

  20. nyjalleffingday says: Dec 14, 2010 1:00 PM

    Wow, you people are morons. Alosi wasn’t coached, he’s just a stupid d**khead. The Patriots fans need to get the sand out of their Uggs.

    Oh, and BenjaminBreeg; if you’re going to name yourself after a Maiden album, maybe it shouldn’t be one of their worst. Well, maybe not. I knew that you had nothing intelligent to say before I even had to read whatever swill it is you’re posting.

  21. jerryloler says: Dec 14, 2010 1:07 PM

    TripGate 9-7* lolololol.

  22. patriotinvasion says: Dec 14, 2010 1:16 PM

    J-E-T-S Cheat, Cheat, Cheat!

  23. RexCanCoach says: Dec 14, 2010 1:26 PM

    The Jets should have fired the guy. That would make the story and perception die faster.

    It was dirty pool no doubt. But nothing compared to the outright cheating that the Patriots embraced in SpyGate.

    You see, when someone is taping practices and showing those tapes to your coaching staff, its a collaboration. Go watch Animal House, when Belushi steals what he thinks are the answers to the final exam and shares it with all of Delta house. That is what the Patriots did. Alosi acted alone, and he was an idiot.

    SpyGate will never die.

  24. jetsfansrdumbasses says: Dec 14, 2010 1:29 PM

    For those of you ignorant enough to post crap like “he was illegally out of bounds” you should try reading or knowing more about the game before you post, you just sound like morons. First of all it’s common practice for jammers to route or push gunners out of the field of play during punt returns, the player out of bounds must then make every attempt possible to get back in the field of play as soon as possible and can not be the first man to make a play of the ball or fielding player. Carrol was out of bounds for 5 yards, which for guys running 40 yard dashes in 4.5 seconds this translates to 2 or 3 steps. Know the game before you post stupid crap.

  25. redsghost says: Dec 14, 2010 1:30 PM

    Ok, confused a bit.

    A Patriots employee was filming a few feet away from his assigned spot, the NFL headed by an Ex-NY Jet employee, opted to fine the HC $ 500,000.00 and take away a 1st round draft pick ( for cheating ), even though Sports Illustrated’s Peter King came out with an article saying the Pats never profited from this “illegal” (by a few feet) activity. Bottom line? The TEAM got penalized because of one camera man’s actions.

    Meanwhile, a NY Jet employee, PURPOSEFULLY stuck out a knee that injured an opposing player and was forced to miss some plays. In other words, the Trainer CHEATED!
    Where is the $ 500,000.00 fine and loss of 1st round draft pick for the actions od that one man? Afterall, the Patriots were penalized for the actions of one man!

    Is the Ex-NY Jet employee now turned NFL commish protecting his former team while dishing out a disproportionate punishment to his old opponents??

  26. zinn22 says: Dec 14, 2010 1:31 PM

    There is nothing wrong with using coaches and inactive players lined up on the stripe to stop players like Carrol from cheating.

    Carrol should have received a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty for not immediately returning to the field of play. What he did running out of bounds is illegal. One Dolphin already got penalized earlier for using the same tactic. Not to say Alosi should not have gotten a 15 yard penalty as well and much more. But lets not sugar coat Carrolls poor play here. He and the Doplhins uses the sidelines illegally to cheat and avoid the kick coverage.

  27. buckeye044 says: Dec 14, 2010 1:33 PM

    Why does my comment not show after more than 2 hours?

    Does this site not post comments that might call into question the integrity of the league and the broadcast groups that have paid to show their product?

  28. jcjets says: Dec 14, 2010 1:37 PM

    Your point is irrelevant. The fact is that there’s no rule saying inactive players, or coaches can’t line up like that to watch the game. Whether or not it was coached or just a group that watches together makes no difference. If its a safety hazard, put a line on that part of the field where players have to stand back. The safety issue is the only thing the NFL has to investigate.

    And what Alosi did was totally unprofessional, and a very serious offense. He could have ended Carroll’s career.

  29. stanjam says: Dec 14, 2010 1:40 PM

    Take a good look at the video. Now look at the guy to the left of the knee guy. You will notice him throw a shoulder. In fact, he even loses his balance trying to act like he isn’t doing anything and has to take a step FORWARD!

    Six guys, all lined up. Not ONE moves back. In fact, they are all watching VERY carefully, and they are watching the gunner, NOT their teammate getting the ball. One guy throws a knee, and the other guy throws a shoulder. This is deliberate and coached.

    THIS IS CHEATING.

    The Jets should be punished as an organization. Take away a first round pick.

    The man responsible should be fined and/or suspended. No, not the guy who threw the knee (who should be fired), but the man responsible for what happens on the sidelines. The one who runs the team. REX RYAN.

  30. benjaminbreeg11 says: Dec 14, 2010 2:03 PM

    nyjalleffingday says:
    Dec 14, 2010 1:00 PM
    Wow, you people are morons. Alosi wasn’t coached, he’s just a stupid d**khead. The Patriots fans need to get the sand out of their Uggs.

    Oh, and BenjaminBreeg; if you’re going to name yourself after a Maiden album, maybe it shouldn’t be one of their worst. Well, maybe not. I knew that you had nothing intelligent to say before I even had to read whatever swill it is you’re posting.

    _______________________________

    Iron who?

    Hmmmm….sounds like I’m getting on some loser’s nerves.

    As to your other point, Rex Ryacheat clearly coached this, look at the way they’re lined up. Your telling me that was chance?

    Remember Rex’s motto ‘“If you’re not CHEATING, you’re not TRYING”!!! or the ever popular ‘ I’m not here to kiss Belichick rings, I’m here to get my butt kicked by him!’

    Have a nice day, Jets Fans!

  31. redsghost says: Dec 14, 2010 2:20 PM

    RexCanCoach says:
    Dec 14, 2010 1:26 PM

    It was dirty pool no doubt. But nothing compared to the outright cheating that the Patriots embraced in SpyGate.

    You see, when someone is taping practices and showing those tapes to your coaching staff, its a collaboration. Go watch Animal House, when Belushi steals what he thinks are the answers to the final exam and shares it with all of Delta house. That is what the Patriots did. Alosi acted alone, and he was an idiot.

    SpyGate will never die

    Wow, are you ever wrong! You see how folks will try and hide that their own team is cheating by exaggerating stories??
    Filming a “practice” became filming “practices”.
    Now, RexCan’tCoach has discovered that the cameraman shared the tapes with the coaching staff.
    BB has never been proven as a cheater, but now that the Jets CLEARLY cheated and violated NFL rules, they will try and hide those actions by shining a light on others- typical NY fan style!
    Oh, btw- learn English! “outright” cheating means directly cheating! The trainer who tripped and caused an injury is “outright” cheating, whereas the taping was an error by a few feet.

    Tripgate lives on!!

  32. bleedsoe9mm says: Dec 14, 2010 2:25 PM

    this was allot worse than spygate because this actually effect the score of the game they are playing in , not some future meeting . it needs to be a 1st round pick

  33. lightninglucci says: Dec 14, 2010 2:35 PM

    We don’t need a rule to prevent assistants from making a formation, because we’ve already got one.

    You see that big thick white line? Everybody not involved in the play is required to stand behind it. If you’re on the line and a player hits you, it’s a penalty against your team.

    Thus, if we really feel the need to tweak this rule to prevent further incidences, we may just need to make the white line bigger.

  34. patriotinvasion says: Dec 14, 2010 2:58 PM

    @RexCanCoach

    What “practice” have the Patriots ever taped? Yes, they video taped signals in plain view to 70,000 people in the stadium every Sunday..big deal, but what practice are you referring to?

    I hope you’re not talking about the Rams considering your god Matt Walsh himself said it was NEVER TAPED. So to just say they taped practices when it’s not true is ludicrous…

    The real question is whether Thigh-Gate will result in the Jets losing their Week 2 Super Bowl rings from the past two years….AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  35. dvnelson72 says: Dec 14, 2010 3:02 PM

    Wide receivers and running backs will start getting killed if some of you people are correct.

    Why not just line up the entire team just outside the white line and smash anyone who crosses that line?

    It’ll be like a Mad Max version of the NFL.

    I can see it now. Chris Johnson gets shoved out of bounds and as he comes to the edge of the white stripe, he gets closelined by a sideline player.

    Coaches, practice squad players, and inactives will start wearing full gear. Some will get baseball bats.

    It will change the game for the better! WR and RB won’t dare to get close to the sideline, even during the 2 minute drill.

    /sarcasm

  36. jackhall00 says: Dec 14, 2010 3:06 PM

    @ redsghost
    Since you are confused this should clear it up.

    Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said this during an interview with USA TODAY shortly after he retired in 2005.
    “Every now and then I’d get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent,” Johnson said in November 2005. “I don’t know how, but they just showed up.”
    ___________________________________
    “This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots.
    ___________________________________
    Belichick, however, accepted full responsibility “for the actions that led to tonight’s ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused.”

  37. patriotinvasion says: Dec 14, 2010 3:27 PM

    Man if you follow these message boards, you’d start believing football players have nothing to do with winning and losing football games.

    According to you guys, all you need is a dorky cameraman and scumbag strength coach and you can go 19-0. Ha. Get real.

  38. redsghost says: Dec 14, 2010 4:13 PM

    jackhall00 says:
    Dec 14, 2010 3:06 PM
    @ redsghost
    Since you are confused this should clear it up.

    ““Every now and then I’d get a sheet, one hour before the game, with a list of audibles for our opponent,” Johnson said in November 2005. “I don’t know how, but they just showed up.”
    And you’re simply assuming they came from tapes? Not the fact that they’ve played the team countless times before and remember their playcalling? You DO know the definition of “assume”, right?

    ““This episode represents a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field,” Goodell said in a letter to the Patriots”

    You mean the letter from the Ex- NY Jets employee turned NFL commissioner? The Jets were caught/admitted to taping, where is their loss of a 1st rounder?? Oh, that’s right- the Ex-NY Jet employee turned NFL Commish overlooked his previous employer’s mistake but shafted his old foe.

    “Belichick, however, accepted full responsibility “for the actions that led to tonight’s ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused.”

    My MISTAKE! So considering YOU used these quotes, does this mean you agree that Bill B simply made a mistake and wasn’t cheating when the camera was off by a few feet?

    You DID help clear it up though, in the Patriots favor.

  39. nyjalleffingday says: Dec 14, 2010 4:35 PM

    Videotaping opponents signals isn’t quite exactly the same as tripping a pretty mediocre player on special teams, who was already committing a penalty.

    Both are incredibly unsportsmanlike, but don’t compare Spygate to “Tripgate.”

  40. texasphinsfan says: Dec 14, 2010 10:21 PM

    Or maybe the Dolphins didn’t press the league for an investigation because it’s not that big of a deal and the matter is considered settled?

  41. nyjalleffingday says: Dec 15, 2010 11:55 AM

    @BenjaminBreeg

    You’d have to convince me that he told Alosi to trip Carroll. I do agree that the “phalanx” was coached, but is not against the rules at all.

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