Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Bill Belichick
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 6:32 am
 

Patriots release Albert Haynesworth

It only took eight games for New England to give up on Haynesworth. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Patriots acquired Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth before the season, both for late-round draft picks. At the time it appeared to be another case of the rich getting richer; four years earlier, New England took Randy Moss off the Raiders' hands for a fourth-rounder and he went on to have one of the best pass-catching seasons in NFL history.

There will be no such story of redemption for Haynesworth, at least not in Foxboro: the Patriots released him Tuesday, his agent confirmed.

"He was told it just wasn't a good fit and they wanted to end it now," a source told NFL Network's Steve Wyche.

Haynesworth's career has been a roller coaster of dominating performances punctuated by questionable work habits, and marred by behavioral issues and off-field incidents.

In August, he stood trial on sex-abuse charges (he pleaded no contest), and is probably best known for stomping on then-Cowboys center Andre Gurode's head during a 2006 game

Days before the start of the regular season, Haynesworth called New England a "career-saving place for me to come … I had no idea it would be like this, but it's unbelievable, and I wish I took two years ago and came here."  This was after he had signed a $100 million deal with the Redskins prior the 2009 season (including $41 million in guarantees), and proceeded to do absolutely nothing for two years before ending up in Foxboro for his next last chance.

Now, eight games into the 2011 season, the Pats have seen enough of Haynesworth to know he's not worth the trouble. He played sparingly in Sunday's loss to the Giants, and didn't see the field for most of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter.

The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that Haynesorth's playing time had nothing to do with a heated sideline conversation with a Pats assistant. Instead, head coach Bill Belichick called it "rotation-related."
Yet, sources described an animated conversation between defensive line coach Pepper Johnson and Haynesworth following that play, with shouting back and forth. It’s not clear what was said, but Haynesworth was not on the field afterward.

On the play, Haynesworth stood up and attempted a swim move inside on Jacobs’ run, which took him out of the hole and allowed guard David Diehl to block him effectively. Haynesworth realized his error and owned up to it to Belichick.

Yet, when Johnson approached, it grew heated, sources said. Similar conversations happen on sidelines throughout the NFL. The fact that it was Haynesworth, who drew a holding penalty earlier in the game, created attention.
This is the latest personnel misstep to befall the Patriots and Belichick, and it comes on a unit in dire need of playmakers. The secondary is in shambles after Belichick released Deon Butler, Brandon Meriweather and Leigh Bodden and replaced them with waiver-wire signings -- players none of the 31 other teams wanted.

As for Haynesworth, he's still talented enough to find work elsewhere. Before he was traded to New England, there were reports that the Eagles were interested in his services. Philadelphia defensive line coach Jim Washburn was with Haynesworth in Tennessee. Before the season, sources told Yahoo.com that Washburn was "convinced he can get the most out of Haynesworth," and that "he wants him badly."

Now he may get that chance.

First, he'll have to clear waivers. Teams will have 24 hours to claim him, and Haynesworth would be owed roughly $750,000 of his $1.5 million base salary if claimed by Wednesday afternoon. 

Haynesworth restructured his contract to come to the Patriots but was due $7 million next season.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: November 9, 2011 1:21 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 9: The curse of Carson Palmer

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Oakland defense (added bonus: dumb penalties!)

We can forgive Carson Palmer for looking rusty. He spent the previous nine months kicking it in his La-Z-Boy, probably figuring that there was no way Bengals owner Mike Brown would trade him. Plus, it's not Palmer's fault that Raiders head coach Hue Jackson gave up a first- and (likely) second-round pick for him, and then inserted him into an actual game after a week of practice. The results were equal parts slapstick and dramedy.

But there's no excuse for Oakland's defense, which seemed completely unprepared for the possibility that Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow might actually run the ball. Because, really, there isn't any evidence that Tebow is quick to take off, especially if it means he doesn't have to flutter a medicine ball in the vicinity of would-be targets.

Tebow, who had two more rushes than completions, finished the afternoon with 118 yards on the ground on 10 carries, including runs of 32 and 28 yards, the last of which set up a Willis McGahee "this game is officially a blowout" touchdown late in the fourth quarter. McGahee, by the way, rushed for 163 yards and two scores and Oakland was helpless to stop it.


"I'm shocked," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said, according to the Oakland Tribune. "Ain't no way I thought that team could put 38 points on us with that quarterback. This hurt more than Buffalo. … And I thought we were past this (expletive)."

"You have to do your job," defensive tackle Richard Seymour added. "The things that happened out there today ... it's Football 101."

As long as the Raiders are going back to basics, maybe they should review what are and aren't penalties. They were flagged 15 times for 130 yards Sunday, including two of the "wait, that didn't just happen" penalties on fourth down late in the first half.

With 22 seconds before halftime and the Broncos facing a 52-yard field goal, rookie Taiwan Jones jumped offsides. Undeterred, Jones was flagged on the next play for roughing the kicker. Broncos first down. Denver kicker Matt Prater would end up missing a subsequent kick three plays later, but Jones' two miscues encapsulated the Raiders' day nicely.

"I think we're not a very intelligent football team right now," head coach Hue Jackson said. "We're not playing very intelligently when it comes to penalties. Some of them are uncalled for.

"We're going to continue to address it. I don't want anyone to think we haven't. We emphasize it, and we're not going to stop. It might be Game 16 when we get it fixed, I don't know."

Nothing to worry about, people: Jackson will get it fixed, even if it takes all year.

New England secondary

Unless Bill Belichick gets ahold of some magic beans New England could have a permanent home on Coach Killers. Which is ironic since Belichick is solely responsible for the team's current personnel plight.

Yes, we know: Leigh Bodden wasn't happy with his role and Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather were high-round disappointments. But would the Patriots be a better team with them on the field than, say, Sergio Brown, Phillip Adams or Antwaun Molden? Well, they couldn't be much worse. 

Reviewing Week 9

Belichick knows better than anybody that his defense is in shambles. He tried to pressure Eli Manning Sunday and it blew up in his face. The Giants picked up the blitz and Manning carved up the secondary (just like Ben Roethlisberger did the week before). It's easy to just blame it all on inexperience but the Patriots traded for Albert Haynesworth in the offseason to shore up the run D and as an antidote for any deficiencies in the defensive backfield. Haynesworth was last seen on the field Sunday with 9:10 left on the clock in the third quarter.

(We're midway through the season and it's not too early to suggest that Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco -- the Pats' two "big" acquisitions -- have been among the NFL's biggest busts in 2011.)

Tom Brady took some heat Monday for not displaying his usual super-human awesomeness. He looked rattled at times but he also led New England on a go-ahead touchdown drive with 1:27 on the clock. That was more than enough time for Manning, who hooked up with tight end Jake Ballard twice on the final drive: once for a 28-yard gain on 3rd and 10, and again for a one-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left. Ballard, by the way, wears No. 85, which belonged to David Tyree, Giants folk hero and unassuming Patriots nemesis.

John Beck, QB, Washington

Washington's inability to regularly score points isn't because of Beck. Don't misunderstand: he's not good, but no matter what Norman Einstein says, neither is Rex Grossman. The problem starts with Mike Shanahan, who traded for Donovan McNabb last season and dumped him in favor of Beck and Grossman this season. No one's surprised that the Skins are 3-5 and as our collegue Will Brinson pointed out Monday, there's the very real possibility that Washington could lose out.

It sounds like an overreaction, but this is the same crew that was shut out last week in Buffalo, and needed a 59-yard field goal against the 49ers Sunday to get on the board after nearly seven quarters of goose eggs.

“Right now you take a look at the offense and it’s tough to take. It’s tough to take for me,” Shanahan said. “But I understand how this thing works. We’ve got a lot of young guys with talent, and we’re not all collective on the same page right now. . . . Everybody wants wins. . . . Everybody wants the answer. I wish I had the answer, but that’s as close as I can get.”

Interesting. You know who's coordinating the offense that Shanahan has so much trouble taking? His son, Kyle.

Beck, meanwhile, struggled to do the things even average NFL quarterback can manage: throwing accurately, connecting on the occasional deep ball and he was at his best on short throws and screen passes (Hmm, we've read that scouting report before somewhere…).

More demoralizing details via the Washington Post's Mike Jones:

"For the game, Beck went 30 for 47 for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception. None of his passes traveled longer than 16 yards. And a 17-yard gain came when Helu caught a batted ball and scampered up the field before he was run out of bounds.

"The offense generated only 303 yards and did not get closer to the end zone than the San Francisco 37 until Beck completed his nine-yard touchdown pass to Gaffney with 1:10 left. Beck then hit Leonard Hankerson on the two-point conversion to give his team its 11 points."

When Tebowing goes very, very wrong. (US PRESSWIRE)

Perhaps the saddest part of all this is that even if the Redskins lose out, they still won't be in position to get Andrew Luck because there's now way the Colts are winning three games.

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego

Rivers might not admit it publicly, but something's wrong with the guy. Whether it's a sore arm, a bum shoulder, a goiter -- something has to be bothering him. Because you don't go from one of the NFL's most prolific, accurate passers, to Kurt Warner when he was with the Giants unless there are underlying issues.

“I appreciate everyone trying to come up with a theory and a reason that I'm hurt," Rivers said Sunday. “I’m not hurt. I’ve thrown a handful of picks that I normally don’t throw and I’ll probably throw some more throughout my career. There won’t always be a reason why.”

So Rivers is fine according to … well, Rivers and that's about it. Even team owner Dean Spanos admitted after the Chargers' latest loss that his franchise quarterback is having an "off year." “Sometimes you just have [one]” Spanos told NBC's Alex Flanagan. “That is what Philip Rivers is having so far.”

By the way, "a handful of picks" is one thing. Rivers has 14 interceptions through eight games. The most he's ever thrown in a 16-game season is 15.

He added three more against the Packers, all of the groan-inducing variety. Sometimes balls are tipped, or receivers run the wrong route. Neither was the case Sunday. Rivers' first interception went off a Packers' defender before Charlie Peprah hauled it in and ran through approximately 27 arm-tackles (everybody but Rivers attempted to bring him down at least twice) on his way to the end zone. The second pick was worse: Tramon Williams jumped a route near the sidelines and could've done the electric slide into the end zone there was so much distance between him and the nearest defender. The final interception was on San Diego's last drive, one that could've tied the score after a furious second-half comeback. Instead, Rivers underthrew his receiver by a good 10 yards and Peprah was there again to make the play.

Sure, Phil, everything's fine. If you say so.

Colt McCoy, QB, Cleveland

Like Beck above, McCoy doesn't deserve all the blame. But after a surprising rookie season in 2010, when he outplayed everyone's expectations, he's regressed in 2011. A lof of that has to do with the Browns' West Coast scheme, and that there aren't any playmakers to speak of.

Josh Cribbs is a dynamic returner but he's not a No. 1 wide receiver. Perhaps Greg Little can grow into that role, but he's not there yet. And there's Peyton Hillis, of course, the basket case who has gone from fan favorite to public pariah all because he wants a new contract.

We mentioned last week that the Browns are so married to their offensive philosophy that even the blind know what's coming (we're only half-kidding). Via the NFL Network's Mike Lombardi:

"Writing about the Browns offense leads me to a game I play every week at NFL Films. I sit in my office in Mt Laurel, N.J., put the Browns offense on my screen and call a friend who was a coach in the league, but is now in between successes. I tell my friend the personnel group, the formation, where the ball is located on the field and what hash mark and describe the motion -- if there is any -- and ask him to tell me the exact play that will be run," Lombardi writes.

A former coach can predict the Browns' offensive play call 95 percent of the time. (Getty Images)

"He is correct about 95 percent of the time. No lie. The Browns are so integrated into the West Coast system that their predictability is becoming legendary around the league."

This, along with the shortage of big-play threats, explains why McCoy ends up on the turf after most plays. If a former coach hearing the pre-snap formations knows what's coming, what do you think opposing defensive coordinators will have planned?

McCoy was blitzed often Sunday in Houston, sacked four times and hit eight more times after he threw the ball. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot points out that McCoy's been hit 52 times after the throw -- fifth most in the NFL. Which led left tackle Joe Thomas to marvel at his quarterback's resilience.

"He's a super-tough kid," Thomas said. "Not many guys in the league would be able to take a hit like he did on that long pass [a fourth-quarter sideline throw to Greg Little] and be able to come back, but he's a guy that wants to be out there competing. He plays big and that's all you can ask for."

That and some playmakers. (In related news: Hillis has already been ruled out for next week. We were shocked, too.) Which reminds us...

After watching Julio Jones go off on the Colts, anybody else think that the Browns should've just drafted him instead of taking all those picks from the Falcons? We're guessing McCoy does.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 8:18 pm
 

Brady defends Ochocinco's performance vs. Giants

Ochocinco was targeted five times and had zero catches. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've become so accustomed to Patriots' double-digit win totals and the annual playoff appearances that we don't know quite what to make of them when they lose back-to-back games and look pretty bad in the process.

Much of the blame lies with the defense, which has been systematically dismantled by head coach Bill Belichick. But they're not the only reason for New England's recent struggles. The offense is a mess, too. Quarterback Tom Brady has looked indecisive in the pocket, which is a function of the man-to-man defenses he's suddenly facing, the endless stream of pass rushers in his face, and the lack of a true deep threat at wide receiver.

Wes Welker might be one of the NFL's best pass catchers, but he's not blowing the top off the coverage, Randy Moss-style. Which is why the Patriots traded for Chad Ochocinco before the season. We feel safe in writing that the move has yet to pay dividends. The former Bengals Pro Bowler has been slow to learn New England's offense and as a result he spends more time on the sidelines than on the field. And the rare occasions he does play usually involve some miscommunication between him and Brady.

But maybe it's not all on Ochocinco, who on Sunday against the Giants was on the field for 18 snaps and targeted on five occasions, coming up empty each time. ESPNBoston's Chris Forsberg breaks down Ochocinco's peformance and the takeaway is that Brady, who was under pressure for most of the afternoon, shares some of the responsibility, too.

Brady said as much during his weekly radio appearance on WEEI.

"We make improvements every week. It's just a matter of us ultimately getting it done in the game,” he said. "Every week there's more confidence in what we're doing with him, and with him and me. It's just a matter of us getting out there and doing it on the field. Believe me, no one's more frustrated than us. We talked after the game about what we need to do to get better. And we're just going to keep doing it. We really don't know any other way."

Late in the game, the cameras showed an animated, frustrated Brady talking to Ochocinco. Chad later to the Boston Herald that Brady was giving him a pep talk.

“Keep working, keep working,” Ochocinco said was Brady’s message. “Because we’re missing it by this much (holding two fingers close together). That’s it. That’s what he was saying, ‘Just keep working.’”

Despite the two losses, and the impending date with the Jets, perhaps things aren't as bad as they seem in Foxoboro. Worst case: if Ochocinco continues to struggle at wide receiver, Belichick can try him at cornerback.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Saints turn in Bucs for misleading injury report

We'll have to see if Raheem Morris is as happy with Sean Payton as he appears in this picture (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you expected many NFL teams to play nice and be completely honest with their weekly practice reports and their Friday injury reports, you’re probably a little naïve. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been accused in the past of not listing those players who actually should be on the injury list or vice versa, and the Colts weren’t exactly forthcoming about Peyton Manning’s neck problems from last year (he wasn’t listed on the injury report at all).

Call it gamesmanship or, you know, cheating but if there was a league-wide investigation into how many teams misused their injury reports for their own gain, there’s a pretty good chance plenty of franchises would be found guilty.

And if another team thinks it can get ahead by turning in a future opponent to the NFL, it’s not out of the question that it will do exactly that.

Which brings us to Saints coach Sean Payton admitting Friday that he turned in the Buccaneers for their failure to make any mention of the sprained thumb suffered by quarterback Josh Freeman in the Bears game.

"Listen, I think when your quarterback's on NFL Network with a splint on his thumb, normally he's on the injury report," Payton said, via WWL TV. "At least take the splint off before you go on NFL Network, right?"

Funny about that: Freeman magically appeared on Tampa Bay’s injury list soon after, though Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris said the team had no worries about Freeman’s health and whether he could play this weekend.

"That's why we reported it, because the league asked us to,” Morris said, according to the St. Petersburg Times. “(Freeman) sprained it in the Chicago game, came in and practiced during the bye week, and didn't miss anything this week."

Considering the Saints and Buccaneers face each other this Sunday, we can’t wait to see the postgame handshake/fireworks show. Or the two could just laugh about it and chalk it up to the old, “Ah, whatcha gonna do?”

“It was probably a little gamesmanship,” Payton said. “But you gotta list those guys, the same way we do.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 4, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 3:36 pm
 

Ex-player says Belichick paid him to start fights

Belichick reportedly gave players money for fighting on more than one occasion. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chad Eaton played eight NFL seasons from 1996 to 2004, including five with the New England Patriots. On Thursday, the Dayton Daily News published a feature on Eaton, who now coaches at Central State University, a historically black college in Wilberforce, Ohio.

It's a wide-ranging piece that covers much of Eaton's professional life as a player and coach, but the part that caught our attention was his time with Bill Belichick. Drafted in the seventh round in 1995 by the Cardinals, Eaton was cut twice before landing on the Browns' practice squad. Belichick was the coach, and he took a liking to Eaton because of his hard-nosed style.

“If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’” Eaton told the Daily News. “He wanted me to get on somebody’s (case) and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”

Coaches instigating fights among players is nothing new. Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted to as much during prior to the 2010 season on HBO's "Hard Knocks." 

ESPN New York's Rich Cimini recounts the incident.

"Ryan was so concerned by [former first-round pick Vernon Gholston's] lack of fire that he actually assigned backup center Rob Turner -- the Jets' version of a hockey goon -- to pick a fight with Gholston in practice. It's a macho thing; the objective is to see if Gholston is man enough to respond. Ryan apparently liked the outcome because he used an off-color, coming-of-age description to compliment Gholston to his coaches."

The difference? Turner didn't find any "extra money" in his locker afterwards.

PFT.com's Mike Florio writes that "Giving extra cash to players raises the specter of potential salary-cap violations."

We suppose, but it still seems like a stretch.

Either way, the strategy backfired. After going 11-5 and leading the Browns to the playoffs in 1994, Belichick's '95 team went 5-11. Then-owner Art Modell promptly announced the team was relocating to Baltimore and, oh, yeah, Belichick was fired.

The Boston Globe's Chad Finn unearthed another example of Belichick paying a player to mix it up during practice. In 2000, then with the Pats, Belichick gave practice squad offensive lineman Rob Gatrell $200 "to go after (safety) Lawyer Milloy… Milloy was chosen because he's considered the most emotional, toughest, and meanest player on the defense. Milloy responded just as Belichick hoped, going after Gatrell and creating a massive brawl that involved up to 30 players - offensive vs. defensive. Smaller fights ensued throughout practice."

You'd have to really be up against the salary cap for what amounts to NFL lunch money to be a violation.

Belichick was asked about Eaton's comments Friday.

"I don't remember that," he said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard.

Works for us.


After a disappointing loss last week over the Steelers, the New England Patriots hope to rebound as they prepare to host the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Join Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan as they break down this game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Polamalu punch vs. Patriots was illegal

Polamalu slapped a loose ball into the Patriots' end zone. Turns out: you can't do that. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Steelers may have dominated the Patriots for 59 minutes and 41 seconds Sunday, but Tom Brady has a knack of pulling out improbable victories, and his history in Pittsburgh has been impressive. So when he took the field with 19 seconds left and the Pats trailing by six, the game wasn't over.

That became official some six seconds later, after defensive end Brett Keisel stripped Brady and Troy Polamalu knocked the loose ball into the end zone for a New England safety.

But here's the thing: when Polamalu sprinted from his centerfield position to make a play on Brady's fumble, he punched the ball a good 20 yards into the Pats' end zone. That's illegal. 


Polamalu's heads-up play was also against the rules.

Via the Associated Press: The rule states that a player may not bat or punch a loose ball in the field of play toward the opponent's goal line; a loose ball that has touched the ground in any direction, if it is in either end zone; or a backward pass in flight, which can't be batted forward by an offensive player."

The call is not reviewable by video replay, though neither Tom Brady nor the Patriots sideline complained at the time. And even if the penalty had been assessed, it would've been 10 yards from the spot of the infraction. Which means New England would've had the ball on their own 25-yard line with about 12 seconds on the clock and no timeouts.  

Given that the Pats don't have a deep threat on the roster, and Brady's longest pass to that point went for 23 yards to tight end Rob Gronkowski, we feel confident in writing that the outcome was unaffected. Plus, it afforded us the opportunity to see kicker Stephen Gostkowski drop-kick the ensuing onside kick clear out of bounds.

Polamalu was asked about the play after the game, and he channelled Costanza before answering.

"Whatever is going to get me in trouble, he said. "I'm saying the opposite."

Nothing to worry about, Troy. The NFL doesn't believe in frivolous fines.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 28, 2011 11:08 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:16 am
 

Report: Patriots release Leigh Bodden

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Cornerback Leigh Bodden, a nine-year veteran, was surprisingly released from the Patriots on Friday, a source told Pro Football Talk.

BoddenThe move came as a shock, because, as Pro Football Focus points out, Bodden was the team’s best cover corner this year -- he played 222 snaps this year and had been thrown at 22 times, allowing 12 receptions for a touchdown while breaking up four passes. Considering the Patriots defense is ranked last in the league by allowing 423.7 yards per game (they’re also ranked last with 322.2 passing yards allowed), you have to wonder if this is a football-related move or from something that occurred off the field.

On Friday morning, Bill Belichick was asked about Bodden’s play, and he responded, “We’ll skip that right now.” He also said the team hadn’t made an announcement about anything Bodden-related.

"He's enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach Belichick this morning both parties agreed it was time to move on,” agent Alvin Keels told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: October 26, 2011 7:13 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Rob Gronkowski apologizes for pics with porn star

 Shocker: 20-something guy likes hot blond. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spent his bye week in the Bahamas with his family. Teammate Rob Gronkowski, who is single, had no such obligations. Which is good since he hung out with adult film star BiBi Jones during his time off. We know this because a jersey-clad Jones tweeted pictures of a shirtless Gronkowski. (Here's another one, with Gronkowski wearing a t-shirt.)

Seems harmless enough, since they're both adults, nobody broke any laws and, you know, they're both adults.

During his weekly radio appearance on WEEI, Brady was asked if he'd seen the Gronkowski photo in question.

"No, but I've heard. He never ceases to amaze me," Brady said. "I would have guessed there would be pictures of him somehow with his shirt off, posing or something like that. I'm just glad, I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis."

That's a great response because the internet has long taken great pleasure in mocking Brady for any number of reasons.

Brady also figured that Gronkowski would end up hearing from head coach Bill Belichick. "He's used to that walk into coach's office now. He probably knows it's coming. ... He has more fun than anybody I'll tell you that. He doesn't miss a fun day."

On Wednesday, the media asked Gronkowski about his bye-week escapades, and after consulting with the Patriots PR person, he … apologized. Seriously (via WEEI.com).

“I didn’t intend anything or to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots, on behalf of Robert Kraft,” said Gronkowski, who acknowledged he met with the Patriots owner and apologized for any bad publicity that resulted from Twitter photos. “That’s all. It was just a simple picture and that’s all, and from here on out, I’m just here to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the big game this weekend.”

Gronkowski added that he regrets the photos going public.

“Just not intended to hurt anyone or ruin the reputation of the New England Patriots in any way,” he said. “It’s a great organization here and a great football program. I can’t wait to get out to practice and get focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers because that’s all I’m worried about and all I care about.”

So what's Gronkowski apologizing for again? Having his shirt off? Who was embarrassed by this? (We were more upset by those topless pictures of Andre Smith at his pro day a few years ago.) Is he the only person in the Pats organization who has heard of the deep, dark underworld of pornography?

It seems a bit much, frankly. Brady's right -- if anything, it's goofy. And if Belichick wants to talk to his tight end about causing distractions, that's fine. But there's nothing to be sorry about. Jones said the two didn't even have sex.

“Nothing happened," she said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. "I wish something had, but nothing happened. … I asked if I could have some pictures with him and he said, ‘Yeah, wait, put on my jersey.’ I said, ‘OK.’ We were taking pictures. I asked him if I could put it on Twitter because some athletes wouldn’t want that since I do do adult films and they don’t want to be associated with that. He was really cool with it because I have more Twitter followers than him.”

If Gronkowski is guilty of anything it's trying to increase his Twitter profile. And we're pretty sure he did that.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com