Monday, September 17, 2007
Belichick to provide all notes, tapes made from sideline video recordings
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL may soon find out if the New England Patriots video spying went beyond one game, and the team itself may provide the evidence.
Coach Bill Belichick said Monday he will comply with the NFL's
request to provide any notes or tapes made from video recordings similar to those that drew a stiff penalty against him and the team.
"Of course," he said.
Beyond that, Belichick declined comment when asked about
commissioner Roger Goodell's request and referred to team owner Robert Kraft's remarks during an interview at halftime of Sunday night's 38-14 win over the San Diego Chargers.
"I think that's a fair question and I'm sure there are other questions out there as well," he said. "I've made my comments on that and, as Mr. Kraft said last night, we'll handle it as an internal matter. So I'll just leave it at that."
Asked if there are more videos, Belichick, in his eighth year as coach of the Patriots, shifted the discussion to next Sunday's home game against Buffalo.
"I think that right now we need to spend our time watching a lot of video on Buffalo," he said.
During the NBC television interview, Kraft was asked if anything else might have been done that would incur further penalties.
"I know of nothing else that could be in this category," he said.
Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 last Thursday for violating a league rule that prohibits clubs from using a videocamera on the sidelines for any purpose, including recording signals relayed to opposing players on the field. New England also must forfeit a first-round draft pick next year if it makes the playoffs or a second- and third-rounder if it doesn't.
A video camera aimed at Jets coaches was confiscated from a
Patriots employee during the first quarter of the team's 38-14 win Sept. 9 over the New York Jets, coached by Eric Mangini, who has had a cool relationship with Belichick since leaving as Patriots defensive coordinator after the 2005 season.
Before the penalties were announced, Mangini declined comment on
whether he knew of similar videotaping while he was with the Patriots.
"It's a league issue and they are handling it," he said.
Last November in Green Bay, a Patriots employee was shooting
unauthorized video during New England's 35-0 victory. Packers officials simply asked him to stop.
On Sept. 6, three days before this year's opener against the Jets, the NFL sent a memo to head coaches and general managers. In it, Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, wrote: "Videotaping 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."
Goodell acknowledged Sunday in his first televised interview on
the matter that the league had asked for the tapes and notes that
go along with them and said he "absolutely" expects to receive
"I am very confident that the Patriots are going to abide by
the rules," he said. "They understand the consequences and that I
could increase the discipline if I don't get them."
The Patriots dominated the Chargers 38-14 without the video
camera and many of Belichick's players expressed affection for him
after the game.
Kraft gave him the game ball.
"I appreciated it. It's a nice gesture. The most important thing is to put that [game] behind us," Belichick said. "It's time to move on."
Later, he was asked if he has any concern about the taping.
"I think we're at the same point on that," Belichick said. "Any questions on the game, on us?"
Alabama coach Nick Saban said Monday the Cleveland Browns didn't videotape opposing coaches signals when he was defensive coordinator under Belichick from 1991 to 1994.
"I don't think that anybody can respect anybody trying to get
an unfair advantage by breaking the rules," Saban said. "But Bill
Belichick is a good friend of mine. I have a tremendous amount of
respect for him. I've worked with him and I've learned a lot from
him. But we didn't do those kinds of things when I worked with