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Westhoff’s accusation against Pats potentially violated league rules

MikeWesthoff

Four days after the trip heard ’round the NFL world, the story continues to grow, well, legs.

On Wednesday, the Jets announced that strength coach Sal Alosi’s suspension through the end of the 2010 season would be converted to an indefinite suspension, given the conclusion that Alosi had been aligning players on the edge of the field to impede gunners from opposing punt teams.  Then, Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff accused the Patriots of doing the same thing, via confusing comments in which Westoff simultaneously seemed to suggest that the Patriots were doing nothing wrong while insisting that his own name not be attached to such dastardly deeds.

In subsequent remarks, Westhoff further clouded the issue.  “I’m not accusing the Patriots of doing something wrong,” Westhoff said at a press conference. “Maybe they’re doing something smart.”  Fine, so why has Westhoff vehemently distanced himself from the apparently legal practice of lining up personnel on the white stripe that lines the field?

Setting aside (for now) the question of whether Alosi truly was acting alone or whether he’s merely taking the fall for Westhoff and/or others, a league source pointed out to us on Wednesday night that Westhoff’s decision to publicly point a finger at the Patriots potentially violates separate rules regarding the procedure for making complaints about other teams.  Put simply, if one NFL team has a beef with another NFL team, the grievance must be aired privately and through proper league channels.

The issue last came up in 2008, when Raiders owner Al Davis strongly implied that the Patriots had tampered with receiver Randy Moss before swinging a trade for the player who went from underachiever in Oakland to superstar in Boston.  The league fired off a letter to Davis reminding him of the prohibition against making such public claims, and essentially instructing him to either file tampering charges with the league office or drop it.

It remains to be seen whether the league office reminds the Jets of this provision, or whether any punishment will be imposed.  Multiple league sources have suggested that nothing will happen; accurate or otherwise, there’s a perception in league circles that the Jets receive special treatment from the league office.

That perception has been bolstered by the fact that Alosi’s actions were deemed to be sufficiently egregious to justify an indefinite suspension by the Jets, but that the league has imposed no penalty on the Jets.  Compare that with last month’s Spygate II episode, in which the Broncos were fined $50,000 simply by virtue of the fact that they employed a video operator who (supposedly) videotaped a 49ers’ walk-through practice as a rogue act.

The league can’t have it both ways, no matter how badly the league wants to see this situation go away quickly and as quietly as possible.

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52 Responses to “Westhoff’s accusation against Pats potentially violated league rules”
  1. kissbillsrings says: Dec 16, 2010 2:40 AM

    Give the Patriots the Jets first round pick….they screw them up anyways….man the Jets sure have Patriot envy…well, so does the rest of the league for that matter!!

  2. hobartbaker says: Dec 16, 2010 2:47 AM

    “I never mentioned nothing about a Wiejic Wall over there in Foxboro. And remember this was Alosi’s Alignment, not Westhoff’s Wall.”.

  3. piratefreedom says: Dec 16, 2010 2:54 AM

    As a Pats fan I think this is an occasion to laugh at a fool not pay a lawyer, lawyers may disagree of course.

  4. frankvzappa says: Dec 16, 2010 2:58 AM

    when something goes wrong or your team simply isnt good enough, just blame the Patriots…if you cant beat them, resort to defamation…

  5. steelerer says: Dec 16, 2010 3:10 AM

    Something out of nothing, let it go already move on to the next topic, nobody cares.

  6. bstnfan33 says: Dec 16, 2010 3:22 AM

    Can’t wait to wake up in the morning and read all the hate. Somehow you’ll make this about how the Patriots are really to blame.

  7. benh999 says: Dec 16, 2010 3:24 AM

    Can we drop this? I really hate the Jets, but if a gunner runs into his opponents’ sideline during a punt, he does so at his own risk.

    Westhoff just comes off as a moron desperate to redirect attention.

    Who cares?

  8. monropoobah says: Dec 16, 2010 5:20 AM

    it’s clear what should be done. thank god pft has been here to lead us to clarity. alosi’s punishment needs to be public and brutal. flogged, drawn and quartered (whatever that means) and subjected to public trial as a witch. the internet needs to be rerouted to this issue so that EVERYONE can be brought into the discussion about what evil lurks on the jets sideline. this is probably the most important story in news, let alone sports, in generations.
    i’ll be back to commit more time to this. first have to quit my job and say goodbye to my family so that i can more fully commit to this and honor it’s importance.

  9. j0hnfr0mjersey says: Dec 16, 2010 5:57 AM

    Somehow these things always point back to the Pats. Kraft should take a long look at “how” his team wins.

  10. ineptguy6 says: Dec 16, 2010 6:09 AM

    The Alosi suspension was for his active role in tripping a player, not for his alignment. The wall of players is not illegal. So by saying the Patriots do the same thing, you might as well say, hey the Patriots throw passes on offense sometimes. It is not an accusation.

    If you want to make a big deal about him distancing himself, maybe it is because it is a punk move, not an illegal one. I can’t blame for not wanting to be associated with a move that low.

  11. billsfan27 says: Dec 16, 2010 6:12 AM

    I guess it’s too late to suggest the Jets should all just shut their f**king mouths. What an absolute joy to watch – this team’s implosion the past week.

    Should be even more interesting after Pittsburgh dismantles them in a few days.

    Rex Ryan ultimately got what he wanted: his overrated, mediocre team with no chemistry is getting all the attention in the NFL now. And he, for once, is speechless.

    What a joke.

  12. foobarfoofoo says: Dec 16, 2010 6:35 AM

    The Broncos were fined because they did not report the happenings to the league asap, not for the taping itself.

  13. lowleadman says: Dec 16, 2010 6:52 AM

    Ny Jets. The sky is falling, but your lips are still flapping. The self destruction predicted by some is apparently coming true. I can’t wait for the Steelers to bounce the jets this week. The two most hated franchises in sports…Yankees and Jets. Soon, even New Yorkers will feel as the rest of the nation does.
    One word to Fat Tubby. Kiss the rings fool. They’re magic!

  14. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Dec 16, 2010 6:56 AM

    This is hilarious. Every time someone gets caught doing something dumb these days they try to say they learned it from watching Bill. Too funny. Grow up people accept responsibility for your actions and be men.

  15. nokoolaidcowboy says: Dec 16, 2010 7:03 AM

    Why is a strength and conditioning coach even getting involved in a game to this extent?

  16. mistrezzrachael says: Dec 16, 2010 7:11 AM

    Pretty obvious that jets are as dirty as they come.

    Time for league…and I know it’d hurt Goodell..to come down hard on them.

  17. bledsoesghost says: Dec 16, 2010 7:36 AM

    Before the Jets sucked, there was lava. And many, many eons of planetary turmoil. Since the continents formed, and the platelets of the planet settled, the only continuous sucking sound remaining in the history of mankind has come from New Jersey – vicinity of the Meadowlands Stadium. LOL!!!!

  18. Ralphie says: Dec 16, 2010 7:37 AM

    The old “deny, deny, accuse” defense. Oldest trick in the book. Westhoff is a low life. He’s covering up for the whole nasty Jests organization. What’s interesting is he could have blamed 31 other team, INCLUDING the Phins, but Rex and TBaum make sure he points “North”. No scummier team in then NFL than the Jests.

  19. zombiepatriot says: Dec 16, 2010 7:42 AM

    This whole issue is just sad and pathetic. Not surprising it is coming from the Jets.

    I guess they had to do something to deflect attention away from their poor performance.

  20. knucklebucket says: Dec 16, 2010 7:53 AM

    The whole “knee gate” thing is bush league. Why they haven’t just kept their mouth shut after Alosi took the heat is beyond me. But what I am really enjoying is watching the wheels come off this Jets bus late in the season. Maybe this will teach Rex Ryan to keep his mouth shut. Talk is cheap in the beginning of the season when you’re playing well and makes you look like an idiot when your team falters down the stretch.

  21. habsman says: Dec 16, 2010 8:02 AM

    The special treatment received by the Jets has nothing to do with the fact Goodell at one time worked for the Jets………does it???

  22. pastabelly says: Dec 16, 2010 8:03 AM

    There are two people to blame for what went down on that field. One is a Dolphin and the other is Alosi. Carroll is supposed to be in bounds when he heads down the field and what he did should have earned Miami a 15-yard penalty. Alosi, of course, should not have tripped him. That was stupid and he should be fined and suspended for the rest of the season. The whole thing should have died there.

    But the Jets and Westhoff started acting like a bunch of weenies. They need to get over this whole Patriots thing and focus on building a football team and not on kissing somebody’s rings or television shows. That franchise has lost its focus since Parcells left.

  23. 8man says: Dec 16, 2010 8:12 AM

    @pastabelly:

    Completely agree. The cat was OB and Alosi was just plain wrong. Though, I’m sure what he did has passed through lots of people’s minds. I’d like for someone to post what the rules are for players being on/off the playing field on punt and kickoff returns.

    It might be one of those, “it’s against the rules to go OB during returns, but everyone does it so no one enforces it” things.

    And yes, there is some subtle, sick obsession the Jets have with the Patriots. Other than the fact, the Jets are pretty much responsible for creating this dynasty of the Patriots, I can’t see why that is.

  24. semperfi24 says: Dec 16, 2010 8:24 AM

    To summarize Mr Westhoff’s comments:

    It isnt that big of a deal, and I had absolutely nothing to do with it, BUT, for those that think it is a big deal, the Patriots do it too. They do it every time, been doing it for ever, they do it even better than we do, you should all look at them, and forget our tripping incident. The mere fact that we learned it from them, means that they should be punished for our embarrassing tripping incident

  25. grpatriot says: Dec 16, 2010 8:31 AM

    I guess anyone can say anything about the Patriots? Regardless of proof, reality or the league rules…
    I hope Goodell drops the hammer on the Jets! This is beyond ridculous!!!
    Anybody that believes Rex didn’t know about this tactic is fooling themselves. How do I know?
    The coach didn’t get fired. Had he did something that egregious, without Rex’s knowledge he’d be gone. Yet, he isn’t. Rex was standing 1yd from the play! The story had changed 3 times since the story broke!
    The Baffoon talks smack, can’t back it up. When things go wrong blame a strength coach..Blame the defense, blame Sanchez. Now, just blame the Patriots. Pathetic!

  26. tiffpats4eva says: Dec 16, 2010 8:34 AM

    j0hnfr0mjersey says:
    Dec 16, 2010 5:57 AM
    Somehow these things always point back to the Pats. Kraft should take a long look at “how” his team wins.
    *****************

    Gee one team attempts to deflect attention away from something that is supposedly “no big deal” and an idiot like johnfromjersey is already distracted by that shiney object.

    Go figure.

  27. kanepft says: Dec 16, 2010 8:38 AM

    It seems to me that everybody’s missing the key point. It’s not that the Jets lined up bodies by the sidelines, that’s fine. It’s a little bit that they lined up guys who weren’t allowed to be there.

    But the real story is that they weren’t just told to get in the way, they were told to LET THE DOLPHIN PLAYER CRASH INTO THEM.

    Look at the photos — a bunch of guys in sweats staring down a 200-pound football player running toward them at 40-yd-dash speed in helmet and pads. And not one of them moves away! They lean TOWARD him.

  28. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 16, 2010 8:38 AM

    Just another rule broken by the Jets. That’s not important. Hey the Pats made us do it. It’s the evil Pats fault.

  29. kev86 says: Dec 16, 2010 8:48 AM

    Make the 33 yr. old punk play special teams the next time Dolphins/Jets play and call it a day. I’d watch.

  30. PFTiswhatitis says: Dec 16, 2010 9:01 AM

    Tripgate has legs!

  31. andyprough says: Dec 16, 2010 9:05 AM

    How very Goodell-ish to punish anyone who speaks openly about cheating.

    He needs to set up a series of “re-education” camps in a very cold place, like Alaska or Siberia, where “dissidents” can be sent for lengthy “training sessions” about how to speak positively about the Soviet Party (errr…. NFL) when addressing the media.

    Patriot fans, you should appreciate that guy Roger Goodell. He is a good and loyal “comrade”, LOL

    Funny that the commish who popularized this sport in the first place, Pete Rozell, had no such rules about complaining about other teams publicly, and in fact allowed teams to openly sue each other (see Oakland Raiders vs. Steelers regarding Chuck Noll’s “criminal element” comments)

  32. pluvlaw says: Dec 16, 2010 9:12 AM

    Rex Ryan admits ordering the Code Red:

    http://tinyurl.com/3a7vm2g

    RYAN: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has games. And those games have to be coached by men with guts. Who’s gonna coach those games? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Carroll and you curse the NY Jets. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Carroll’s trip, while tragic, almost helped us win the game. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, almost wins games. You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about parties, you want me on that sideline, you need me on that sideline. We use words like sideline, blocking, players…we use these words as the backbone of a life spent cheating. You use them as a punchline.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and cheers the very games I lose, then questions the manner in which I lose them. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a headset and coach a game. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

  33. zimaman says: Dec 16, 2010 9:15 AM

    NE PATRIOTS 11-2
    NY JETS 9-4 * caught cheating

    New England Patriots
    G W-L Pct. PPG

    Pre-Sanction 126 87-39 .690 23.4

    Since Sanction 64 49-15 .766 29.4

    New York Jets
    G W-L Pct. PPG

    Pre-Sanction This Team Sucks Why bother!

    Since Sanction 1 0-1 0 6.0

  34. grpatriot says: Dec 16, 2010 9:19 AM

    The Jets Organization reeks! The sideline scandel, the Sideline reporter scandel, The Farve junk scandel. They also were involved in taping signals….you need to have clean hands before you besmerch someone else!
    The Jets have the right to complain to the league. The League determines if it has merit. That’s how it’s suppossed to work…
    Goodell should be livid! However, he was weaned as a Jet employee, so who knows for sure???

  35. louisianafootballfan says: Dec 16, 2010 9:29 AM

    I just don’t see any reason why a Strength and Conditioning coach would take it upon himself to build a wall of coaches/players without any instruction from a head coach or special teams coach. He has nothing to do with on the field strategy. This is all just a little fishy to me, and I think that this indefinite suspension instead of firing reeks of “let’s not fire him and maybe he’ll stay quiet”.

  36. jimmy1smith says: Dec 16, 2010 9:31 AM

    Its hard to imagine that the Patriots cheating, even if is as mundane as lining up a wall on the sidelines during punt returns. Shocking, just shocking.

  37. robzar says: Dec 16, 2010 9:40 AM

    Hey johnfromjersey, maybe the JETS should take a “long look” to see how the Patriots have been winning so many games. I’ll save them the trouble, here’s how. (1) great ownership (2) the best head coach on the face of the planet (3) the best QB in history (4) a “TEAM” that keeps it’s mouth shut, listens to thier coach, and plays hard with only one goal in mind, winning the SuperBowl!

  38. knucklebucket says: Dec 16, 2010 9:58 AM

    pluvlaw says:
    Dec 16, 2010 9:12 AM
    Rex Ryan admits ordering the Code Red:

    http://tinyurl.com/3a7vm2g

    RYAN: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has games. And those games have to be coached by men with guts. Who’s gonna coach those games? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Carroll and you curse the NY Jets. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Carroll’s trip, while tragic, almost helped us win the game. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, almost wins games. You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about parties, you want me on that sideline, you need me on that sideline. We use words like sideline, blocking, players…we use these words as the backbone of a life spent cheating. You use them as a punchline.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and cheers the very games I lose, then questions the manner in which I lose them. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a headset and coach a game. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.
    ___________________________________

    That is just epic!

  39. benjaminbreeg11 says: Dec 16, 2010 10:01 AM

    Ryacheat and Westhoff sound like Richard Nixon when watergate started. They run the team, but of course this organized cheating and attempt to injure an opponents players from the sidelines is something they know nothing about. Sure.

    This organized attempt to injure an oppenents player, from the sidelines, was obviously designed and sanctioned by Flabby Rex and Westhoff. Alosi is just the hit-man.

    Player safety must come first. Stripping the JETS of a 1st and 2nd round pick, fining Ryacheat 750K and the JETS 500K needs to be done if the NFL wants anyone to believe they care about player safety. This is no different from a mugging on a street.

  40. benjaminbreeg11 says: Dec 16, 2010 10:03 AM

    monropoobah says:
    Dec 16, 2010 5:20 AM
    it’s clear what should be done. thank god pft has been here to lead us to clarity. alosi’s punishment needs to be public and brutal. flogged, drawn and quartered (whatever that means) and subjected to public trial as a witch. the internet needs to be rerouted to this issue so that EVERYONE can be brought into the discussion about what evil lurks on the jets sideline. this is probably the most important story in news, let alone sports, in generations.
    i’ll be back to commit more time to this. first have to quit my job and say goodbye to my family so that i can more fully commit to this and honor it’s importance.

    __________________________________

    Now that’s just silly. This guy needs help.

  41. RexCanCoach says: Dec 16, 2010 10:09 AM

    pluvlaw – that was classic.

    Let’s just hope Sexy Rex can get his head on straight, there is a HUGE game this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

    Jets have dealt with distractions all year, nothing new here…still the record is all that counts for all you LOSERS, so lets just hope Jets can get into the playoffs and start to feel the magic they had in 2009 once again.

  42. urworstnitemare58 says: Dec 16, 2010 10:27 AM

    I hate the Pats as much as the next fan, but come on take your medicine like a man and not point fingers at someone else because of what you did. Even if the Pats do this at least they aren’t tripping people when they run by. If this moron would have never tripped him then nobody would even be reading about your human wall.

  43. phinfan says: Dec 16, 2010 10:29 AM

    Who cares! Let the Jets collapse begin.

    Fins need two Jet loses. GO FINS!!!

  44. ocgunslinger says: Dec 16, 2010 10:45 AM

    Sniff…Sniffle………..Waaaaa Waaaaa. We are not to blame it is all the fault of those Patriots. Brady should be suspended for the rest of the year….and maybe next year so we might have a snowballs chance in hell of winning. (We are already in football hell).

  45. pluvlaw says: Dec 16, 2010 10:52 AM

    RexCanCoach:

    For Jet’s fans’ sake, they better hope the Jets win. If the Jets throw up another loss (and especially if Sanchez lays another turd), that NY media is gonna love pulling on this Tripgate thread as a way to attack Ryan. You’ll start seeing tons of “Lack of Accountability and Control”-type stories with Tripgate just the latest of several dots they will connect to show how Ryan “just doesn’t have what it takes to be a head coach.”

    The media ate all that tough talk up when Rexy was winning. If he’s losing, it’s all just him being a blowhard. And they will skewer him for it. (Rex: “Mmmmm…skewers…”)

  46. patriotinvasion says: Dec 16, 2010 11:04 AM

    Mike Cheathoff pointing fingers. No telling what else Cheathoff and Rex Ryancheat have been up to…filthy CHEATERS!

    Ha…

  47. FoozieGrooler says: Dec 16, 2010 11:38 AM

    #kissbillsrings says: Dec 16, 2010 2:40 AM

    “man the Jets sure have Patriot envy…well, so does the rest of the league for that matter!!”

    Oh absolutely.
    What organization in the NFL doesn’t want to be known as the single most disgraced franchise in all of recorded sports history?

  48. homelanddefense says: Dec 16, 2010 12:04 PM

    for once can the Jets players and staff leave the Patriots out of things

  49. patriotinvasion says: Dec 16, 2010 12:09 PM

    @FoozieGrooler

    Flip on NFL Network or ESPN…I don’t think they portray the Patriots as the most disgraced franchise in all of recorded sports history…all I see is Team of the Decade honors…3 Super Bowl rings…and one of the most impressive Dynasties ever…during the era of free agency…

    Sorry, for as much as you hope and pray that the Patriots (who obviously beat the piss out of your crappy team for years) will be brought down, their legacy has already been established…DYNASTY…Team of the 2000’s…HAHAHA…sorry LOSER!

  50. 1historian says: Dec 16, 2010 12:44 PM

    My opinion of jets fans was formed in the 2nd half of the 1st game of the 2007 season.

    (Yes this was the game where the Pats were caught stealing defensive signals – but that was the 1st half.)

    I was listening to the game on my car radio and the jets QB (whose name I forget -Pennington?) was injured. I could hear it over the radio – the jets fans were cheering loud enough so I could hear it on the radio. Even the announcer remarked on how no-class it was.

  51. bcgreg says: Dec 16, 2010 6:35 PM

    @ ineptguy6

    The wall WAS illegal because it contained inactive Jets players. Only coaches and uniformed players are allowed in that area.

    @ foobarfoofoo

    WRONG! They were punished for the taping. The delay in reporting it added to the punishment.

    J-E-T-S Suck Suck Suck!

  52. wtf__seriously says: Dec 16, 2010 8:32 PM

    benjaminbreeg11 gets my nomination for the Biggest Jets Troll.
    Benjamin, you are ALL OVER anything Jets, coming up with those quippy, quirky nicknames for everyone. Bravo to you!! Such talent!
    Since you are posting all day and obviously not employed during daylight hours, can I suggest a soap opera? Maybe General Hospital? Drama queens like yourself seem to like that kind of stuff.

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