Childress on '06 romp, signal stealing

October, 25, 2010
10/25/10
7:00
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots host the Vikings on Halloween, almost four years to the day that they hammered Minnesota 31-7 in a highly anticipated "Monday Night Football" game.

That contest, played on Oct. 30, 2006, was on Vikings coach Brad Childress' mind when he spoke with reporters Monday.

The context of Childress' remarks came when he was asked about getting cornerback Chris Cook more into the mix, and if it was a concern that it comes in a week against quarterback Tom Brady. He then started to talk about the '06 game, taking the opportunity to call the Patriots "some of the all-time great signal stealers."

"It was like a surgical procedure," he said of the '06 contest, according to comments from a team-issued transcript. "That’s back when we used to signal [plays] and things like that. I remember having a conversation with [former Vikings defensive coordinator] Mike Tomlin about that. These were some of the all-time great signal stealers. In fact, that’s what was going on. They were holding, holding, holding. We were signaling from the sideline. They were good at it. It’s like stealing signals from a catcher."

Childress said that if the signals were picked off, and relayed to quarterback Tom Brady, it was a devastating combination.

"If you know that as a quarterback, that’s as good as you can do," Childress said. "And they did as good as they could do."

Brady was terrific that night, going 29 of 43 for 372 yards and four touchdowns, as the Patriots overlooked the run in favor of a spread-them-out passing attack.

When it comes to signal stealing, which is less prevalent now with the coach-to-defender communication device, Childress said that his teams would try to do the same thing.

"It’s something that we do as well. It’s good for one; it’s good for the other," he said. "We didn’t change it up. We didn’t use wristbands. We didn’t change the menu at halftime. They were good at that. Obviously you don’t need to give Tom [Brady] any added advantage."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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