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Ex-NFLer Ben Coates Goodell Is Right To Ditch Pats Game ... The Crowd Woulda Destroyed Him

9/10/2015 1:41 PM PDT

Ex-NFLer Ben Coates -- Goodell Is Right To Ditch Pats Game ... The Crowd Woulda Destroyed Him

EXCLUSIVE

Roger Goodell is capable of making the right call after all ... 'cause Patriots great Ben Coates says skipping the NFL kickoff in Foxboro was the right move for the Commish ... to spare himself a historic booing.

Coates was an absolute stud for the Pats in the '90s ... making five Pro Bowls and being inducted into the team's Hall of Fame back in 2008.

We spoke with Ben ... who said he'd heard that Goodell was skipping the Patriots vs. Steelers game in New England Thursday night  -- and in his opinion it was the right thing for the embattled boss to do.

"I think it's a good decision for him not to show up. He'd get booed all night."

Of course you know why NE fans would hand Goodell his ass ... he tried to saddle their poster boy Tom Brady with a 4 game suspension for Deflategate, only to have a federal judge reverse the decision last week.

The bad feelings have led to a tense atmosphere in Foxboro, with beefed up security on hand for the game ... but Coates says it won't last forever ... cause after all, Goodell's still the boss.

"It's the NFL, so he's always going to be welcomed in any stadium."

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