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NFL bans Patriots’ ineligible receiver ploy

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Getty Images

The trick play the Patriots used against the Ravens in the playoffs will no longer be legal under an NFL rule adopted today.

The league has made it illegal for an offensive player with an eligible receiver’s jersey number (1-49 and 80-89) to report as an ineligible player and line up outside the tackle box. That means the play on which Patriots running back Shane Vereen lined up as an ineligible receiver in the slot would now be a penalty.

It was a crafty ploy by Patriots coach Bill Belichick and his staff to come up with that play, and it clearly caught the Ravens off guard. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh was so upset about the play that he got a penalty for yelling at the officials about it. A week later, the Patriots also caught the Colts off guard by playing tricks with eligible receivers.

But those tricks are coming to an end after a vote of the owners today.

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320 Responses to “NFL bans Patriots’ ineligible receiver ploy”
  1. skittlesareyum says: Mar 25, 2015 3:51 PM

    Because what the NFL needs are more rules and exceptions.

  2. RavenzGunnerz says: Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM

    YES!!!

    More football and less trickery.

    If want to see ticks, I will buy a ticket to Cirque du Soleil

  3. azarkhan says: Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM

    So what is the Seahawks excuse for losing?

  4. freddypatsfan says: Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM

    If you can’t beat it, ban it. These owners meetings have turned into what we can do to the patriots so everyone can catch up

  5. steelerben says: Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM

    It was fun while it lasted.

  6. dirtyback says: Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM

    The New England Asterisks

  7. deflatedfootballs says: Mar 25, 2015 3:53 PM

    Like the Colts and Polian in 04 if you can’t beat them, just complain during the next owners meeting.

  8. steelhammer92 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:53 PM

    Credit Belichick for being smart enough to recognize and use the loophole to his advantage… But it was a bush league move no matter how you slice it.

  9. Florio_Jr. says: Mar 25, 2015 3:54 PM

    It’s not a trick when over the loud speaker they say #34 is ineligible. Just b/c the Pats did it everyone acts like its deliberate cheating.

  10. raymondtx says: Mar 25, 2015 3:54 PM

    You have to give it to Belichick, he will do ANYTHING to win. And, I mean A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

  11. m1k3g says: Mar 25, 2015 3:54 PM

    They finally got one right.

    Whether the Patriots’ gimmick was technically illegal or not, it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t against the spirit of the substitution rules.

  12. bigjoeee says: Mar 25, 2015 3:55 PM

    That’s what you think

  13. drshankenstein says: Mar 25, 2015 3:55 PM

    Ploy ??? How is it a ploy ????

  14. rcali says: Mar 25, 2015 3:55 PM

    Well, back to secretly filming other team’s practices and reconfiguring footballs to your teams specs instead of the NFL’s. Super Bowl Champs!*

  15. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 25, 2015 3:55 PM

    Cheaters

  16. darthbelichick07 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:56 PM

    Currently under investigation:

    The Patriots constant use of left-footed punters.

  17. johnodocks says: Mar 25, 2015 3:56 PM

    I said it before. If you wonder why the rule book keeps getting more complex, blame the Loophole Hoodie.

  18. mschurm1 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:57 PM

    Belichick was one step ahead of the league, and it gave his team a better chance to win.

  19. mrone50 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:57 PM

    If you can’t cheat em. Deflated em.

  20. bassplucker says: Mar 25, 2015 3:57 PM

    There go the Patriots, ruining it for everyone else again.

  21. faninvirginia says: Mar 25, 2015 3:57 PM

    Oh Boy, Belechik is back at work finding a new rule to skirt. No its not cheating, it just getting as close as you can to it, and Obviously violating the spirit of the rule.

  22. jim0tt0 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:58 PM

    Patriots: building a legacy of dishonest cheaters.

  23. pats777 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:58 PM

    LOL. Thus continues the annual changing of the rulebook specifically to stop the Pats from winning. What is this the fifth rule change in the last decade in response to whiny franchises who were beat fair and square by BB. & company? Is Harbaugh going to man up and take ownership of this rule change? Doubt it.

  24. hairpie2 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:58 PM

    So now they have to change shirts to make it legal?

  25. helmetcatch says: Mar 25, 2015 3:58 PM

    CHEATERS

  26. truckinmack says: Mar 25, 2015 3:58 PM

    If I’m Bill Belichick I’m happy that other teams cannot use my trick against me…

    Now I can think of new ones to use.

  27. joeyvillanueva1 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM

    This is sort of “don’t hate the player, hate the game” territory. What Bill did was legal so it took exploitation to fix it, no problem there. BB is a creative play caller to say the least.

    I remember playing NCAA ’11 thinking before it could be effective for a TE to run in a formation, and then Bill deployed Aaron in this way (haven’t really seen it before or since). Aaron “killed” it in that formation…

  28. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM

    Hahaha another asterik on that superbowl trophy

  29. icup89 says: Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM

    The don’t announce it over a load speaker…That was the problem…The ravens weren’t being informed who was eligible or not in a timely manner

  30. hairpie2 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:00 PM

    Since the Jets actually did this against the Pats and the Pats didnt complain, is this now the “Raven Rule?”

  31. mattwalshvideo says: Mar 25, 2015 4:00 PM

    New England always be cheating, their fans always be trying desperately to defend the taint.

    Ha Ha ****, the struggle is real in NE.

  32. erod22 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:00 PM

    Just make it legal to spy on Deflatriot practices, and there’ll be no problem.

  33. King of All Beer says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Would you like a little more whine with your sour grapes?

  34. bleedsoe9mm says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Bill will just find another loophole , he’s smarter than the entire rules committee put together .

  35. sterling7 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Why ban it, that’s ridiculous. If all is fair in love and war-why not football?!

  36. seattlesue427 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Barn door finally closes. Other coaches read the rule book so that they can coach the players. Belicheat reads it looking for loopholes. Can’t wait for that sneaky rat to be gone from the game for good.

  37. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    How was it cheating? Think of something new to type, just typing cheaters is lazy and cliche.

  38. sportnut92 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Are the Patriots really “cheaters” or is Bill that much more crafty than other coaches?
    Bill doing what he does best, exposing the NFL system and the “integrity” it claims.

    Meanwhile in Foxboro, The Lombardi Trophy is glistening elegantly at Gilette Stadium, home of the World Champion New England Patriots.*

    *Please Note the most successful franchise, and ONLY dynasty in the Salary Cap Era.

  39. nfl4dummies says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    No Pats fan here, but C’mon. Tricks? Pfffttt. That’s gamesmanship. Taking every advantage you can in the ultimate competition.

  40. bmoreb says: Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM

    Florio_Jr. says:
    Mar 25, 2015 3:54 PM

    It’s not a trick when over the loud speaker they say #34 is ineligible. Just b/c the Pats did it everyone acts like its deliberate cheating.
    _________________________________

    Stop with the lame loud speaker spiel, it’s pointless. You’ve have clearly missed the point all together.

  41. dsigrey says: Mar 25, 2015 4:02 PM

    Belichick is smirking somewhere… Hey if you can’t beat em’ complain about it. The other teams (Ravens cough cough) can’t figure it out so lets hold their hands threw each play. Maybe we can give them a “do over” too?

  42. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:02 PM

    I love the comments about the “spirit of the rules” Something is either illegal or not. What they did was not. Pretty simple.

  43. dsigrey says: Mar 25, 2015 4:03 PM

    icup89 says:
    Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM
    The don’t announce it over a load speaker…That was the problem…The ravens weren’t being informed who was eligible or not in a timely manner

    **********************************

    This guy knows nothing about what actually happened…

  44. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:03 PM

    I see comments about the Pats and their history of cheating. What history? Caught breaking the rules one time, 8 years ago. Let it go. Must suck to carry around so much hate all the time.

  45. mattcro0172 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:04 PM

    Ploys? tricks?…..it’s called coaching fools. The Pats have become accustomed to rule changes forced through by inferior coaches. We got what we needed out of a great football play. World Champs !

  46. whywerule says: Mar 25, 2015 4:04 PM

    RavenzGunnerz says:
    Mar 25, 2015 3:52 PM
    More football and less trickery.

    If want to see tricks, I will buy a ticket to Cirque du Soleil

    Do you want to see the play action pass banned? After all, that is trickery.

  47. bigjoeee says: Mar 25, 2015 4:04 PM

    Ya raven …we’ll have somethin else in store for u babies next year since we do know the rulebook and your coach doesn’t …have Ray rice slap some sense into harbarf

  48. dynaco says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    Forever known as the Fauxboro Flim Flam.

  49. jonathankrobinson424 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    Bill is back in the his dark basement with the witching brew brewing, thinking of a NEW unforseen wrinkle he can exploit from the rulebook. The man is changing the game ! Pretty impressive.

  50. valentino8100 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    For parity’s sake, the NFL may end up having to ban Bill Belichick entirely, if that were possible.

  51. horaceivory says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    It was legal when they did it. Harbaugh cried. So now it’s not. Belichick’s probably laughing about it now. There’s a reason he used it against the Ravens. Not exactly mensas over there.

    Funny, how it caused such an uproar. How different is it from tackle eligible plays? No one had a problem with big #76 catching a td pass on the fake field goal by the Seahawks in the NFC Championship against the Packers. All that trickery.

  52. dtp15 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    Talk about petty. League throwing a fit because Belichick isnt their coach.

  53. nightrain42 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    It wasn’t illegal, but it did skirt the intention of the rule. No one has ever reported as an ineligible receiver. Give Bill his due, but this had to be addressed.

  54. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    The don’t announce it over a load speaker…That was the problem…The ravens weren’t being informed who was eligible or not in a timely manner

    It was announced by the ref and over the speaker in the stadium. The ref even told the Ravens not to cover him. Peter King timed the play, they had over 7 seconds to figure it out or use a time out. So many whiners, what a pathetic existence you all must lead that you let it bother you so much

  55. wimpyburgers says: Mar 25, 2015 4:05 PM

    I especially liked Bellichick’s response to whether Edelman was suffering the effects from a concussion: “I wasn’t aware of that.”
    Now the NFL has to create an objective spotter to stop the game.
    Thanks Bill!

  56. baddegg says: Mar 25, 2015 4:06 PM

    Also, the league has ruled that if you are wearing a New England uniform, you may not go out for a forward pass.

  57. atomdomb says: Mar 25, 2015 4:06 PM

    Belichick – Chess
    The rest of the NFL – Checkers

    We cannot outcoach you so we will take away as many legal moves as we possible can to catch up. It won’t help. The Dark Lord is already working on his next legal tactic to make your coach look stupid and then cry like a whiney baby.

  58. to147 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:06 PM

    Did they also ban the play action pass, the pump fake, the fake punt, etc? All clearly trickery!!

  59. jimmybrock says: Mar 25, 2015 4:07 PM

    Bill Belichick = Genius

    He has changed the game in so many ways.

  60. restorativejusticeprogram says: Mar 25, 2015 4:07 PM

    The Pats are just smarter than your team.
    Don’t hate, appreciate and try to better yourself.

  61. mjdkid100 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:07 PM

    This was done twice earlier in the regular season by other teams. But it’s cool well blame the Patriots.

  62. groshkar425 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:08 PM

    There’s a difference between not knowing how the offense is going to try to move the ball and not knowing who on the offense if eligible to catch passes. One is strategy, the other is illegal deception, exploited via loophole.

    My 7 year old daughter asked at dinner recently if Tom Brady plays for the Seahawks, because she hears his name a lot recently. I explained that no, he plays for the New England Patriots, to which she exclaimed, “Oh, he’s a cheater!”.

    And that, in one 7 year old girl who doesn’t follow football’s impression, is a hint at the legacy of the Brady and Bellichick Patriots.

  63. lackofabetter says: Mar 25, 2015 4:08 PM

    If you can’t win by lining up and playing football like everyone else, try to cheat in anyway possible. The Patriot way.

  64. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says: Mar 25, 2015 4:08 PM

    Lol. Division III and even High School players/coaches can figure this out and are alert enough to defend it.

    But the NFL needs to ban it so teams with $$$$$$ fanbases don’t get embarrassed when they can’t figure it out.

  65. djaehne says: Mar 25, 2015 4:09 PM

    You know Belichick is a damn good coach when
    the league has to come up with rules to make it
    illegal the next year. Being a Texan fan, you have
    to respect this man. He is good. Makes me wonder if ever in the history of the game had this already been tried before.

  66. dukeearl says: Mar 25, 2015 4:09 PM

    Actually if the Patriots were able to beat a team straight up without gimmicks nobody would call them cheaters.
    Too bad they aren’t good enough to play straight up football without the gimmicks.

  67. asox says: Mar 25, 2015 4:09 PM

    Not true icup89. I was at the game and they announced it over the loudspeaker EVERY time.

  68. casualmalexlfan says: Mar 25, 2015 4:10 PM

    Okay now that he’s gotten what he wants can somebody PLEASE change Harbaugh’s diaper?

  69. ravc82 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:10 PM

    Pats777:

    Fair and square huh? How about you stop giving us things to investigate- this, Deflategate and Spygate. Seems to be only one team that is a repeat offender in this league- so call it/lie to yourself however you want to about the annual changing.

  70. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:11 PM

    Belichick innovates, Crybaugh and the rest of the inadequate babies of the league cry like 5 year old girls who had their dollies stolen.

    Pathetic.

  71. seals1 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:11 PM

    Billy is sitting in his office now brainstorming how he is going to cheat next year.

  72. gobolts says: Mar 25, 2015 4:11 PM

    Not a Pats fan, but watching that ineligible receiver scenario unfold was fun to watch. Masterful.

  73. rogobrothers says: Mar 25, 2015 4:11 PM

    Next up -ban the drop kick (flutie rule). Also need to ban Corner Backs who cut in front of receivers to make interceptions. How is that fair? Although I have to credit the Seahawks for taking ownership of their loss.

    Four fingers no asterisks, bro.

  74. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:11 PM

    Do people understand it’s against the rules next season? It wasn’t against the rules this past season. You do understand the difference, right?

  75. blabidibla says: Mar 25, 2015 4:12 PM

    And Bellichick will come up with another way to bend the rules to his will.

  76. clelek05 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Haha. Do you realize how pathetic everyone sounds? Wow. Exactly where do these asterisks that you speak of go? In your personal NFL books? They won the Super Bowl. Get over it. Don’t be surprised if they’re right back doing it again next season.

  77. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    This reminds me of how the Colts complained to the league after the Patriots embarrassed Peyton Manning and the Colts’ supposedly unstoppable offense in the 2003 AFC Championship Game.

    After that beat down at the hands of the Patriots, Bill Polian and Tony Dungy used their influential positions on the league’s Competition Committee to ram through changes to the illegal contact and defensive holding are called, i.e., the so-called “increased emphasis”.

    Same old story. A bunch of sore loser teams that can’t beat the Patriots on the field, so they have to change the rules.

    Sorry – it won’t work. Belichick will just think of new ways to outsmart dimwits like Harbaugh and the rest.

  78. poesports says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Trick plays and gadget plays to barely win in their own house. Always a grey area with the Pats. From winning the game to now a penalty as well as the tuck rule now gone. Two Lombardi ‘ s made of paper.

  79. jpirish says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Ok we can now officially call him Bellecheat….. Bend those rules. Break out the asterisks************* The NFL isn’t NASCAR….

  80. biggredbird76 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    I am a Cards fan but the Pats are my second fave team cause if u aint cheatin u aint tryin.

  81. snackswell37 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Change the rules. #12 is all that matter, and I’m not talking about you bandwagon Seahawks fans.

  82. igotgamenj says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Just another way to cheat basically ,,,lets have 5 people report in and have the D guess who will be going out for the pass.. Once a cheat always a cheat

  83. SAV says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    Belichek is brilliant

  84. edgarpoe3 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    If the Patriots did nothing wrong, why the need to change the rule? If everything was on the up-and-up, why not keep the rule the way it is?

  85. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:14 PM

    And that, in one 7 year old girl who doesn’t follow football’s impression, is a hint at the legacy of the Brady and Bellichick Patriots.

    First of, she probably just listens to you whine about all the time, so I kind of feel bad for her, since the Pats last broke a rule 8 years ago before she was born.

  86. cp4xu2007 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:14 PM

    More rules… #LAME

  87. boobsmcgoo says: Mar 25, 2015 4:14 PM

    It was legal when they did it. Brilliant!

  88. faulkana says: Mar 25, 2015 4:15 PM

    It served it’s purpose.
    Next year, Bill will outsmart lesser coaches with more genius!

  89. rhamrhoddy says: Mar 25, 2015 4:15 PM

    bigbenh8tr says:
    Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM

    Hahaha another asterik on that superbowl trophy
    ____________________
    Wow. This logic of enforcing new rules retroactively in order to negate previous championships seems to be a pattern.
    Also if you can’t spell it, just use the symbol man.

  90. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 25, 2015 4:15 PM

    Keep lying to yourself in Boston. Whatever helps you sleep

  91. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    Whether the Patriots’ gimmick was technically illegal or not, it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t against the spirit of the substitution rules.
    ===
    I don’t think spirits exist in rules, but if they did, it was more against the spirits of the formation rules, not the substitution rules. They didn’t change substitution rules. They changed formation rules. This would be an illegal formation penalty now. You can run an offense of entirely eligible number players with five of them declared ineligible. You just have to line those guys up in the core of the formation now.

    If you want to complain about dumbing-down of the game, this rule change is it. That formation forced the defense to think, and think fast. It’s a shame that the NFL doesn’t want defenses to have to do that.

  92. jpirish says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    Deflate Gate Ineligible Gate.. I’m Bellecheat Heres my sidekick Mrs Brady…. The New England asterisks….

  93. chools119 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    All you morons who think the patriots cheated are just jealous that your team didn’t think of it. Why don’t you just concern yourselves with why your team has not made the playoffs or won just one Super Bowl. The cheating comments are just getting old and you sound like whiney babies

  94. commenter says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    As a Pats fan, I’ll admit everything we do is shady. And I love it.

  95. annapterp says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    Why is everyone whining and crying about this. It was a loophole in the substitution rule. There’s a reason why specific positions have to have specific jersey numbers. The Pats didn’t cheat, they just exploited the loophole. Nothing wrong with that, but now that it was exposed its been closed…also not a big deal.

  96. longtimefanhtr says: Mar 25, 2015 4:17 PM

    They’re already looking for another way to cheat.

  97. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:17 PM

    “Not true icup89. I was at the game and they announced it over the loudspeaker EVERY time”

    Exactly right. I was at the game and I also heard and saw the refs inform the ravens and the crowd.

    If I could figure out what was going on from the nosebleed seats, an NFL head coach at field level should have no problem.

  98. daytontriangles says: Mar 25, 2015 4:17 PM

    Now, if they can just ban Brady’s constant use of the forward pass, we could put these “cheaters” in their place once and for all!

  99. casualmalexlfan says: Mar 25, 2015 4:18 PM

    Hysterical. Nobody gave a hoot when Chip Kelly ran a play just like this earlier in the season. I guess that instance was okay because he didn’t run it during a game against Harbaugh and the Ravens.

  100. vozki says: Mar 25, 2015 4:18 PM

    The league changes another rule to try and stop my team and the greatest coach to ever coach the game.

    Sorry offense\defense linemen no more touch downs for you. The Ravens cried so much they had to change the rules…. We wouldn’t want to confuse the defense.

    I imagine next year the new rule change is that QB has to count to 3 Mississippi before throwing the ball. Its just not in the spirit of the game that Brady throws the ball before the defense has a chance to sack him.

    Cant explain how great it has been to be a patriot fan for the last 15 years. The entire league has tried to hold us back with out any success.

    #DefendingSuperBowlChamps

  101. stoopidfool says: Mar 25, 2015 4:18 PM

    this is what happens when you have a genius in the midst of morons……….the morons cry ‘that’s not fair!! he uses his brain!!’

    I’ll bet he has an entire notebook full of this crap and next year will spring some other stroke of genius on a complete dope who will stand there with his mouth open….then the minions can run around in circles and make another rule

    the next thing you know there will be a IQ cap on the coaching positions

  102. psousa1 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:19 PM

    Don’t forget about that touchdown pass Julian Edelman threw against the Ravens. He was clearly wearing a fake moustache. The Ravens did not know who he was.

    Like Belichick or not – this guy plays chess while everyone else plays checkers.

  103. themanfromtheblacklodge says: Mar 25, 2015 4:19 PM

    Sometimes there is no room for innovation.

  104. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:19 PM

    I said it before. If you wonder why the rule book keeps getting more complex, blame the Loophole Hoodie.
    ===
    I blame the people who keep changing the rulebook in response to what he does. When writing rules, the amount of loopholes is directly proportional to the length and complexity of the rules. If you want fewer loopholes, write simpler more concise rules.

  105. drunkraider says: Mar 25, 2015 4:19 PM

    as much as i hate the cheaters and their intolerable fans i must say BB is just a great HC. I wish my teams HC would put thought into anything that means winning games and winning Super Bowls.

    because at the end of the day no matter what, winning is everything and you have to use everything in your power to do it.

    The fact that they found this loophole and made it work just shows how much effort he puts into winning and i love that.

    ok back to hateing those pathetic cheaters.

  106. chuckshontaspads says: Mar 25, 2015 4:19 PM

    WaaaaBaugh–Can’t beat him, whine, whine and whine some more!

  107. stoopidfool says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    “Keep lying to yourself in Boston. Whatever helps you sleep”

    Great!!!!

    Thanks!!!!!

  108. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    “Ok we can now officially call him Bellecheat”

    Belicheat! OMG, how witty…not to mention original! Did you just make that up?

    Seriously, if I were you I would trademark that gem before someone steals it.

  109. jojovie131 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    Any fans that are not Patriot, come here for therapy when they see a Post regarding the pats. Any post!
    They need to get stuff off there chests that’s been bothering them for awhile. Some latent and hidden stuff, passive aggressive behavior perhaps even displacement.
    All are apparently welcome… To bash the Patriots and hangout at PFT home of Tom florio.
    Seriously?? Really???

  110. igotgamenj says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    Belichek is brilliant

    yea a Brilliant cheater

  111. mjdkid100 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    New rule teams are not allowed to pass against the Patriots inside the 2 yard line.

    We good now? That account for everyone’s complaints this season?

    On to next season where youll find something else to complain about…

  112. stoopidfool says: Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    “It wasn’t illegal, but it did skirt the intention of the rule. No one has ever reported as an ineligible receiver. Give Bill his due, but this had to be addressed.”

    you must be dizzy from all the spinning

  113. getyourownname says: Mar 25, 2015 4:21 PM

    If Bill was so determined to play at being a lawyer, he should have gone to law school, right Florio?

  114. craigissosensitive says: Mar 25, 2015 4:21 PM

    Haters gonna hate

  115. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:22 PM

    “As a Pats fan, I’ll admit everything we do is shady. And I love it”

    Same here. I absolutely love it! Nothing better than hearing all the crying from these whiny little girls who think they were cheated somehow.

    Absolutely love it!

  116. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:23 PM

    It wasn’t illegal, but it did skirt the intention of the rule. No one has ever reported as an ineligible receiver.
    ===
    What you mean to say is, “No one has ever reported as an ineligible receiver in a non-obvious scrimmage kick situation.” Eligible players report ineligible all the time on punt teams.

  117. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:23 PM

    “Whether the Patriots’ gimmick was technically illegal or not, it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t against the spirit of the substitution rules”

    Please cite the section of the rule book that outlines the “spirit” of the rules.

  118. whitetrash69 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:23 PM

    They need to ban Belicheat, its ridiculous that because something isn’t explicitly written in the rule he sees it as an opportunity to gain an edge. Its not genius, its shady. This is the 2nd time I know of that the NFL had to rewrite or add different language to the rule. You people defending him are blind.

  119. vozki says: Mar 25, 2015 4:25 PM

    stoopidfool says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:20 PM
    “Keep lying to yourself in Boston. Whatever helps you sleep”

    ______________________

    We sleep great here in New England. If we wake up with nightmares we just stay up and watch the super bowl again.😉

    #DefendingSuperBowlChamps

  120. whitetrash69 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:25 PM

    Rules not rule.

  121. coloradical420 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:25 PM

    Belicheat would exploit his own mother if it helped him get better field position. Keep it sleazy Boston.

  122. grogantomorgan says: Mar 25, 2015 4:26 PM

    all I read are other team’s fans complaining, but really all I hear is JEALOUSLY as their coach isn’t innovative enough to put their team in the best position to win.

    Period.

  123. coloradical420 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:26 PM

    Belicheat=Genius
    Hitler=Great Motivational Speaker

  124. patswinagain says: Mar 25, 2015 4:27 PM

    Do you trolls even realize how pathetically desperate your comments sound? You’re just dripping with envy. Your emotional spewtem comes across as little more than a childish rant that has earned you lombardi timeout after lombardi timeout! Keep it coming …I love it!

  125. scw1993 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:27 PM

    All the NFL rules can be changed but it doesn’t change the fact that Harbaugh didn’t know WHAT was going on, and he completely lost his cool. He also said “it’s never been done before” which is a lie, Saban has done it, and Chip Kelly has, as well. It’s only “deceptive” because he didn’t know how to handle it. Head coach should know the rulebook inside and out, nothing should be unfamiliar to him. Harbaugh was embarrassed because he didn’t know what to do.

    Belichick is so head and shoulders above everyone else that it’s comical. Reminds me of elementary school when playground rules had to be changed so nobody had their feelings hurt.

  126. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:28 PM

    Why is everyone whining and crying about this. It was a loophole in the substitution rule. There’s a reason why specific positions have to have specific jersey numbers. The Pats didn’t cheat, they just exploited the loophole. Nothing wrong with that, but now that it was exposed its been closed…also not a big deal.
    ===
    It wasn’t a loophole, and the substitution rule hasn’t been changed. The formation rule has. E players declared IE now have to line up in the core of the formation. Don’t worry annaterp: there’s probably still a way for BB to confuse the Baltimorons even with this restriction.

  127. onemansopinion14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:28 PM

    So basically if you are smart and creative enough to come up with new formations and plays, they will be made illegal if enough people cry.

    Sounds right….NOT! Hell, I’m not even a Pats fan and think this is just sour grapes.

  128. mscharich24 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:28 PM

    Reporter: “What do you think about think about the new ‘Eligible Receiver’ Rule change and how it effects the Patriots?”

    Pete Carroll: “Um, I think I am going to have to Pass”

    See what I did there^^^ eh eh

  129. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:29 PM

    “The don’t announce it over a load speaker…That was the problem…The ravens weren’t being informed who was eligible or not in a timely manner”

    With all due respect, you have no clue what you’re talking about. I was at the game and I clearly heard the ref make the announcement.

    It stuck to me at the time, because I had often heard of players reporting as “eligible” but never before heard one report as “ineligible”.

    Like I said, if I could see and hear this from a mile away in the nosebleed seats, a professional NFL head coach should have been able to figure it out from the sidelines.

    Face facts. Like so many other coaches before him, Harbaugh was taken to school by Belichick.

  130. flipola says: Mar 25, 2015 4:31 PM

    Yeah, it makes sense. They were doing nothing wrong at the time, but it’s tough for a defense to keep up with the personnel in a no-huddle, let alone which of them are eligible receivers.

  131. getyourownname says: Mar 25, 2015 4:32 PM

    Not true icup89. I was at the game and they announced it over the loudspeaker EVERY time”

    If I could figure out what was going on from the nosebleed seats, an NFL head coach at field level should have no problem.”

    This argument makes no sense.

    Since are PA announcements accepted as replacement for official, on-field statements by a ref, on any subject?

    How often have you heard players say they were not listening to the stadium noise, just concentrating on the game?

    Teams are not allowed to claim a play is dead if they hear a whistle that was actually blown by some fan in the stands, so why should they be told to listen for specific announcements?

    Suppose a player claims he heard something contrary to what a ref said (or didn’t say). What then?

    Finally, does anyone really think Bill, guardian of all rules technicalities, would accept a PA announcement as a substitute for a required ref announcement if it worked against him?

  132. jpirish says: Mar 25, 2015 4:32 PM

    Boy The Patroit fans defend their cheaters until the end. Answer Me this.. How many other coaches have been called out by the league for Cheating….Ok times up ZERO… Grow up..

  133. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:33 PM

    I’m surprised they didn’t ban the lateral and change the rules so only QBs can throw the ball.

  134. j0esixpack says: Mar 25, 2015 4:34 PM

    Still waiting for any hater to explain how a 2007 violation of a new 2006 rule invalidates all PAST games

    Perhaps they can explain how a 2015 rule change now invalidates wins in the 2014 season while they’re at it

    We’re all really interested in hearing more about their “logic”

  135. bullcharger says: Mar 25, 2015 4:34 PM

    Doesn’t this new rule eliminate a classic offensive line formation… the swinging gate formation where the center lines up away from the other linemen?

  136. cowboysmb3dw28 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:35 PM

    I’m not a Patriots fan or hater. But that play is kinda like running up the score on an opponent. Seems wrong and unsportsmanlike on the surface. But it’s (well, it WAS) legal. And quite frankly if a team don’t like it; stop the team. If you don’t want a team to run up the score – stop them. If you don’t want them to beat you with this play – stop them.

  137. andymannfl says: Mar 25, 2015 4:35 PM

    I thought Commish Kraft(y) would have vetoed this.

  138. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:35 PM

    Basically this is what changed:

    In all of these situations, * is the IE player wearing an E number.

    Legal:

    …………EGCGT*E………….

    Legal:
    …………EGCGT*………..E..

    Illegal Formation:

    ………….EGCGT…….*….E..

  139. briguy5 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:35 PM

    I was at the game too and heard it announced over the loudspeaker. I even heard the ref tell Baltimore “don’t cover 34”.

  140. tatupusback says: Mar 25, 2015 4:36 PM

    Don’t worry Pats….you won’t need a loophole this year….Be lucky to be in the playoffs with your secondary; no 2013 Talib..no 2014 Revis and Browner…..back to mediocrity for you!!!!

  141. EJ says: Mar 25, 2015 4:36 PM

    sportnut92 says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:01 PM
    Are the Patriots really “cheaters” or is Bill that much more crafty than other coaches?
    Bill doing what he does best, exposing the NFL system and the “integrity” it claims.

    Meanwhile in Foxboro, The Lombardi Trophy is glistening elegantly at Gilette Stadium, home of the World Champion New England Patriots.*

    *Please Note the most successful franchise, and ONLY dynasty in the Salary Cap Era.
    _____________________________________

    Yes, yes they are cheaters. That Lombardi Trophy may glisten, but even the light that glistens off of it is tainted. Cheating is cheating, no matter how you twist it.

    They ARE the only dynasty since the salary cap era, but they are also the only team proven to cheat… not once, but twice! They also get away with much more than they should “Tuck Rule”.
    The Patriots are like that one blonde girl in the group of girls that stands out with her big breasts and long flowing hair… Yeah, sure they both look real good, but inside you know that everything about them is fake.

  142. jalbs says: Mar 25, 2015 4:37 PM

    Are most of the posters here little school girls? “Cheaters, not in the spirit of the rule, blah blah blah”. I mean come on now. If this was a head coach for a team you cheered for would you be typing the same thing? Jealousy turns people into whiny excuse making clowns.

    Spygate: The rule was implemented in 2006…the Pats titles were in 2001-2002, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005 so filming signals from the sidelines was legal.

    Formationgate: The plays were run in the 2014-2015 season. The new rule goes into affect for 2015-2016. The plays were legal.

    Get a grip people.

  143. deltaoracle says: Mar 25, 2015 4:37 PM

    The way I’ll always remember Tom Terrific – complaining to a ref about something.

  144. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:38 PM

    Yeah, it makes sense. They were doing nothing wrong at the time, but it’s tough for a defense to keep up with the personnel in a no-huddle, let alone which of them are eligible receivers.
    ===
    They weren’t in no-huddle. Against BAL, there was a an offensive substitution (Kline for Vereen/Hooman) and huddle before every 4-OL play.

  145. deliveredbysherpa says: Mar 25, 2015 4:38 PM

    Report comment
    rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:02 PM

    I love the comments about the “spirit of the rules” Something is either illegal or not. What they did was not. Pretty simple.

    ———————-

    Actually, what they did was legal. Now that the rules have been changed, and by changed I mean rewritten, next season it will be illegal.

    Read much?

  146. bullcharger says: Mar 25, 2015 4:39 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:34 PM

    Doesn’t this new rule eliminate a classic offensive line formation… the swinging gate formation where the center lines up away from the other linemen?

    ————-

    I’m wrong… It’s still allowed as those players have O Line numbers.

    I guess BB can still defeat the rule if he has a receiver wear an o line number! He can check him in as eligible or ineligible and leave him outside the tackle box.

  147. bigbensbathroomseed says: Mar 25, 2015 4:40 PM

    azarkhan excuse for losing is not running it down the throats of the Pats when they had the chance. I love how there are 90% for the rule and 10% patriot homers who really have no opinion because Tom Brady could burn the American flag and they would have an excuse why charcoal is bad.

  148. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:40 PM

    Doesn’t this new rule eliminate a classic offensive line formation… the swinging gate formation where the center lines up away from the other linemen?
    ==
    No. IE players can still line up wherever they want on the LOS as long as they are covered by an end.

    Still legal:

    ..ETTGG………………CE……………..

  149. hakunamangata says: Mar 25, 2015 4:41 PM

    Tuck Rule
    Spy Gate
    Deflate Gate
    Ineligible Receivers lineing up in eligible spots
    Concussed players staying in games

    The hallowed history of the New England Patriots.

    Greatest cheaters of all time.

  150. thewizardofbs says: Mar 25, 2015 4:42 PM

    Remember the tear-away jerseys? Will we now have tear-away numbers held on by velcro, so a player can be wearing #85 and tear it off in the huddle to show #75 to make him a O-lineman? Will he then have to report as ineligible since his number already says he is ineligible? Can the refs count that high?

  151. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:43 PM

    Vince Lombardi and chuck knoll are smiling. New England asterisks can’t win without cheating or trick plays. It would nice to see New England win one super bowl by just being better than the other team. Always looking to cheat or bend the rules.

  152. chargerdillon says: Mar 25, 2015 4:43 PM

    The most entertaining thing I find on here is Patriots fans who think every bending of the rule is so brilliant and cutting edge and how everybody else just points out they changed the rules because of the clear advantage it gave the Patriots in a very clear unfair way.

    Good for Belichick for knowing how to manipulate the rules like that. He truly is a genius at his job.

    However all the Patriots fans trying to act like because they wear a Patriots logo are somehow better and smarter than the rest of the NFL’s fan base is just sad and pathetic.

    You fans didn’t win the rings, you might want to settle down before you start looking like…..Patriots fans.

  153. fanofpft says: Mar 25, 2015 4:43 PM

    I would not call this a ‘trick play’. It is more pure manipulation of a rule. And so much so that doing things like this could likely lead to the original rule being thrown out all together.

    There is no place for it.

  154. revren10 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:44 PM

    Will the league also be passing out pacifiers to the Ravens along with diapers since they are throwing a temper tantrum since they lost to the patriots again.

  155. maddenboy says: Mar 25, 2015 4:44 PM

    there is no TRICK here.

    I’m a Bills fan, but I dont see this as a trick.

    If you’re too lazy to read the rules, too bad. Its like en Passant in chess. If you dont know about it, too bad.

    its NOT a TRICK just because you didnt know.

  156. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:45 PM

    joe Montana and San fran just flat out beat you. They didn’t need to cheat or bend the rules. Just played better football. New England and roger goodell have destroyed the game.

  157. mrlaloosh says: Mar 25, 2015 4:45 PM

    And they should make Tom Brady sit out the 4th quarter of every game. That might level the playing field.
    They should also ban ends arounds, halfback passes, fake field goals, read option plays, fake hand offs, etc. etc.
    I guess the deceitful Pagano & Harbaugh should be pleased with themselves.
    If you can’t beat them then change the rules. Real nice.

  158. GT says: Mar 25, 2015 4:45 PM

    Accusations of cheating….the last refuge of teams that lose to the pats.

    This rule change is not a response to make the game more “fair,” it’s just to shut up the whiners and create more media hype for the analysts to fuel their long winded editorials on the matter. NFL knows how to stay in the headlines and rustle up the fervor that creates profits.

  159. onemansopinion14 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:46 PM

    The hate people have for Brady and the Pats is really pathetic. Brady is a class guy and the Pats are consistent winners. People are so jealous of these guys it is sad. If their coach was smart enough to come up with things to win FOUR Super Bowls, they would love it. If Tom Brady was an ugly looking goof like Payton Manning and not married to the most wanted women in the WORLD, people would love him.

    Again, I’m not even a Pats fan but I respect them. Don’t hate, congratulate.

    Peace.

  160. weepingjebus says: Mar 25, 2015 4:46 PM

    Other teams did the same thing this season. If we ban something just because it confuses Ravens players, we’ll also have to ban elevators and deodorant.

  161. azarkhan says: Mar 25, 2015 4:47 PM

    David Paye: If it was illegal they wouldn’t have to make a rule saying it was illegal.

    So true.

  162. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:47 PM

    It will be fun watching New England get beat up next year now that there are some legitimate teams in the afc east.

  163. bullcharger says: Mar 25, 2015 4:47 PM

    deltaoracle says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:37 PM

    The way I’ll always remember Tom Terrific – complaining to a ref about something.

    ——————

    Why not try and influence the referees when they make a call you don’t like. That’s just smart and competitive. When paying someone millions of dollars it’s not ok for them to be passive. They need to fight for everything. Some kind of guy code about not being whiney to the referees isn’t really important.

  164. bearsalwaysbearit says: Mar 25, 2015 4:47 PM

    I’m not a Pats fan by any means, but this does not make them cheaters. It just shows you how smart Bill and his coaching staff are. They find an legal way to take advantage of the other team and it work. Now if they try it again this year with the rule now in place then that would be cheating.

  165. nflsting says: Mar 25, 2015 4:48 PM

    A comment section full of miserable people making stuff up to feel better.

  166. jnbnet says: Mar 25, 2015 4:48 PM

    rhamrhoddy says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:15 PM
    bigbenh8tr says:
    Mar 25, 2015 3:59 PM

    Hahaha another asterik on that superbowl trophy
    ____________________
    Wow. This logic of enforcing new rules retroactively in order to negate previous championships seems to be a pattern.
    Also if you can’t spell it, just use the symbol man.
    _______________________________
    Too funny. By their logic, you could have been using a legal parking space for a year. Then, when they make illegal to park there, you are guilty of illegal parking for all of the previous times you parked there. Yes I know, its stupid, but that is the type of logic we Patriot fans have to wade through every time there is a thread on the Patriots.

  167. jazz11001 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:48 PM

    Say what you want about the Hoodie, but it seems like there are the Patriots and then the rest of the league trying to adapt to what they do. They stand alone and apart from the coaching strategies of the rest of the league. I am not a PATS fan but give credit where credit is due. When Bill wants to punk you he will.

  168. sidepull says: Mar 25, 2015 4:49 PM

    The Harbawl Rule.

    Coach BB GOAT

  169. a072455 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:49 PM

    rollotomasi14 says:

    Do people understand it’s against the rules next season?
    ========
    Wrong…. Next year, these morons will be saying we cheated in announcing an ineligible receiver with 7 seconds prior to the snap. Belicheat should have been penalized 15 yards for not calling a time out for each time crybaugh couldn’t understand why people were not line up by the numbers.

    Vozki….. I only watch the best parts….. That would be the play AFTER Butler’s interception when they were near their goal line, the Hawks ready to blitz, except some dummy wearing a blue Jersey jumped offsides…

  170. ijahru says: Mar 25, 2015 4:50 PM

    Take away play action, fake punts and kicks and onside kicks. They are deceptive and undermine the integrity of the game.
    Jeff Fisher said this rule was needed because the refs wouldn’t be able to handle those type of plays

  171. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:51 PM

    of course it’s a trick. The NFL has numbers for eligible receivers but is too lazy to make sure that rules are consistent. You have a player wearing a number that makes human eligible receiver who lines up in an eligible receiver position but reports as ineligible to the official. Why have numbers for eligible receivers if you let them reports ineligible? Makes no sense.

  172. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:52 PM

    Football used to be about blocking and tackling. Now it’s about technicalities and replays.

  173. nflsting says: Mar 25, 2015 4:53 PM

    yup, the ‘Ravens rule’ will indeed tilt the game a bit more from brains to brawn. whatever.

  174. coltcountrysteelerfan says: Mar 25, 2015 4:53 PM

    Lame

  175. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:53 PM

    I would not call this a ‘trick play’. It is more pure manipulation of a rule. And so much so that doing things like this could likely lead to the original rule being thrown out all together.
    ===
    Manipulating the rule? So NE changed the rule for that play? Do you realize how silly that sounds?

    The only thing that was manipulated by NE was BAL’s expectations on who was eligible to receive a forward pass. The rule remained the same.

  176. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 4:55 PM

    It will be fun watching New England get beat up next year now that there are some legitimate teams in the afc east.
    ===
    Which teams are those? Everyone else still has bad to terrible quarterbacks and the best non-BB coach is still Rex Ryan.

  177. bullcharger says: Mar 25, 2015 4:57 PM

    peterozelle01 says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:45 PM

    joe Montana and San fran just flat out beat you. They didn’t need to cheat or bend the rules. Just played better football. New England and roger goodell have destroyed the game.

    ————-

    That’s revisionist history.

    Rice admitted to using stickum only 2 months ago.

    Bill Romanowski played for the 49ers from 88-93. He is an admitted steroid abuser.

    Bill Parcells thinks Bill Walsh cheated during the 85 and 86 playoffs by tampering with the communication equipment. It happened in two years in a row at the start of playoff games against the 49ers.

    That is 3 times the 49ers cheated that I know of without doing any research.

    I am sure if you spent some time looking you would find many more examples and accusations.

    They were definitely a team that bent the rules.

  178. daboss81 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:57 PM

    Patriots and the rest of the league… This slaps in the face of every punt and field goal formation… I mean, these are paid professionals whom are supposed to understand the rule book… This is what separates bill and the pats from the rest of the league.. Some teams can barely run a play. The patriots are smart enough to use deception in a game that is bases in quick reaction… Prayalsis by analysis… Simple shun tzu “Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;

    When using our forces, we must seem inactive;

    When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;

    When far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
    He’s a navy guy!!! That’s why he’s the best!!!!

  179. pats777 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:58 PM

    Ravc82… It’s not the Pats fault their opponent could not comprehend what was going on. When a mouth breathing neanderthal like Suggs continues to run after a player the head referee just told him specifically not to cover, I’d say the players AND coaches have failed to do their jobs. Who exactly was supposed to cover Amendola when he was left wide open for the TD catch from Edelman? Yet another failure of both players and coaches to do their job. Jump Ball Joe sends a bomb into double coverage for the INT, etc, etc. Ravens fans should be screaming at their highly paid players and coaches for failing, instead we get the constant crying that the Pats must be cheating, Deflategate, Spygate, blah blah blah. It’s pathetic.

  180. infectorman says: Mar 25, 2015 4:59 PM

    Hey whiners,
    Rules don’t have spirits.
    They are there to make a level playing field.

    There’s no white, see-through, floaty apparition dangling around the rule book or any other abstract image you clowns can conjure up for a set of words pertaining to a game.

    Plays are legal or they are not.
    In this case, 100% legal. end of story.

    All these other GM’s, coaches and coordinators (with Ozzie and Harbaugh at the head of the front of the pitchfork wielding angry mob) are just mad jealous they never thought of this one.

    Belichick:
    always 3 steps ahead of your coach. ahead of you

  181. rhamrhoddy says: Mar 25, 2015 4:59 PM

    peterozelle01 says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:45 PM
    joe Montana and San fran just flat out beat you. They didn’t need to cheat or bend the rules. Just played better football. New England and roger goodell have destroyed the game.
    ___________________
    Attaboy! Youuu stickum…I mean tell ’em. Yeah you tell ’em!

  182. olefballcoach says: Mar 25, 2015 4:59 PM

    This formation has been legal forever and has been used in youth football all the way to the NFL. Just because the Ravens players werent smart enough to figure it out doesnt mean they should make it illegal!!!!

  183. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:01 PM

    “lets have 5 people report in and have the D guess who will be going out for the pass”

    With all due respect, you are an idiot. Figuring out who the eligible receivers are is actually pretty straightforward.

    Of the guys ON the line of scrimmage, only the two outside guys are eligible. Of the players who are BEHIND the line of scrimmage, only those with eligible numbers are eligible, UNLESS players have reported otherwise.

    Put it this way – the ref yelling out “Number 34 is ineligible. Don’t cover # 34” should have been a clue.

  184. faninvirginia says: Mar 25, 2015 5:01 PM

    For all the experts on it was a legal play….read Dung’y comments:

    “In the Baltimore game, [Shane] Vereen reported as ineligible several times,” Dungy explained. “If he stays in the game he must report again and continue to be ineligible. He must come out of the game for one play or there has to be a time out for him to play as an eligible receiver. On the touchdown drive Vereen played one play as ineligible and then played the next play in an eligible position. There should have been a penalty.”

    it is illegal, and even all the smart comments about high school, it is even more regulated there. In fact you cannot even have a tackle report as eligible, it is number driven. Been coaching for thirty years. It was dirty and violated the spirit of competition. Same reason you don’t run play up by 40 points at the one yard line and the ned of the game to go up by 47, except BB will, look it up versus the redskins (not exact scoring, but same scenarios, even put his starters back in to run up score)

  185. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:01 PM

    Why have numbers for eligible receivers if you let them reports ineligible? Makes no sense.
    ===
    It’s because of punting plays. If you say that E numbered players can’t line up in IE positions, you’d have to add an exception for punts or else make sure your entire punt coverage team is IE-numbered players. Considering that a lot of those guys are backup RBs, DBs, and TEs*, you’d probably end up with the exception.

    *LBs too, but they usually wear IE numbers anyway.

  186. wardrivekeith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:01 PM

    I’m trying to figure how this changes the whole “announcement” problem? So what if a “eligible” has to stay inside the tackles if declared ineligible? You can still hand them the ball right? Don’t you still have to account for the “new eligible” whether it’s a tackle or whatever? Declare the QB “ineligible” and add another “eligible” receiver? I mean the QB is an “eligible” receiver right? I’ve seen those trick plays where they catch passes from the Waterboy?

  187. harveyredman says: Mar 25, 2015 5:02 PM

    Hey, I hate the Patriots as much as anybody… But does any fan honestly think they have the market cornered on cheating?

    The Steelers won 4 Superbowls in the ’70’s while being the first team in the NFL to gobble steroids. Many players on those teams have had very short lifespans.

    The Raiders’s motto of “just win baby” meant wearing enough stick’em to create a rule change

    Denver cheated the salary cap in the ’90’s, etc., etc…

    They all cheat to win. It really is the American way.

    Just ask Lance.

  188. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 25, 2015 5:02 PM

    OMG. Firrst we hear the Ravens’ fans are whiners.

    Now, take away a rule the Patriots used (exploited) in ONE GAME all year long. Not over and over. In ONE GAME. And in only one sequence of plays at that.

    And what do we hear? The NFL takes away rules to keep the Patriots down. You seriously need to check yourselves Pats fans. One freakin’ game, just a few plays and you all turn it into a conspiracy against the Pats. Funny!!!!!

    As a Ravens fan, I congratulate you. But I have to objectively ask, why run that formation in that game? The Ravens had back-ups upon back-ups in the secondary. You guys had the Ravens on their heals anyway at that point in the game. To be candid, I think you win that game without that formation. Why run it?

    BB always has to be the smartest guy in the room. And he is many times. But I am starting to think he over thinks things too much. That is why he has gotten himself in trouble in the past (let’s not forget he was fined and the organization was fined for misdeeds).

    Enjoy your Lombardi Pats fans. But, it could not be more obvious with this rule change what the rest of the league thinks of your tactics.

  189. fanofpft says: Mar 25, 2015 5:02 PM

    commenter says: Mar 25, 2015 4:16 PM

    As a Pats fan, I’ll admit everything we do is shady. And I love it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This is a refreshing comment from a pats fan. Most I see here seem so caught up in their delirium it makes them delusional.

  190. rayslover727 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:03 PM

    Look, I’m a Raider fan, an organization so inept you could forgive me for having Pats envy and hatred (tuck rule) But the fact is Bill B and company did nothing wrong and if nothing else, made the game that much more interesting that day. It was legal, now it’s not, and it doesnt take jack squat away from their victory that day.

    I wish he was our coach. Real talk.

  191. faninvirginia says: Mar 25, 2015 5:04 PM

    There are also rules about going “inside the numbers” before splitting out. They announced the refs with 1.5 seconds on the play clock, the spirit of the rule is that the defense can line up knowing who the receivers are. If you can’t win without cheating, shouldn’t be playing….

  192. bullcharger says: Mar 25, 2015 5:04 PM

    peterozelle01 says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:47 PM

    It will be fun watching New England get beat up next year now that there are some legitimate teams in the afc east.

    —————–

    It will be fun watching. It’s always better when the AFC East teams are better. The Patriots are still better though. Brady, Belichick and Gronk. Simple as that. The Patriots will split at worst with all 3 teams and probably sweep one of them. The division could come down to the end of the season, but the Patriots will not be getting beat up by anyone.

    Don’t forget Brady has played against a younger and better Revis and Cromartie, He’s faced Suh on a better d-line. He still beat them. He just beat an elite defense in the Super Bowl. It comes down to what the AFC East teams can do on offense, which is not much without better QB play.

  193. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:05 PM

    This formation has been legal forever and has been used in youth football all the way to the NFL.
    ===
    Good ol’ A-11. Too bad HS banned it. Maybe we’d have smarter college and NFL players.

  194. peterozelle01 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:05 PM

    Pats fans need to understand that no one will ever respect New England they way they respect truly great franchises like pittsburgh, the Giants, and Cowboys. These were franchises that played hard nose football and won because they were the better team. Last minute FGs and a gift from the Hawks combined with asterisks are not what legends are made of. Heck they weren’t even the best team in the AFC last year. The Ravens completely outplayed them when it came to real football.

  195. onemansopinion14 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:05 PM

    Anyone that claims that the Pats “cheated” their way to FOUR Super Bowl wins, SIX AFC Championships, and 12 Division titles since Tom Brady took over at QB is either a pure hater or just not very bright. This reminds me of the whole “I Hate Christian Laettner/Duke” thing.

    Again, stop the hate and instead congratulate. Maybe it will help you feel better about YOURSELF.

    Here endith the lesson.

  196. winninaintsinnin says: Mar 25, 2015 5:07 PM

    It seems like with all their self proclaimed greatness they could win SOMETHING without cheating.

    Go figure.

    Forever tainted.

  197. bbfe says: Mar 25, 2015 5:09 PM

    “dukeearl says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:09 PM
    Actually if the Patriots were able to beat a team straight up without gimmicks nobody would call them cheaters.
    Too bad they aren’t good enough to play straight up football without the gimmicks.”

    I think the word you were searching for was “winners”.

  198. rcoh says: Mar 25, 2015 5:09 PM

    So the CHEATERS won’t be able to use this any more! Good! I’m sure they will try to figure out something else to use so they can CHEAT TO WIN! Plus by the away the Pat’s didn’t win the super bowl! Seattle gave it to them!

  199. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:09 PM

    I’m trying to figure how this changes the whole “announcement” problem? So what if a “eligible” has to stay inside the tackles if declared ineligible? You can still hand them the ball right? Don’t you still have to account for the “new eligible” whether it’s a tackle or whatever? Declare the QB “ineligible” and add another “eligible” receiver? I mean the QB is an “eligible” receiver right? I’ve seen those trick plays where they catch passes from the Waterboy?
    ===
    There is and was no announcement problem, and you are correct that this rule change changes nothing about announcements.

    While you can hand the ball to any IE, that handoff or pass has to be backwards.

    The QB is eligible because he’s in the backfield. At some levels he can only catch a pass if he starts more than a yard from the LOS. If you declare him IE, he has to be on the line between the ends and in the core of the formation.

  200. kenny328usa says: Mar 25, 2015 5:12 PM

    Let me start by saying I’m an Eagles fan and I can’t stand the Patriots. But if you are on here calling them cheaters you are a moron. They didn’t cheat. They didn’t bend the rules. They outsmarted the other team with a confusing, LEGAL formation. That is the key word: LEGAL! Therefore the rules were not broken or “bent”. It was Bellicheck outcoaching yet another coach. I can only hope that Bill’s good buddy Chip was paying attention.

  201. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:13 PM

    Faninva quoting dungy:
    “In the Baltimore game, [Shane] Vereen reported as ineligible several times,” Dungy explained. “If he stays in the game he must report again and continue to be ineligible. He must come out of the game for one play or there has to be a time out for him to play as an eligible receiver. On the touchdown drive Vereen played one play as ineligible and then played the next play in an eligible position. There should have been a penalty.”

    Dungy was wrong. Vereen was IE twice and Hooman was once. The only time Vereen was IE and didn’t come off for the next play was the play before Harbaug’s penalty. Because of the penalty, Vereen didn’t have to come off. That play was a touchdown, if you recall.

  202. ufanforreal says: Mar 25, 2015 5:13 PM

    patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 4:13 PM

    This reminds me of how the Colts complained to the league after the Patriots embarrassed Peyton Manning and the Colts’ supposedly unstoppable offense in the 2003 AFC Championship Game.

    After that beat down at the hands of the Patriots, Bill Polian and Tony Dungy used their influential positions on the league’s Competition Committee to ram through changes to the illegal contact and defensive holding are called, i.e., the so-called “increased emphasis”.

    Same old story. A bunch of sore loser teams that can’t beat the Patriots on the field, so they have to change the rules.

    Sorry – it won’t work. Belichick will just think of new ways to outsmart dimwits like Harbaugh and the rest.
    —————————————————-
    Man you can tell you’re a Pats fan, Dungy never had anything to do with the Competition Committee and as for as a rule change, there wasn’t one, they just made the refs enforce the rule that was on the rulebook.
    Your owner is a member if there was anything a-mist why didn’t he say something?

  203. walden1961 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:14 PM

    Its’ really amazing how the style of “football” the Patriots play brings out so many negative comments.

    I think the reason why is that so often the means they use to win just doesn’t sit right.

    For example, the game was not designed for a team to gain a competitive advantage by quick snapping a ball to catch a 12th man on the field who is nowhere near the line of scrimmage and can’t possibly be in the play. The Patriots have incorporated that scenario into their playbook to perfection. But that’s not playing football.

    I can’t count how many times I’ve seen Brady do that and obtain a first down, leading to a score. It violates the spirit of the game, as does the hurry up offense.

    The NFL has belatedly come to realize that the defense should have an opportunity to have the appropriate defensive squads on the field. The hurry up was designed to sneak a play in when the other team was not ready to play.

    The eligible/ineligible scheme is a similar stunt.

    The game was designed to be played your best against my best. If you don’t let my best get on the field and you succeed, you’re not succeeding at football, you’re succeeding at being a sneak.

  204. renhoekk2 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:14 PM

    Pats fan’s shouldn’t complain. The Redskins and Cowboys didn’t break any rules in 2012 during the uncapped year. But that didn’t stop the rest of the owners from penalizing them salary cap space for next two years for “violating the spirit of the salary cap”. It somehow gave the Redskins and Cowboys a perceived advantage. What the Pats did resulted in an actual advantage during an actual game and affected the outcome of a game. But in the owners’ minds spending over a nonexistent cap that all owners agreed to, is a much more heinous action and deserves severe punishment.

  205. onemansopinion14 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:15 PM

    Amen Kenny!

  206. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 25, 2015 5:16 PM

    One more follow up.

    A formation used all the way to youth football! Ah huh!

    Unbalanced lines have been used for years. Yes. Yes. Yes. But not with the ineligible player wearing eligible player numbers. It just has not been done and don’t tell me it has. It hasn’t. Hence this controversy!

    So your second tackle at the line of scrimmage who has declared himself ineligible, looks like a slot receiver. I doubt many of you even understand this reference.

    And spare me the official told the Ravens who not cover. What player in their right mind takes coverage instructions from an official?!

    Good grief. Just stop. You really think any of us are buying this “it was so simple to identify and stop.” It wasn’t. And in a close game, who wants to blow time outs unless you absolutely need to. You may need them later.

    And if you all are that sharp, why aren’t you coaching in the NFL. My goodness, you all should be great head coaches in the NFL as disciples of the great BB. You all should be able to out coach any of the HC in the league. Right?! Go back in your basement and play Madden more.

  207. ring5for50 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:16 PM

    If the crybaby league owners make this illegal so also should it be illegal for defensive backs & corner backs to rush the passer.

    The Defensive Line should be made to lineup standing still just as the offensive line.

    No TRICK Plays on DEFENSE as well.

    Friggin CRYBABIES

  208. whodeybengalsfan says: Mar 25, 2015 5:18 PM

    They cheat before it’s even cheating!

  209. dynaco says: Mar 25, 2015 5:18 PM

    Laws are constantly changing to combat criminal activity. And so that’s what we got here, a system trying to improve vs. a corrupt coach who has proven he can’t win with a level playing field.

  210. bonniebengal says: Mar 25, 2015 5:19 PM

    How about they stop looking for tricks and loopholes and just play football?

  211. revelation123 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:20 PM

    Cheaters never prospe……nevermind.

  212. tim2200 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:21 PM

    So awesome how everything the NFL does is in response to the Patriots. Love it!!!

  213. footballalldayeveryday says: Mar 25, 2015 5:25 PM

    If it’s legal…you can’t be mad that it was used. I don’t know why the league would ban something that’s totally legal. I mean the refs openly report who the eligible receiver is so it’s the other team’s fault.

  214. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:26 PM

    Laws are constantly changing to combat criminal activity. And so that’s what we got here, a system trying to improve vs. a corrupt coach who has proven he can’t win with a level playing field.
    ===
    You can complain that it was a trick, but you cannot complain that it was not a level playing field. Any team could have done this and it would have been just as legal. That’s as level a playing field as it gets.

  215. daboss81 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:27 PM

    Loops and tricks are part of the evolution of the game, Think back to when they started passing the football down the field all the way up to the wild cat. It was these innovators that progressed the game.

    For all those whom complain about bending the competitive rules…. This is a mans league run by billionaires played by millionaires. Let them be men and stop trying to give trophies out to everyone. There can only be one winner! This wasn’t underhanded it was done in front of everyone. Pats said Here NFL figure it out.

  216. countdowncitybronco says: Mar 25, 2015 5:28 PM

    I agree that this wasn’t cheating but instead a well crafted manipulation of a rule with a loop hole in it, but some of you fans have very selected memory.
    The tuck “rule” single handedly started the patriot dynasty. Nobody heard of that rule before that moment and quite frankly the rule hasn’t made an impact since.
    So let’s not cry afoul like the league is after the patriots I don’t believe that for a millisecond.

  217. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:28 PM

    How about they stop looking for tricks and loopholes and just play football?
    ===
    Until today, this was an underutilized part of football.

  218. countdowncitybronco says: Mar 25, 2015 5:30 PM

    Selective memory*

  219. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:32 PM

    No more fake punts. This kind of trickery must be stopped.

  220. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:33 PM

    No more calling a time out to ice the kicker. That’s unfair.

  221. tonebones says: Mar 25, 2015 5:33 PM

    Running, throwing, blocking, and tackling. That’s football. Geniuses like Bill Walsh, Vince Lombardi, and even Bill Belichick were able to win multiple super bowls by just outplaying their opponents. This hocus pocus stuff isn’t going to get the TV ratings that the owners make $Billions from, and they’re smart enough to realize that. It just comes down to money.

  222. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:34 PM

    “Tuck Rule
    Spy Gate
    Deflate Gate
    Ineligible Receivers lineing up in eligible spots
    Concussed players staying in games”

    Do you actually know anything about the game ?

    Tuck Rule was a rule called exactly as it was supposed to. It had been in place for 2 years and throughout the time it was a rule was called typically once a year against every team in favor of the opposing offense. The Pats lost a game earlier that year because the Tuck was called in favor of the Jets.

    Spy Gate was one game, the first game of the 2007 season. Before that sideline taping was legal and quite a few teams did it. including the Jets who were seen taping the Pats, and including HOF coach Jimmy Johnson saying he had done so for a couple seasons and stopped because he found it gave him zero advantage. It was not some magical telepathic system like you and the rest of the bspn hysteria crowd seem to think. All it did was make it slightly easier to collar the data that every team gathers on every other team as compared to collating it off it being charted on a piece of paper.

    Deflategate was manufactured by whiny Jim Harbaugh, his toady Pagano at the Colts and the former Jets employees of the Colts and the league office. Seems very obvious that the one ball significantly under pressure was deflated by the Colts.

    The receivers were all eligible, they were all announced over the PA system, and in fact on the TV broadcast at one point several seconds before the play the refs helped the Ravens with one of the refs screaming “don’t cover 34, 34 is ineligible”.

    Edelman passed all concussion tests on the sideline, he was not only not concussed, but crawling a little after a couple of the plays because he had a previous hip injury he was playing through.

    Don’t let actual facts get in the way of your whiny, emotional crybaby rant though.

  223. rollotomasi14 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:35 PM

    The tuck “rule” single handedly started the patriot dynasty. Nobody heard of that rule before that moment and quite frankly the rule hasn’t made an impact since.

    Actually it was used against the Pats in favor of the Jets earlier that season.

  224. pastabelly says: Mar 25, 2015 5:35 PM

    I’m just glad we have a coach who was smart enough to use a strategy when he needed it most to help get to the Super Bowl and then win it. I hope he stays two steps ahead of the others. I’ll take his smarts over what’s his name’s bluster any day.

  225. daboss81 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:36 PM

    Without loops and tricks what do you have? It ceases to be a game. Soon they are going to make everyone weigh the same, run the same speed be the same height? What about advantages outside of the game that teams take advantage of like field conditions? Indoor/outdoor? Grow up and start acting like a man instead of petulant little kids who need to complain how life is not fair.

  226. 46namredyps11 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:36 PM

    At this rate forward passes will be illegal again by 2028.

  227. fanofpft says: Mar 25, 2015 5:38 PM

    countdowncitybronco says: Mar 25, 2015 5:28 PM

    I agree that this wasn’t cheating but instead a well crafted manipulation of a rule with a loop hole in it, but some of you fans have very selected memory.
    The tuck “rule” single handedly started the patriot dynasty. Nobody heard of that rule before that moment and quite frankly the rule hasn’t made an impact since.
    So let’s not cry afoul like the league is after the patriots I don’t believe that for a millisecond.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Tuck rule good point on rules v pats.

    Also wouldn’t an under inflated football allow a better grip making it easier to make the said ”tuck” especially in inclement weather. This most likely was going on from that time at least if not longer.

  228. daboss81 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:41 PM

    “Nobody heard of that rule before that moment and quite frankly the rule hasn’t made an impact since.
    So let’s not cry afoul like the league is after the patriots I don’t believe that for a millisecond. ”

    Actually the tuck rule was called several time before it became the crux of every patriots haters argument. It even went against the patriots.

    “The tuck rule was called in Week 2 of an NFL regular season match-up on September 23, 2001” Pats vs Jets and you know who benefited? The Jets.

  229. tim8450 says: Mar 25, 2015 5:42 PM

    You spelled that wrong,

    “NFL bans Patriots’ ineligible receiver play”

    There, I fixed that for you.

    Probably the reason we even had the ability to do this on special teams is because someone was smart enough to use a legal alignment and repeatedly stuff punters or kickoffs, so they change the rule to “allow” alternative formations. Now the rule was used in a new creative way.

    Don’t hate on Belichick for using a LEGAL formation against your team, frikken play football. Line up, block and tackle, it’s not that hard.

  230. damcmp says: Mar 25, 2015 5:43 PM

    I want to see a really entertaining extra point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  231. mudmandenny says: Mar 25, 2015 5:44 PM

    Sorry, I didn`t read all the posts , I have a question for all you`against the spirit of the rule` advocates. How is this any different than a hurry up offense to stop defensive substitutions or quick snaps to catch the defense with 12 men on the field? It appears to me that these also are against the spirit of the rules!

  232. iamkillerfin says: Mar 25, 2015 5:44 PM

    NICE 1 more B/S Brady rule gone like the B/S Brady tuck rule!!!

  233. duffelbagsports says: Mar 25, 2015 5:46 PM

    THE GENIUS will just devise another way of outsmarting his lessors.

  234. tigerlilac says: Mar 25, 2015 5:46 PM

    The NFL has again reduced itself to the lowest common denominator of intelligence and skill.

    What I like about those plays is that it makes the coaches and players on both sides of the ball think (not to mention the refs). It also requires players to have flexible and diverse skill sets.

    Now, the game is played with specialist for down and distance. They actually make offenses wait so the defense can “match up” like it’s a high school dance.

    Good luck to Chip Kelly and Belichick in continuing to bring evolution to the game.

  235. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:46 PM

    The game was designed to be played your best against my best. If you don’t let my best get on the field and you succeed, you’re not succeeding at football, you’re succeeding at being a sneak.
    ===
    Your first statement – upon which everything else you say relies – is belied by basically every team ever trying to quicksnap if the defense attempts to sub during a no-huddle offense. Furthermore: on the plays in question BAL had ample opportunity to sub while NE was huddled. The problem for BAL was that they didn’t recognize the personnel package and didn’t sub. Basically: their “best” weren’t smart enough to see that something was weird and check into a nice safe Cover 2 zone.

    It’s not BB’s fault that BAL’s Best are stupid.

  236. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 5:51 PM

    At this rate forward passes will be illegal again by 2028.
    ===
    Good. Rugby is a better game anyway.

  237. RE LEE says: Mar 25, 2015 5:52 PM

    Bad boy Belichick! You shouldn’t think of things like that…. It’s not fair. The Ravens can’t even spell eligible and you expect them to figure out the intricacies of the rules? Now…now… behave yourself and strive for mediocrity. It’s the new national virtue. We’ll lower everything so everybody will be happy and nobody gets offended. I know that look Belichick! Don’t even think about it!!!

  238. eazye1187 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:03 PM

    The rule states each player must declare his eligibility to referee before certain amount of time in order to give the defense enough time to identify the ineligible & eligible WR and to lineup accordingly. The problem is there is no penalty attached to it either way and the rule failed to state ineligible WR should stay between the OTs. The Patriots DID CHEAT. The defense did not have proper time to establish who was eligible and who was not. That’s cheating. When the NYJ did it to Patriots they gave enough time and weren’t using this on no huddle plays. NFL is dumb for not specifying ineligible WR need to line up between OTs and patriots took it beyond exploiting a loophole as soon as Ravens didn’t have enough time to identify and lineup properly. The rule is to prevent what the Patriots did from happening…. THAT’S CHEATING. NFL is stupid for not giving this rule more detail and failed to attach a penalty but still cheating.

  239. ring5for50 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:03 PM

    There is some pretty strong prophetic symbolism surrounding the NE PATRIOTS and the UN-FL.

  240. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 6:12 PM

    As a Ravens fan, I congratulate you. But I have to objectively ask, why run that formation in that game? The Ravens had back-ups upon back-ups in the secondary. You guys had the Ravens on their heals anyway at that point in the game. To be candid, I think you win that game without that formation. Why run it?
    ====
    A trick like that is most likely to work against an low football IQ team without strong leadership and communication – which is exactly what BAL’s defense was. While this BAL defense is very instinctive, instinct can be fooled by messing with expectations. It’s like showing a blitz to one side of the line and then bringing it from the other. IMHO, that play never would have worked against a BAL defense with RL or ER, because those guys were both instinctive and smart. RL in particular would have seen it and checked to zone, checked to a blitz, or called time out.

  241. ring5for50 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:17 PM

    Somebody up above is trying to communicate to the lost & confused people on earth.

    He has used TV, two specific teams in the NFL , the SB and specific symbolism to send a clear and powerful message – to help us understand.

    He sent it twice on National TV, around the world, using the SB as a format.

    Did you get the message ???

  242. smasonsmith says: Mar 25, 2015 6:23 PM

    The rule states each player must declare his eligibility to referee before certain amount of time in order to give the defense enough time to identify the ineligible & eligible WR and to lineup accordingly.
    ===

    That happened. There was seven to ten seconds from referee’s announcement to snap. You’re also wrong that there’s not a penalty attached. It’s five yards for illegal substitution if you don’t inform the ref. Lastly: the defense doesn’t get time to establish who is and isn’t eligible. They get time to match a sub and the offense has to declare any altered eligbilities. That’s it. There’s no time granted to decode a weird formation. The rules expect that the defense should know that only the two ends and men in the backfield are eligible.

  243. beachsidejames says: Mar 25, 2015 6:23 PM

    Just because its a penalty dose not mean the refs will call it. Sometimes I wonder if the refs are paying attention at all. Too many missed calls.

  244. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:28 PM

    “Since are PA announcements accepted as replacement for official, on-field statements by a ref, on any subject?”

    They didn’t JUST announce it over the PA, you ignoramus, they also informed the Ravens’ defense. Even Harbaugh admitted that.

    Harbaugh has NEVER claimed that the Ravens weren’t informed of what the Pats were doing. His only complaint was that he didn’t think the Ravens were given enough time to figure out how to defend the plays…

    …which is b.s.. Refs aren’t required to stop the game to allow dim witted coaches time to figure out what’s going on.

  245. swineflooo says: Mar 25, 2015 6:28 PM

    God forbid someone have the intellect to be creative enough to try this in a game. Apparently in the nfl if you are too smart other coaches will complain

  246. jnovi86 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:33 PM

    thats too bad, trick plays are fun to watch

  247. muffedpunts says: Mar 25, 2015 6:34 PM

    >> icup89:
    The don’t announce it over a load speaker…That was the problem…The ravens weren’t being informed who was eligible or not in a timely manner

    false, it was announced loud and clear every time in the stadium. i like harbaugh but he embarrassed himself during and after that game. just call timeout.

  248. patsrule59 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:34 PM

    “Man you can tell you’re a Pats fan, Dungy never had anything to do with the Competition Committee”

    Wrong. Both Dungy and Polian were on the Competition Committee in 2004.

    “and as for as a rule change, there wasn’t one, they just made the refs enforce the rule that was on the rulebook”

    A distinction without a difference. Fact is, they changed the way these penalties had been called for a couple of decades, all at the behest of the Colts.

  249. fetts81 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:42 PM

    Gotta dumb down the NFL so the rest of these inept coaches aren’t at a disadvantage. Not surprised. NFL is as corrupt of business as you’ll ever find

  250. truckinmack says: Mar 25, 2015 6:49 PM

    “And that, in one 7 year old girl who doesn’t follow football’s impression, is a hint at the legacy of the Brady and Bellichick Patriots.”

    Actually this is the legacy of every aspect of the media (including Hollywood) in our country. If you keep repeating something long enough, it becomes ingrained as truth, especially to 7 year old girls.

  251. aljack88 says: Mar 25, 2015 6:50 PM

    “joe Montana and San fran just flat out beat you. They didn’t need to cheat or bend the rules. Just played better football. New England and roger goodell have destroyed the game.”

    ================================

    Gee, I guess Rice’s admission to using illegal “stickum” on his hands / gloves has all been forgotten. Take away that cheat and there goes Montana’s stats and the 9ers success.

  252. dumbaseinstien says: Mar 25, 2015 6:53 PM

    Not sure “banned” is the best description here. Shouldn’t the Headline read “The NFL clarifies Patriots’ ineligible receiver ploy shouldn’t have been allowed”.

  253. stuartscottslefteye says: Mar 25, 2015 7:00 PM

    My point being there will be so many limitless possibilities with the formations, with a quick snap by the offense it will be impossible for any defense, intelligent or not, to be able read and adjust to so many possibilities.

  254. Satticon says: Mar 25, 2015 7:05 PM

    Unless I am reading the new definition of the rule wrong, isn’t that more of a “modification” to the rule than a “banning” of that particular play? So… the ineligible receiver has to be “inside the tackle box” now – so now Belichick will riff on THAT just to shove it up the NFL’s nose. Somehow, he will do it.

    Belichick is smarter than God.

  255. eazye1187 says: Mar 25, 2015 7:10 PM

    This rule that the Patriots exploited was created to prevent exactly what happened. That = cheating

  256. howiehandles says: Mar 25, 2015 7:18 PM

    Ridiculous. Not a Pats fan, but because ol’ Bill knows how to call plays within the rules of the game, they have to take it out.

    He’ll find something else, and stay a step ahead of the league. Goodell is always playing catchup.

  257. warrensip says: Mar 25, 2015 7:39 PM

    Harbaugh wasn’t yelling at the official because he was tricked. He was yelling at the official and stopped the game by walking on the field because the refs were not allowing time for Baltimore to react and sub before the Patriots snapped the ball.

    He even said as much during an interview before the superbowl.

    The refs screwed this all up.

  258. phillypcp says: Mar 25, 2015 7:49 PM

    Everyone whining about this have no reason to. From coaches, to the media, and fans. It was clear vereen announced “ineligible” to the refs. I don’t see where there was any wrongdoing. All I see is stupidity from harbaugh and incompetence from the officials.

  259. tonebones says: Mar 25, 2015 7:50 PM

    Tom Brady was winning Super Bowls long before these trick plays. Belichick would have been smart to wait until Brady retires, because he might need some extra help. But, since Belichick is smart I’m sure he’s planning to retire when Brady retires.

  260. cross300 says: Mar 25, 2015 7:51 PM

    Why should football players need to be intellegent to play? Perhaps they should ban the halfback pass since clearly it is a deceptive play and could confuse some dumb jocks on poorly coached teams. Ridiculous.

  261. pmars64 says: Mar 25, 2015 7:51 PM

    I don’t like the Patriots, but everybody cheats. What’s the old saying, “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” If you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find skeletons in every team’s closet. It’s the nature of this or any uber-competitive business. I’m sure we could find plenty of reasons to put asterisks on plenty of SB champs. In the end, all that matters, really and truly as mercenary sports fans is: did they win? Doesn’t matter how they got there. Putting asterisks on champions is done by jealous fans who, in turn, would bend over backwards to defend their own team’s championship if others wanted to put an asterisk on it. Congrats to the Pats for being smarter than most.

  262. ebdug says: Mar 25, 2015 7:55 PM

    Idiots try to simplify things for coaches by using numbers to identify receivers, only to add to the confusion when a coach uses that stupidity against another team, so the bonehead owners change the rules of the game to make the original dumb idea work.

    These guys should find a quiet happy hour where they can’t do any harm and leave the rulemaking to someone who watches the games.

  263. carloswlassiter says: Mar 25, 2015 7:57 PM

    What about that play where Marino faked the spike and instead threw a touchdown pass against the Jets? Was that a brilliant play to fool the defense? Or was it “shady”?

  264. Satticon says: Mar 25, 2015 8:03 PM

    It’s almost like the League needs to suspend the Patriots from even playing for a few years just to allow the other 31 teams to evolve without fear of embarrassment. Yikes.

  265. vicnocal says: Mar 25, 2015 8:11 PM

    Good. Just line up and play football like a man, not some nerd trying to win with shenanigans.

  266. iamapatsfan says: Mar 25, 2015 8:16 PM

    If you can’t beat them?

    Whine to the Competition Committee…

  267. bigdaddy44 says: Mar 25, 2015 8:25 PM

    Proud to be a fan of two of the greatest coaches of all-time. Bill Belichick and Red Auerbach both won multiple championships, were known as innovators and got the most out of the players they had. Best of all, their leagues constantly changed rules because all the inferior competition had no clue how to keep up with them.

  268. fetts81 says: Mar 25, 2015 8:33 PM

    Gutless move by the other teams!! Quit whining by banning it and go beat him! Way to dummy down the league. This league is becoming a bit of a joke

  269. jarepine says: Mar 25, 2015 8:34 PM

    I knew the NFL would ban those plays within the next couple seasons. They didn’t want the entire league based on forcing defenses to figure out which numbers were eligible and which were not based on the refs yelling out some numbers 2 seconds before the play. The Pats plays followed the letter of the rule but not the intent.

  270. 8oneanddones says: Mar 25, 2015 8:57 PM

    Sweet. Now it’s immortalized even more.

  271. samadams14 says: Mar 25, 2015 9:02 PM

    Still haven’t seen anyone mention that the Solder TD Rec was run out of an illegal formation (yeah, yeah, Pats fans, game already out of control…)

    It’s a substitution ‘trick’ because the opposing D matches up with who they are coming on the field. The Pats sent out 6 pass catchers.

    Also, Vareen motioned ‘eligible receiver’ (dusting off the chest) out of the muddle huddle.

    I did like either Brady or Belichick’s excuse to the effect of ‘well, it’s no different than a punt formation’. Except for the part where Brady wasn’t lined up 15 deep wearing a a tiny shoe.

  272. luther6 says: Mar 25, 2015 9:04 PM

    Those cheating bums wouldn’t have made it past the Ravens were it not for this.

  273. boomgrounder says: Mar 25, 2015 9:07 PM

    I’m glad they made it illegal. It was “Bush League”!

  274. swagger52 says: Mar 25, 2015 9:17 PM

    Lets call it the Schucks Rule…

    Harbaugh gets penalized for complaining about a blatant violation of the intent of the rule to not create an unfair advantage.

    Oh Shucks…its the Patriots, let it ride.

  275. tbisgod says: Mar 25, 2015 9:17 PM

    Damn…would not have beat Baltimore without that sucker. Way to fool em’ Bill.

  276. itsfootballfolks says: Mar 25, 2015 9:33 PM

    This is great news for Johnny Crybaugh and his thick as bricks players. Even when the ref told them not to cover 34, they still covered him.

    The last thing you want to do is make the dim-witted Ravens think, right?

    The only thing Ravens do well is beat their women or pour bleach over them, right t-sizzle?

  277. gambeast5533 says: Mar 25, 2015 9:44 PM

    Next they are going to ban the Statue of Liberty play, faking the onside kick, the end around, the hook and ladder, the flea flicker and the direct snap. I mean, after all, aren’t all of those trick plays?

  278. woodyftn says: Mar 25, 2015 9:53 PM

    Lots of made up facts and comments here. Great game, if Ravens had any type of secondary they would have won.

  279. Rindell says: Mar 25, 2015 9:55 PM

    This team has 4 Super Bowl trophies…

    And zero honor.

    They have 8 AFC Championships…

    And zero credibility.

    They have 17 Division titles…

    And zero respect outside of Massachusetts.

  280. r8dernation says: Mar 25, 2015 10:08 PM

    Get used to it Pats fans, they did this to the Raiders many times back in the day. If a team has success doing something they’ve never seen before, you can bet a rule will be added. Rest easy though, that formation did not win the SB for you.

  281. kissbillsrings says: Mar 25, 2015 10:27 PM

    Can’t wait to see the next formation the JEDI MASTER pulls off & gets the leagues panties all wadded up!! Lol!!!
    Bow before royalty you ignorant fools!!!

  282. townie1266 says: Mar 25, 2015 10:28 PM

    I love the idiots who claim the Pats deserve an asterisk…… If they do it should say something like this * During this time they won 11 straight AFC EAST championships and went to 6 AFC championships while winning 4 SUPER BOWLS……

  283. winninaintsinnin says: Mar 25, 2015 10:33 PM

    Pats fans astonished the league won’t let them cheat with impunity.

    After all, how are they ever going to win?

    Tainted forever.

  284. FinFan68 says: Mar 25, 2015 10:39 PM

    Exploiting another team’s inability to see what is actually in front of them (and what they have actually been told by the officials) is not a trick play, nor is it cheating. That is called being better prepared than your competition. The NFL just basically said the rest of the NFL cannot compete intellectually or strategically with Belichick.

  285. randomguy9999 says: Mar 25, 2015 10:44 PM

    it was outright cheating

  286. bigblackanvil says: Mar 25, 2015 11:08 PM

    You mean the only way to stop the Patriots and “The Genius” is to change the rules???? #childishmoveNFL

  287. billsoneday says: Mar 25, 2015 11:51 PM

    This proves the Patriots are slimy and dirty!!!

  288. baltimoresnativeson says: Mar 26, 2015 12:00 AM

    When the Ravens smacked the Patriots around it was good old fashioned football. Not horsecrap gimmicks. Cheap tricks and the Patriots still barely won. At home. Ravens will be back in Foxboro for the playoffs again this year. Joe will drop another 4 touchdowns and this B S won’t save Brady this time.

  289. birdman6162 says: Mar 26, 2015 12:06 AM

    If I am reading this correctly the rule is still there it just will be illegal for the non receiver to line up in the slot

  290. pjbergeron81 says: Mar 26, 2015 12:40 AM

    Actually the Patriots can run the same play again next year without breaking the new rule. They ran it this way a couple of times already.

    They can have the ineligible receiver still line up in the slot receiver position, all they need to do is cover him up with a tackle on the outside. This expands the tackle box around him. They did it that way in both the Ravens and Colts games. So really, the rule change means nothing.

  291. jjk26 says: Mar 26, 2015 1:07 AM

    So college football players and refs can account for this formation but the professionals can’t? It just happened this past season – Alabama vs LSU.

    Way to stay ahead of the curve NFL!

  292. ebdug says: Mar 26, 2015 1:12 AM

    It might ease the confusion if they gave the primary receiver a yellow shirt with the no.1 on it.

  293. truths4all says: Mar 26, 2015 1:44 AM

    No surprise that dumb and cheap NFL owners would keep any new innovation (even if its from the college world and legal there) from being a factor because the coaches and players are too dumb to see and prevent this.

    And its no surprise the dumb and cheap NFL owners refused to add cameras and re-plays that would ensure a more accurate NFL game. The owners do not care about the game, just getting your money.

  294. afwhigs says: Mar 26, 2015 6:58 AM

    It is completely absurd and entirely idiotic for anyone to call this cheating. No one has said it was against the rules.

    And “against the spirit of the rules” is meaningless. It’s either legal or not, and what the Pats did was legal.

    Some of the Pats haters around here need to find another focus for their obsession.

  295. brady2gronktd says: Mar 26, 2015 9:41 AM

    NFL, one big queef of an organization.

    Go Pats

  296. salutethis says: Mar 26, 2015 10:05 AM

    This wasn’t even a brilliant move by Belichek. Alabama was doing this in college last year! Other coaches knew about this ploy… They just had the integrity to try to out coach opponents… Not use loopholes and force the league to make rules to try to get you to play fair. Honestly, NE can’t win the big game unless they have a advantage that’s either blatant cheating or just unethical cheating on the field.

  297. amaf21 says: Mar 26, 2015 10:31 AM

    they should change their name while they’re at it – New England Patriots*

    #noclass

  298. whitetrash69 says: Mar 26, 2015 10:59 AM

    Belicheat isn’t a genius or a brilliant coach, he is flat out cheap and dirty. Great coaches don’t need cheap tactics to win, they simply out execute the other team. Oh and this isn’t innovation either, it is an unethical interpretation of the rule.

  299. fanofpft says: Mar 26, 2015 11:32 AM

    Roger Goodell !

    You should have seen who was in the box !

    Oh, my good goodness gracious! Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen.

    Some player I’m not sure who is standing right in tackle box announcing he is illegible or maybe in illegible I’m not sure.

  300. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Mar 26, 2015 4:07 PM

    How many Superbowls have the Patriots won without there being an accusation of cheating?

    Crickets.

  301. stuartscottslefteye says: Mar 26, 2015 5:12 PM

    Exploiting a loophole is breaking a rule that doesn’t exist- but should. Some consider doing do so innovative, others unethical. Personally I feel they have positional numbers on the jerseys for a reason. What the Patriots did showed total disregard for that. And it had to be addressed.

  302. capecotton says: Mar 26, 2015 9:30 PM

    This is pathetic. To all you whiners, let me remind you that this is Football 101:

    The ends of the line are eligible. The guys on the line between the ends are not.

    What is so flippin’ difficult to understand about that?

    What did they do in the old days when there were no numbers assigned to positions and your halfback could were 66 and your fullback could where 5 and so on…

    Unbelievably petty.

  303. nflsting says: Mar 27, 2015 3:35 PM

    Poll for non pats fans

    You learn your team just hired Bill Belichick as the head coach:

    give this comment a:
    thumbs up: ” you are thrilled.”
    thumbs down: “would rather keep the coach you have now.”

  304. stuartscottslefteye says: Mar 27, 2015 3:43 PM

    capecotton says: Mar 26, 2015 9:30 PM

    This is pathetic. To all you whiners, let me remind you that this is Football 101:

    The ends of the line are eligible. The guys on the line between the ends are not.

    What is so flippin’ difficult to understand about that?

    ————————————————

    Not if you declare a receiver ineligible and line him up in the slot as Belichick did (reread the article, perhaps slower this time) against the Ravens. Then you have somebody, outside the tackle box, that is not an eligible receiver – totally contrary to what you just said. That is what this rule addresses. So apparently for you at least, it is “flippin’ difficult” to comprehend.

  305. agentfreak82 says: Mar 28, 2015 12:44 AM

    These plays are what happens when you begin to decline. You devise ways to win without being as talented as you once were. Probably miss the playoffs next year unless they can figure out another way around those pesky rules.

  306. theofficialshotcaller says: Mar 28, 2015 4:01 PM

    Oh wow that is SO useful, especially after you allowed a team to repeatedly cheat with it to “win” a game they could not win on actual merit.

    You know what would have been useful? Not letting them cheat over and over to “win” a game they could not win by playing football.

    Or maybe, I don’t know, telling the defense what was going on instead of telling them nothing and helping the Patriots “win” a game they could not actually win.

  307. ikeclanton says: Mar 28, 2015 7:00 PM

    I’ve got it…let’s tell the defense when you’re running a reverse, going play action fake, flea flickers, etc. It’s only fair.

    Bottom Line: what they did WAS within the rules, and, yet again, you didn’t like it because you LOST.

    A collective nation of whiners folds their arms and pouts in unison…Ho hum.

  308. patsrule59 says: Mar 28, 2015 11:50 PM

    “Or maybe, I don’t know, telling the defense what was going on instead of telling them nothing”

    Another whiner who has no clue what he’s talking about. I was at the game and I clearly heard the ref announcing the ineligible receivers.

    If a fan in the nosebleed seats can figure out what’s going on, an NFL head coach on the field should be able to figure it out.

    Now stop posting…you’re embarrassing yourself.

  309. mrjohnson34000 says: Mar 29, 2015 8:43 AM

    The Patriots didn’t even come up with this. Bill said he saw it in another NFL game. The Patriots were the first to use it successfully and on a big stage though.

  310. youknowiknowitall says: Mar 29, 2015 9:09 AM

    agentfreak82 says:
    Mar 28, 2015 12:44 AM
    These plays are what happens when you begin to decline …

    ————————

    So, “decline” means you go on to win the SB. OK.

  311. carloswlassiter says: Mar 29, 2015 10:34 AM

    Realistically, there is only one way to describe the Patriots’ tactics:

    Totally within the rules in place at the time, already used in the NFL by the Detroit Lions of all people in an earlier game and in college by Alabama/LSU.

    The guys here whining about this being unfair or bush league are simply not smart enough to understand this.

  312. capecotton says: Mar 29, 2015 12:25 PM

    capecotton says: Mar 26, 2015 9:30 PM

    This is pathetic. To all you whiners, let me remind you that this is Football 101:

    The ends of the line are eligible. The guys on the line between the ends are not.

    What is so flippin’ difficult to understand about that?

    ————————————————

    Not if you declare a receiver ineligible and line him up in the slot as Belichick did (reread the article, perhaps slower this time) against the Ravens. Then you have somebody, outside the tackle box, that is not an eligible receiver – totally contrary to what you just said. That is what this rule addresses. So apparently for you at least, it is “flippin’ difficult” to comprehend.

    ———————————–

    Wow, if the Ravens are as stupid about football as you, no wonder they were confused.

    The “Slot” is and always has been a step or two behind the line of scrimmage. Not “on the line of scrimmage. Vereen was not a step behind the line of scrimmage. He was on the line – and it was even announce that he was ineligible.

    How many football games have you seen?

    So, because a media-darling coach like Harbaugh whines about something his team didn’t comprehend, any innovations in football formations regarding the player inside the ends is now done. Over with. Can’t do it. I just think that’s pathetic.

    Perhaps we should just go back to the old T formation and not let anyone do anything that defenses haven’t seen before?

    Sad….

  313. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk2014asterisk says: Mar 29, 2015 3:19 PM

    Cheaters.

    ****

  314. aferraridriver says: Mar 30, 2015 11:05 AM

    It’s call “Creativity”. He’s a fierce competitor and simply has more talent than the coach of my favorite team and all the others.

    I tend to get disgusted with the whiners around the league and wish the Packers coaches could come up with a few of these new and creative ideas that Belichick pulls out of his hat; maybe we could have won the Super Bowl this past year instead of the Pats…again and again.

  315. youknowiknowitall says: Mar 30, 2015 7:01 PM

    It is (was) fundamental football not a “loophole”. Another case of the NFL dumbing it down for the nitwits.

  316. steelcityfinest13 says: Mar 30, 2015 8:43 PM

    I thought this news would break the internet hahaa

  317. whywerule says: Mar 31, 2015 7:18 AM

    What the NFL competition committee did in changing the ineligible receiver rule based on the Patriots legal use of the rule last season is probably the most cowardly and classless rule change the committee has implemented in the last 15 years in their ongoing efforts to find a way to prevent the greatest Head Coach of all-time and the greatest QB of all-time from continuing to dominate the league. Yet sadly but as expected many fans suffering from Pats envy are applauding the change on this site, as if this will finally be the change that will end the Patriots dominance.

    New flash, the Patriots dynasty continues. Try to deal with that in a more proactive manner than whining louder than the Colts and Jets organizations, John Harbaugh, Jeff Fisher and other cowards of the competition committee. Belichick will beat you with his, yours, and whatever the NFL rules. That is who he is and what he does. He is not only the best but also the least phony NFL head coach you will see in your lifetime and that should be embraced, not hated.

  318. realitylooms says: Mar 31, 2015 8:29 PM

    All deception needs to be removed. Especially if the New England Patriots use it. Play action passes, pump fakes, reverses, wide receiver passes, fake punts, fake field goals, and anything else that deviates from what fans see as an advantage for New England. Just handle it that way.

    Remove ALL fakes, deceptions, and trickery. That would serve to remove a lot of weeping. John Harbaugh can continue his jump ball offense that moves the ball with pass interference penalties. The game will be much more exciting without deception and many coaches that can’t handle it will do much better.

  319. agentfreak82 says: Aug 1, 2015 11:48 PM

    Like I said, unless they can find a way to get around the pesky rules. Which they obviously did.

  320. patsrule59 says: Aug 2, 2015 11:36 AM

    “Like I said, unless they can find a way to get around the pesky rules”

    Except for the fact that they didn’t get around the rules – that play was perfectly within the rules.

    God, do you people not realize what a pathetic bunch of fairies you sound like?

    “Waaa….Belichick is smarter than our coach…we need to change the rules so he can’t fool us…waaaa”.

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