Belichick, Carroll both downplay eligible receiver issue

AP

The Patriots have confused both of their playoff opponents by switching offensive players back and forth from eligible to ineligible receivers. But neither coach Bill Belichick nor his opponent on Sunday, Pete Carroll, thinks that’s going to be an issue in the Super Bowl.

At the coaches’ final media appearance today, PFT asked both coaches about the issue, and they both said they’re confident that the officials will handle any such plays properly, with no problems.

“That’s not my job, so whatever the officials do, that’s their protocol and their mechanics, so whatever that is, you should direct that concern to the league,” Belichick said.

Carroll said that he is confident the officials will handle the Patriots’ formations correctly. And although there have been some suggestions that Belichick is pushing the bounds of the rules when he tries those formations, Carroll said he admires the Patriots for constantly finding new ways to play.

“I don’t have any problem with the way it’s been handled,” Carroll said. “Bill has done a good job of challenging us with really unique and innovative ideas in how to move people around. . . . I don’t think there’s going to be any issue.”

Here’s hoping that Carroll is right. It would be nice to see the NFL get through a game without an officiating issue.

54 responses to “Belichick, Carroll both downplay eligible receiver issue

  1. as a fan of the nfl, i won’t be supporting the superbowl this week..how many more times are they gonna let the patriots drag the game through the mud…instead ill be watching re-runs of monday night raw since they both have pre-determined outcomes

  2. MDS! Saw you live on the NFL Network dude!

    …I expected every writer for PFT to look exactly like Florio…Was a little disappointed. But solid question man, I was hoping you’d get more than a non-answer.

  3. It’s a bush league move.

    Of course when the patriots pull off another cheating move and lose their fans will be no where to be found.

    Seahawks: 72
    Patriots: 6

    Brady retires like Marino after Jacksonville.

  4. We are better. Carroll will get embarrassed. Can’t wait to see his presser after the game. Taste all their tears. Yum.

  5. Lol every team that made it to the playoffs this year “has it better” than the 9ers.

    SMH

  6. “Instead of calling the Patriots cheaters, we’re going to try to actually tackle their players unlike the Colts.” Bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off for them.

  7. I believe the issue is not with the Pats but with the refs. When Vereen reported the line judge told the defense without getting everyone’s attention like when a lineman reports we hear it over the loud speaker.

  8. “It would be nice to see the NFL get through a game without an officiating issue.”

    But I sure would like to see another Dez Bryant-type catch in the Superbowl. Force them to uphold the stupid rule about what is and isn’t a catch again and create such a controversy that they simplify the rules on what a catch is.

  9. @oriolesvsravens I believe the issue is not with the Pats but with the refs. When Vereen reported the line judge told the defense without getting everyone’s attention like when a lineman reports we hear it over the loud speaker.
    ———–

    Are you serious?? The referee announced over the stadium loudspeaker:

    “Number 34 is ineligible. The DEFENSE SHOULD NOT COVER number 34.”

    Everyone in the stadium but John Harbaugh knew not to cover number 34.

  10. Unlike the legions of fans that live to disparage the Patriots, I have never known Belichick to lose a game and not say they other team played better and deserved to win. The only thing I have seen him do is point out instances where he believes another player intentional hurt a player (he also benched Brandon Meriwether for doing it as a Patriots player).

    Belichick is admired and respected by his players. They will come to play on Sunday well prepared and ready to battle. Win or lose, this Patriots fan knows he will be thankful that Bill Belichick is the head coach of the team I have rooted for for 50+ years and that Tom Brady is its quarterback.

  11. There are typically two schools of thought. One is that you follow the rules to the letter, i.e., if it’s not in the rulebook, it’s illegal. The other is, if the rules don’t say you can’t do it, it’s legal. Those in the first group will always think the second group is cheating. I think anyone who doesn’t use the rules to their best advantage is working against themselves. They will always feel resentment towards those who think outside the box.

  12. I’m glad to see there are so many people “disgusted” with the Pats participation in the SB, to the point where they claim they won’t watch it. That’s less paranoid delusionists stinking up the audience. Go ahead, boycott. We’re going to miss you. No, we really will, honest.

  13. Sounds like Pete Carroll got the memo not to discuss it publicly. The Refs credibility is sinking fast. I don’t blame the Pats at all. If it’s in the game, it’s in the game. They actually did us all a service exposing the refs like this.
    The protocal to stand over the ball and announce eligibles vs non-eligibles will most likely get an overhaul at the league meetings this offseason.

  14. He’s a sore loser and poor sport. Can’t shake the winning coach’s hand in front of the world. What does that say about him?

  15. “Instead of calling the Patriots cheaters, we’re going to try to actually tackle their players unlike the Colts.”

    Great comment.

  16. “It would be nice to see the NFL get through a game without an officiating issue.”

    Wrong. There need to be several issues. Big ones. Bigger than the picked up flag. Bigger than the Dez non-catch. The lid needs to be blown off the NFL’s broken officiating on the world’s biggest and most expensive stage. Then, maybe, just maybe, the billionaires will be forced to address the problem.

  17. these two coaches know nothing, as we know this is a major issue based on the media and all the brilliant NFL historians who spend their days preaching their deep knowledge and intelligence on message boards

  18. Pats knew they couldn’t beat the Ravens by manning up, so they had to resort to trickery and bush league play.

    However, I give them props. They recognized they were the inferior team and got that win by any means necessary.

  19. Funny when other great coaches ‘pushed’ the envelope by being innovative they were geniuses.
    Because it’s Belichick and the Pats they are doing something sneaky and wrong. If your teams coach isn’t smart enough to try things then perhaps you need to hire a smarter coach.

  20. The Pats smoke and mirrors operation will be exposed… They’ll get slapped around like they did against KC earlier in the year, and the Hoodie will repeatedly say, “we’re on to the golf course…”

  21. Ineligible receivers bring about an entirely new issue to the game.

    It’s not just about not covering the ineligible receiver, someone still has to be responsible for him on the line, and the defense has to make an unusual adjustment to account for this and the eligible receivers.

    Belichick is banking the defense not having enough to time to receive calls/signals from the defensive captain and setting up the new alignment for the defense, thus causing confusion on the defense in who is assigned to who.

    Still bush league, in my opinion. A new rule will come about to circumvent this practice.

  22. Great, we get to see the two most cheating teams and weasels coaches in the league out cheese each other. This should be like two 12 year olds playing madden.

  23. It would be nice to see the NFL get through a game without an officiating issue.

    It would be nice if I won the lottery too. They both have the same chance of happening.

  24. The Colts weren’t confused. The 2 times the Pats ran the 4 OL play the Colts got a sack and incomplete pass. The TD to Solder was an illegal formation missed by the refs.

    The Colts may have been confused most of the game, but not on these eligible/ineligible plays.

  25. There are typically two schools of thought. One is that you follow the rules to the letter, i.e., if it’s not in the rulebook, it’s illegal. The other is, if the rules don’t say you can’t do it, it’s legal. Those in the first group will always think the second group is cheating. I think anyone who doesn’t use the rules to their best advantage is working against themselves. They will always feel resentment towards those who think outside the box.
    ———————————————–
    That is the difference between gentlemen and scoundrels. Unwritten rules are gentlemen’s agreements. Bill Belicheat is a scoundrel.

  26. weepingjebus says:
    Jan 30, 2015 11:34 AM

    “Instead of calling the Patriots cheaters, we’re going to try to actually tackle their players unlike the Colts.” Bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.

    fixed it for you. and great comment.

  27. Credit Pete Carroll for getting a new rule implemented without the consent of the competition committee that requires the officials to give him a special signal when there is an ineligible receiver

    If Belichick asked for a special rule to help him avoid being surprised everyone would cry foul more than they do right now for him violating “unwritten rules”

    So we’ve no created a new rule to assist those who don’t know the existing rules to further discourage the breaking of rules that don’t actually exist

  28. Its an old Bud Wikinson play. If a reciever covers three lineman adjacent to the line of scrimmage he becomes ineligible plain and simple.There were 7 players on the line and 4 in the backfield perfectly legal.Belichick ran a play people have not seen in 40 years and it worked. I have see a play where 2 lineman set up 5 yards away from the formation and the tackle takes 2steps back and becomes an eligible reciever without having to check in. Belichick stokes the Ravens they should have called timeout,he probably would have.scrapped the play thinking they were on to it. I was a great call,and was perfectly legal.

  29. Instead of crying about it just admit it caught you off guard. I don’t see it any different than when the Dolphins started using the wildcat.

    If I were Carroll I’d actually do it once just to see if the Patriots prepared for it at all DEFENSIVELY…

  30. nite2al says: Jan 30, 2015 12:38 PM

    Pats knew they couldn’t beat the Ravens by manning up, so they had to resort to trickery and bush league play.

    However, I give them props. They recognized they were the inferior team and got that win by any means necessary.

    ————–
    Then why did they have the better record and smash them 41-7 last year when the Ravens playoff hopes were on the line…?

  31. Colts handled those plays perfectly.

    Baltimore cried like babies, and took a 15 year penalty.

  32. nite2al says:
    Jan 30, 2015 12:38 PM
    Pats knew they couldn’t beat the Ravens by manning up, so they had to resort to trickery and bush league play.

    However, I give them props. They recognized they were the inferior team and got that win by any means necessary.

    ———————————-
    Did Suggs or Dumerville even play in the game? Remind me, I can’t remember them doing anything whatsoever….

    But I will give the Ravens this, they are a hell of a lot tougher team than the Seahawks. Far more physical.

  33. reed20fence says:
    Jan 30, 2015 12:12 PM

    Sounds like Pete Carroll got the memo not to discuss it publicly. The Refs credibility is sinking fast. I don’t blame the Pats at all. If it’s in the game, it’s in the game. They actually did us all a service exposing the refs like this.
    The protocal to stand over the ball and announce eligibles vs non-eligibles will most likely get an overhaul at the league meetings this offseason.
    __________________________________

    Or just remove the ability for someone “lining up as an eligible receiver” like every other level of football has done.

    I have a hard time bashing the refs….I’ve been a football official in HS and college for 25 years and between constant rule changes and revisions and the insane amount of intricate NFL provisions unlike any football anywhere else. I can’t stand the Pats, but kudos to them for using every little bit of the NFL’s verbose rule book.

  34. Expect to see a few “injuries” of the one play variety by Seattle’s defense. Is it bush league to fake an injury to pause the game? Yes, it is. But, it is what the Pats have brought the game to with their own bush league play, by swapping eligible/ineligible receivers without substitution and in a hurry up offense.

    I know Pats fans love it and thinks it’s the creative workings of a genius, but ask yourselves if you really want 32 teams in the NFL running this scheme 25-35 plays a game. The defenses are already at a disadvantage, I don’t want this piled on top of them as well. I don’t want to see the NFL have final scores of 64-58. That’s what arena football is for…..

    I hope the league changes the rule and treats the changing eligibility of receiver like an offensive substitution. Therefore, allowing the defense to make a substation if desired.

  35. Belichick and the Patriots lost a lot of preparation time and emotional energy over the last two weeks over this silly ball pressure issue that nobody cared about until halftime of the AFC Championship Game. Belichick looked like this press conference was a big waste of time for him. He is likely not getting a lot of sleep as he tries to catch up for Sunday. Hopefully he can get some rest, and this media driven alleged scandal does not cost him and his team a fair shot in this game.

    I’m also a bit concerned to hear how the officials are not on the same page with the league officiating office, and I’m worried they will be stopping the game left and right in fear of making a mistake because the Patriots are substituting players. They may try to limit the Patriots opportunities to be creative. They may also be throwing flags on marginal things out of fear of being roasted in the media after the game. It will be human nature for them to be monitoring the Patriots closer than the Seahawks because they took a lot of heat in the media over the legal plays the Patriots ran. The weather in the northeast also likely derailed some fans from making it to the game, and many people in rainy Seattle have vacation homes in Arizona. It is going to be a challenge for the Patriots. They will have to play the collective game of their lives.

    I think they can do it….

  36. ————–
    Then why did they have the better record and smash them 41-7 last year when the Ravens playoff hopes were on the line…?

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

    Same reason NE beat up the Jets 45-3 in the 2010 reg. season, and got their hearts snatched away by the Jets in the playoffs.

    And the same will happen with Seattle. NE has a tough time with physical teams deep into the playoffs and they know it!

    NE is a team built mainly for the regular season. They act like bullies once they get you down and pour it on where most teams would let up a bit. But when you punch them in the mouth, they are just a shell of themselves.
    We’ve all seen this how this movie ends the last ten years…nothing new. Seattle will dominate…Brady under immense pressure and not much of a running game for NE.

  37. ———————————-
    Did Suggs or Dumerville even play in the game? Remind me, I can’t remember them doing anything whatsoever….

    But I will give the Ravens this, they are a hell of a lot tougher team than the Seahawks. Far more physical.

    ==========

    I think they did, Suggs had a couple pressures. Ravens lost due to a badly coached offensive game in the second half.

  38. The Pats smoke and mirrors operation will be exposed… They’ll get slapped around like they did against KC earlier in the year, and the Hoodie will repeatedly say, “we’re on to the golf course…”
    ===
    To be fair, he’s going to say that either way. There isn’t another game until September for either of these teams.

  39. Pats knew they couldn’t beat the Ravens by manning up, so they had to resort to trickery and bush league play.

    However, I give them props. They recognized they were the inferior team and got that win by any means necessary.
    ===
    Part of the game is played in the mind. All your physical prowess and skill is useless if you don’t know how or when to apply it.

  40. ashevillebucs says:
    Jan 30, 2015 2:14 PM

    Expect to see a few “injuries” of the one play variety by Seattle’s defense. Is it bush league to fake an injury to pause the game? Yes, it is.
    *******************

    Is it bush? No, but it IS illegal! Nice, we’ve finally come full circle. The “Cheatriot!” are now openly calling for their teams to cheat their way to victory.

    Hey Einsteins, you DO realize that your teams are also allowed to insert the whole ‘eligible/ineligible’ format into their playbooks, right?

    I don’t know, maybe your favorite players and coaches aren’t smart enough to pull it off, but if it’s such an advantage why wouldn’t more teams do it right back to the Pats when they play them?

    It’s no different then when the ‘Wildcat’ was popular for a year or so. Miami smoke the Pats one game by introducing the concept, and you know what BB did NOT do? He did not go crying to the refs to slow the game down or cry “it’s deceptive” (a la Harbaugh).

    He told his defense to learn to recognize it and stop it and guess what….now it’s virtually gone from the league.

    Put your bigboy pants on and welcome to the big stage kids.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    Pats 34
    Seachickens 13

  41. “Carroll downplays Sherman’s torn elbow ligaments & Thomas’s wrecked shoulder”

  42. Comparing the Pats recent eligible/ineligible receiver scheme to the Wildcat is extremely short sighted and lacks logical deduction. For one, the QB is always an eligible receiver. Two, there is absolutely a zero degree deception in the Wildcat formation. Unlike have an ineligible receiver bunched into a trips formation. Which is what we have seen out of New England.

    Again, I’m not opposed to the the scheme that the Pats are running. There is nothing wrong with it. I do believe, however, that the league should view it as a substitution; therefore allowing the defense to make a substitution if desired.

  43. There is zero degree deception in the eligible/ineligible man scheme too!! For god’s sake man, the referee calls out OVER THE LOUDSPEAKER who the ineligible man is.

    In the Ravens game the ref at one point even told the Ravens players who NOT to cover. How is this possibly “deception”???????

    1) Player reports to ref as ineligible.
    2) Ref announces to entire stadium the number of the player reporting as ineligible.
    3) Player, with that giant number on front and back of shirt, lines up.

    Ok, so now QB, RB, WR’s are all eligible so the defense only has to decide which of the 3-4 remaining big slow guys might be going out for a pass.

    Honestly, this is what some of you call “deception”???

  44. Again, I’m not opposed to the the scheme that the Pats are running. There is nothing wrong with it. I do believe, however, that the league should view it as a substitution; therefore allowing the defense to make a substitution if desired.
    ===
    They did. The sub and opportunity to match was during the huddle. If you look into the huddle and see four OL, one of the non-OL HAS to be ineligible. Apparently no one on BAL’s defense can count to five.

  45. “Here’s hoping that Carroll is right. It would be nice to see the NFL get through a game without an officiating issue.”

    Or the fans whining like little girls about an officiating issue.

  46. Or just remove the ability for someone “lining up as an eligible receiver” like every other level of football has done.
    ===
    The only issue with that is that the NFL game day roster is only 46 players. While that’s more than many HS rosters, it’s a lot less than many NCAA rosters. Most teams only dress 7 OL on their 46. Three injuries and you’d have to start plugging defensive linemen in, because no one else would be available to play ineligible positions.

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