New England Patriots Links 3/18/11 - NFLPA Meets In Florida; Goodell Emails Players Directly

Michael Lombardi (NFL.com) One-third of game could be devalued if rule change passes.

So why invest money in a return man? Teams won't.Why would anyone sink money into a position that would be stifled by the new rules, not the opponent? It goes a step further. Teams won't have to invest money in coverage players, which will allow younger, cheaper guys to be used on kickoff coverage. With a yes vote next week from the league, the kickoff to start the game will be boring. Most of the balls will be booted out of the end zone and brought to the 25-yard line.

Now, I am all for player safety and love being a divergent thinker, but this rule would help teams that do not put an emphasis on the kicking game. Teams like the Giants, who have poor return and coverage teams, would benefit. Special teams is one-third of the game, and the league could take a large chunk of the game away, emphasizing offense and defense even more.

While the punt returns are still going to be a factor, players are often caught illegally blocking and a good return is about 10 yards. Not to mention, teams can kick the ball out of bounds (remember that concept, Matt Dodge?) without a penalty, thus taking away a great returner. With the kickoff being minimized and teams having the ability to take away the punt return, what is left for the special teams?

Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL: Players still must follow conduct policy.

Even during the current lockout, NFL players will be held accountable for their off-field behavior.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told FOXSports.com Thursday the league plans to enforce its personal conduct policy even with players prohibited from reporting to team headquarters. Enacted by the league in 2007, the policy subjects players to fines and possible suspension at the discretion of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"While players won't be able to get the benefit of our evaluation and counseling program during the work stoppage, the personal conduct of players and employees is an integrity-of-the-game issue," McCarthy wrote in an e-mail. "Any misconduct that is detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL will certainly be addressed when play resumes."

TEAM TALK

  • Draft Prospect Review: In this edition we break down the top defensive back prospects and discuss which could be potential Patriots. (17.21 min. podcast)
  • PFW in Progress - 3/17/11: Listen to this edition as we discuss recent comments Randy Moss made about a possible New England return, top draft prospects that could be Patriots and more. (2 hours)

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