Joe Judge meetings led to Patriots OTA punishment
Judge’s special teams meetings would cost Bill Belichick $50,000.
A planning snafu by Joe Judge would have led to the Patriots’ OTA-related punishments this week — and it’s going to hit Bill Belichick’s wallet.
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported Thursday morning that the Patriots were docked in two OTA (Organized Team Activities) sessions during this leg of the offseason due to a “meeting violation.”
BostonSportsJournal.com’s Greg Bedard later reported that Joe Judge – listed in documents acquired by BSJ as the team’s special teams coach – held special teams meetings that resulted in players staying at the Gillette Stadium longer than their four hour maximum.
In addition to the Patriots losing two of their 10 OTA sessions as a result of the infraction, Bedard reported that Belichick was fined $50,000.
“The NFLPA filed the lawsuit on May 4 alleging the four-hour violation,” Bedard wrote. “On May 9, they amended it,” alleging that Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge ordered special teams players to stay at club facilities longer than the four-hour maximum allowed during phase two of the club’s program.
Bedard added that Judge’s “Special Teams Workshops” took place over three separate days in early May. A complaint was then filed by the NFLPA on May 4 regarding the workshops, as the NFL-NFLPA collective agreement states that players are not allowed to stay at the facility for more than four hours per day.
While brief special teams meetings might seem like a slight oversight that doesn’t justify the loss of two OTA workouts (and a hefty fine for Belichick), it’s a gross mistake by Judge.
Bedard reported that Belichick sent a reminder to all of his coaches on April 19 to stick to that four-hour window. Now, not only is Belichick’s wallet lighter, but the Patriots are losing valuable reps this offseason as they seek to implement Bill O’Brien’s new offense, among other priorities.
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