ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, who was a linebacker on all three of the Patriots’ title teams in the early 2000s and was with the Patriots in 2007 when the Spygate scandal broke, said he was perplexed by Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s comments that New England’s titles were “stained” by Spygate.
“You want to take a shot, go ahead and say it,” Bruschi said on Tuesday’s “SportsCenter” (video above). “When I look down at my hand and I see championship rings, I know how much work had to be put in to win those championships. I’m very set and secure with all of the victories that we had the work we put in.”
He said the 2007 team used the heavy fire it was under as motivation en route to a 16-0 regular season.
“I was there in 2007. I remember when it broke out,” Bruschi said. “I remember everyone discrediting our past successes and our past championships. So all we did, we had motivation to go out there and beat everyone by 20 or beat everyone by 30. Or, at times, when we were beating them by 30, pour it on and beat them by 40. That was the only thing we could do was go answer on the field to prove how good we were as players and how good the coaches were on that football team. You go 16-0, an undefeated regular season and lose in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. You think your point is proven right there.”
That season, the Patriots set records for offense and registered two wins of more than 40 points, three wins of more than 30 points and 10 wins by 20 points or more.
“I don’t know what the Patriots organization or Coach Belichick has to do to prove how good he is as a head coach or how good those players were or how good that organization is,” Bruschi said. “Coach Belichick belongs in the same breath as Vince Lombardi and coach Paul Brown, those types of coaches. That’s who he is, that’s where he belongs.”
Bruschi also reminded Harbaugh that, in some ways, he has Belichick to thank for landing the head coaching job with the Ravens in 2007. According to reports, the Ravens did not have Harbaugh on their coaching radar until Belichick called the team and recommended they talk to Harbaugh, who was then a Philadelphia Eagles assistant.
“The shot at coach Belichick I don’t understand,” Bruschi said. “When coach Harbaugh was interviewing for the job in Baltimore, it was coach Belichick that vouched for him. There’s a little bit of loyalty that coach Harbaugh needs to learn.”