Last month, the NFL fined the Jets $100,000 for forming a wall on a punt return, which resulted in the tripping of Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll by Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi. Jets special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff declared in the wake of the controversy that the Patriots do the same thing.
Now, Jay Glazer of FOX has gotten his hands on evidence to support that assertion.
Moments ago, Glazer showed video of a loose alignment of Patriots players along the white stripe during a Jets punt in the teams’ Week Two game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Though they weren’t standing shoulder to shoulder and toe to toe like Sal Alosi and his North Jersey mob, six or seven Pats were up on the edge of the sideline, and one of them appears to try to trip the gunner.
Glazer said that the Jets became aware of the maneuver after signing a Patriots practice-squad player, who blew the whistle on his former team.
As Glazer points out, the Jets may have been able to reduce their own fine — and possibly to get the Pats in line for a fine — if they had known about this sooner. Whether the league takes action remains to be seen.
Regardless of how it turns out, the disclosure highlights the past failures of the officials and/or the league office to enforce pre-existing rules applicable to the positioning of players and assistant coaches in the bench area.
UPDATE: Shawn Crable is the most recent former Patriot whom the Jets signed. Crable arrived on November 16, 2010. Inexplicably, the Jets apparently didn’t bother to go to Crable and ask him whether the Pats had used similar tactics in Week Two.
UPDATE II: Here’s the video.