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Truth About Videotaping in the NFL


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 16 years ago '06        #1
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Truth About Videotaping in the NFL

The NFL's previous commissioners set a precedent in the league that this type of activity would be overlooked and rules concerning it would not be enforced, at least not in any meaningful way. This created an environment where this type of activity was commonplace and practiced widely.

It has been the contention of some Pats fans that the practice of stealing signals is deeply rooted in the NFL due to the leagues inaction and lack of enforcement.

Pats haters claim that the Patriots are the only team that has been caught videotaping. That's simply not true. The Jets were caught taping in Foxboro the year before. There is a long list of accusations against other teams for various other forms of signal stealing and what even the Haters would define as 'cheating'.

Take a look at the items listed below and the links in my sources and ask yourself if the situation is as cut-and-dried as the Haters make it seem. There's plenty of probable cause to justify a league-wide investigation into all teams taping practices. But so far, the league and the Haters don't want that.

Here are some other interesting facts that the Haters always ignore:

1. The Patriots caught the Jets filming in the end zone in Foxboro in 2006. The Jets said that the Pats had given them permission, which they clearly hadn't because Pats asked the cameraman to leave. The league did nothing but to say it was okay and did not confiscate tapes or investigate. The Jets were supposedly filming 'coaching video'.

2. The Dolphins bought game tapes of the Patriots to study Tom Brady's audibles before a MNF game in Dec 2006. Zach Thomas admitted to knowing all Brady's signals from the tape study. The league ruled that such tape study is okay.

3. Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan admitted in 2002 to hiring lip readers to steal signals. He bragged that his lipreaders could get all the signals by the end of the 1st half, sometimes by the end of the 1st quarter.

4. The Jets were accused of cheating by calling illegal audibles in a game against the Ravens. Brian Billick said that the illegal audibles by the Jets resulted in 3 offside penalties.

5. The KC Chiefs admitted that they had somehow got hold of a 49ers playbook and memorized it before a game against the niners. KC knew every play that KC called before the snap. This was when Tony Dungy was with KC.

6. The Raiders, Broncos, Steelers, and 49ers were all caught cheating on salary cap limits and all were fined and lost draft picks.

7. Former Dallas Cowboy coaches Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson admitted to doing 'similar stunts' (video taping) while they were coaching.

8. Former Raiders player Howie Long said in USA Today that 'anybody who thinks the Patriots are the only club spying on other teams is 'naive.''

9. Former Eagles QB Ron Jaworski admitted that when he played, his backup QB would spy on the defense and signal Jaws by dropping red flags to indicate blitzes. He also said that he had no problem with Pats taping the Rams before 2001 SB.

10. Current KC coach Herm Edwards said that, 'There isn't a team in the league that doesn't try to steal signals [but] I haven't heard about teams recording footage like the Patriots were,' said one longtime NFL assistant coach. 'But you can bet everybody is trying to steal in some way. In fact, you can go to any NFL game and you'll find some coach whose sole job is to look for defensive signals.'

11. Former Steeler's coach Chuck Knoll said that signal stealing is 'a whole lot about nothing'.

12. Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers stated, 'We consider the tapes of our coaching staff during our games against the New England Patriots to be a non-issue,' Rooney said in a statement. 'In our opinion, they had no impact on the results of those games.'

13. According to the NFL rules, teams are allowed to tape 'coaching video' from an upper level location or from the end zones with no restrictions so long as both teams have access to the location. Such taping does not require league permission. No one seems to know exactly what 'coaching video' is, that there is any review or monitoring of what gets taped, and the NFL doesn't make it's official rule book public.

But this rule seems to be a direct contradiction of the following 'rules':

Page 105 of the Game Operations manual says: 'No video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game.' It later says: 'All video shooting locations must be enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead.'

And, a memo from Ray Anderson, NFL head of football operations, to head coaches and GMs on Sept. 6, 2006 said: 'Video taping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches’ booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game.'

The first rule states that video taping is allowed from an upper level location to make 'coaching video', but the other 2 say that video taping is not allowed in 'areas accessible to staff members.'

Also note that rule regarding taping that the Pats were disciplined for in this year was also in place at the time the Jets were caught taping at Foxboro. The Pats were investigated and penalized, the Jets were not.

None of these things justify or excuse the Pats for violating a rule, but the Haters and the league are not doing the same thing to other teams.

The team should not be condemned for the actions of a coach who is doing what a lot of other coaches and teams have been doing for a long time.

1. ↪ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story...
1. ↪ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story...
1. ↪ http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/...
1. ↪ http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/footba...
2. ↪ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/...
3. ↪ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/inside_...
4. ↪ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story...
4. ↪ http://www.boston.com/sports/football/ar...
5. ↪ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sto...
6. ↪ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/art...
6. ↪ http://blog.footballguys.com/2007/09/11/...
7/8. ↪ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist...
9. ↪ http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/tag/Steve...
10/11. ↪ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/st...
12. ↪ http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap...
13. ↪ http://www.boston.com/sports/football/pa...
13. ↪ http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5...
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