- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On a conference call with reporters this morning, Vikings coach Brad Childress was asked about his Monday remarks that the Patriots were “some of the all-time great signal stealers.”
With the Patriots having been penalized and fined by the NFL in 2007 for illegal videotaping procedures, Childress’ remarks stoked a bit of a fire in New England.
Childress was asked what he meant this morning.
“I said what I said. That’s in the past. We all try to get any tips we can get or glean, stand on the sidelines, and I’m sure it’s done throughout the league. We do it as well. I’ll just let those [comments] stand,” Childress said.
“I have a great deal of respect for Coach Belichick and the way he’s formulated that program in the last 10 years. I’ve told him so. He has a mentally tough team that are great competitors and play the way I hope one of my teams plays.”
It was then mentioned to Childress that sign-stealing is a sensitive topic in New England because of the Patriots’ prior penalty for videotaping, and he was asked if he felt the Patriots benefited from taping signals in the 2006 regular-season game between the Patriots and Vikings -- a 31-7 New England win.
“No, I would say I don’t have any knowledge of that at all, no,” he responded.
Asked if he knew how hard those comments might hit in New England, Childress said, "I didn't mean any offense to any of those people. It was just the way I viewed it."
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