Mike Reiss caught the usually tight-lipped Bill Belichick speaking out on a game that he is passionate about, calling the extensive rule proposal "complicated" before expressing his concern with what would happen if it was adopted.
"I don't like the idea of eliminating the kickoff from the game," he said, unconvinced of the safety risks that were cited as the reason for the proposal by the league's competition committee, and convinced that every team would simply boom the ball into the end zone for a touchback.
"I think it's one of the most exciting plays in football," he continued. "It looks like the competition committee is trying to eliminate that play. I don't know if that's really good for the game."
Mike Reiss reports Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said this morning that the team has not had any layoffs as a result of the NFL's lockout.
"We believe there is going to be a season in 2011 and we're preparing for it," he said. "We need our entire staff to be focused on preparing for the 2011 season and you can't do that if you're laying people off."
Mike Reiss offers Jonathan Kraft's response to Matt Light's remarks on how he was disappointed that Robert Kraft was absent form the last week of the negotiations.
"I respect Matt and I appreciate Matt's comments," he said. "We do a lot of things other than just the New England Patriots, and something that is particularly important to Robert is the economy of Massachusetts and job creation -- not just for people in the football industry but across the Commonwealth. This is a trade mission that had been worked on for a long time. Israel is a real center of high tech and a lot of Israeli companies are choosing to pick Massachusetts as their U.S. headquarters. This is about solidifying that and having more companies feel comfortable to come to Massachusetts and create jobs in Massachusetts. It was something he personally had been working on for a long time and he wasn't going to give that up."
Kraft said his father "helped put the whole thing together and it was something very personal to him."
"That being said, I can tell you he didn't miss a [NFL] call, he didn't miss an email, he was up until all hours of the night in Israel and he was intimately involved with what was going on," Kraft said.
- Erik Scalavino describes the serious atmosphere at the owners meetings in New Orleans.
- Erik Scalavino talks about Bill Belichick's distaste for the NFL Competition Committee's kickoff proposal.
- Andy Hart discusses a report from San Diego Union-Tribune says the Patriots are interested in dealing their 2nd of two first-round picks in next month's draft.
- Erik Scalavino offers his CBA update.
- Erik Scalavino reports as Jonathan Kraft assesses the labor stalemate and other issues.
- Patriots Today - Welcome to the Owners Meetings. (1.22 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Patriots cheerleader auditions. (3.16 min. video)
- Bill Belichick interview - 3/21/11 (7.12 min. video)
- Jonathan Kraft interview - 3/21/11. (11.13 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport notes Bill Belichick had little to say yesterday.
- Tom E. Curran says Bill Belichick embraces the annual NFL Owners Meetings like a shirtless man hugs a cactus.
- Shalise Manza Young offers the full transcript of Bill Belichick's conversation with reporters.
- Mike Reiss offers some soundbites from Patriots president Jonathan Kraft in his Q&A with reporters yesterday.
- Ian Rapoport reports Jonathan Kraft said he'd "like to think Tom was conflicted before he made that decision" to put his name on the antitrust lawsuit, Brady vs. the NFL.
- Tom E. Curran wonders if Matt Light will pay a heavy price for his comments.
- Shalise Manza Young reports Brandon Meriweather's attorney says his client 'did not shoot anyone'.
- Ian Rapoport says the lawyer for Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather claims to have "physical evidence" that his client was not the shooter.
- ESPNBoston reports Brandon Meriweather's lawyer said he has delivered evidence to the police that show his client was not the shooter in a February incident.
- ESPNBoston reports Danny Woodhead is in the running for Madden '12 cover.
- Ron Borges sees the situation between the NFL and its players taking steps, but in the wrong direction.
- Greg A. Bedard reports the NFL has no interest in lawyers settling the antitrust complaint filed by the NFLPA. A new CBA will only happen through negotiations.
- Greg A. Bedard lists the main points the NFL made in its brief in the Brady v. NFL antitrust case.
- AP Report - NFL: No legal grounds to halt lockout.
- WEEI mocks the draft for the 6th time. Patriots take DE/OLB Aldon Smith (Missouri) at 17 and DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) at 28.
- Tom E. Curran reports Colts owner Jim Irsay says new deal for Peyton Manning "should be done" by now.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Club wants Mankins to be Patriot for life.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Belichick opposes kickoff rules proposal.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Bill Belichick speaks out against kickoff changes; other coaches agree.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Touchbacks, wedge rule changes likely out of latest kickoff proposal.
- AP (SI) Owners set to vote on touchbacks, tackling measures Tuesday.
- Don Banks (SI) New proposal for touchbacks may greatly affect kickoffs, returners.
- John Clayton (ESPN) Approaching a point of no returns?
- Sean Jensen (Chicago Sun-Times) Jerry Angelo says potential kickoff rule changes go beyond Devin Hester.
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) Kickoffs moved from the 30 to 35: Good or bad for the game?
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) Suspensions might be first resort in illegal hits crackdown.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) As protective padding improves, NFL players use helmets as "armament".
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Mike Brown: NFL instant replay slows the game down too much.
- Kevin Acee (San Diego Union-Tribune) Chargers could take advantage of Patriots' desire for draft move.
- Joe Fortenbaugh (Nat'l Football Post) Draft Trends: AFC East.
- Staff (Pro Football Weekly) AFC team needs.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) NFL prospect tier rankings: Distinguishing the top prospects from one another.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Vick returns to prison, lockout update, QB rumors and more.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Sanchez, Woodhead up for Madden cover.
- SportsNation (ESPN) Vote for the Madden 2012 cover athlete on ESPN.com.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) 'Hard Knocks' opting out of AFC East.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Rex Ryan: I'm like Babe Ruth.
- Dan Shaughnessy (SI) Role reversal: more athletes, past and present, entering media.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League makes three main arguments against lifting the lockout.
- Steve Wyche (NFL.com) Plenty of questions, few answers in current NFL landscape.
- Judy Battista (NY Times) NFL asks court to wait for labor board's ruling.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Sides allergic to verbal communication.
- Jim Corbett (USA Today) As lockout lingers, NFL and players continue to trade barbs.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League claims players are setting up "heads I win, tails you lose" argument.
- Jarrett Bell (USA Today) Where's the money? Bickering over books at heart of lockout.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League won't negotiate with class counsel.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) DeMaurice Smith explains why offer was worst in sports history.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Jeff Pash: The point Mike Vrabel made was a fair one.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Retiree benefits big issue in labor drama.