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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Bill Belichick pokes replay proposal

ORLANDO, Fla. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick playfully suggested the NFL hold a "bake sale" to pay for the extra cameras it would take to cover all boundary lines to aid instant replay.

"We just spent however many millions of dollars on the replay system. I mean, there are 1,000 cameras in every stadium, so if somebody spills a beer on somebody, we have it on record, right?," Belichick said Tuesday at the NFL meetings. "Maybe we could have a bake sale to raise some money for the cameras. We could do a car wash."

The Patriots put the replay rule proposal on the table for consideration last week. Specifically, the rule would ensure fixed cameras would be added on all boundary lines -- sideline, end line and end zone -- to be made available to officials for instant replays. One of the gripes about the new rule is the added cost involved with adding the cameras.

Another of the Patriots' proposals would extend the goalposts five feet on each side. In speaking with one NFL general manager on Tuesday, the feeling is that it has momentum to pass at some point.

One of the big topics of conversation among owners, coaches and league executives was the engineering aspect behind a potential change, and ensuring the safety of fans. That appears to be the primary hurdle in play for the rule to pass.

"The goalposts, that's outdated, virtually every kicker at the combine can kick them over the top of the goalposts [and] some of those guys aren't even going to be in the league," Belichick said.

"I don't have a percentage, but I'm telling you, any kick that's not outside the 10-yard line or outside the 45-yard line goes over the top of the uprights. I mean, they all do. So to make the officials have to make that judgment, whether it is or it isn't, the angle and all that, I mean, I think we should try to take that judgment out of the game if we can and get it right."

Belichick went back to his bag of laughs when asked why he was not present for Monday's traditional photo with all NFL coaches.

"I missed it. Maybe they can Photoshop me in there," he joked.

While Belichick had a few witty one-liners ready, there was one point where he trended in the other direction. Asked if there was a timetable for tight end Rob Gronkowski's return, Belichick said, "Are you seriously asking that question?"

He wasn't smiling at that point.

Information from Patriots reporter Mike Reiss was used in this report.