Blog Entry

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

Posted on: May 16, 2008 10:28 am

Charlie Weis' name was pulled into the Spygate scandal for the first time in Thursday's New York Times.

Weis was among a small circle of people who knew about the taping of opponents' signals, former Patriots videographer Matt Walsh told the paper. Walsh said that other than Weis and Bill Belichick, the group included Walsh's supervisor Jimmy Dee, video department employee Fernando Neto, Ernie Adams (described as a "mysterious" assistant) and the Patriots' quarterbacks.

Walsh was the center of Spygate scandal that seemingly ended this week after his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"If someone questioned why Walsh was filming an opposing sideline," the Times stated, "he was told to say he was shooting the chains and the down-and-distance marker. If a team asked why the Patriots needed a third videographer, Walsh was instructed to say the coaches wanted two end-zone shots or tight footage."

Walsh asked a Patriots' quarterback (not identified) if the filming helped:

Walsh quoted the quarterback as saying: “Actually, probably about 75 percent of the time, Tampa Bay ran the defense we thought they were going to run. If not more.”

Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady were among the four quarterbacks on the roster back in 2000.

"I know that we had a quarterback learning the signals and then relaying that information to Charlie (Weis)," Walsh told the Times, "and Charlie would then call it in to the quarterback on the field, through the coach-to-quarterback communication system in the helmet. As far as whether the quarterback on the field was actually told what defense was being run, or the coach, Charlie, just simply used that information in his play-calling that he called in, I’m not sure."




Category: NCAAF

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 27, 2008 11:52 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

You kind of wonder how a man who didn't play or even volunteer to help with the Irish while at college, then goes into the NFL and can do no wrong in calling plays? Further, Coach Weis has shown he does not know everything to quickley build a winning football program. How many assistant coaches has he gone thru since his start at ND? Maybe we are finding out a few details on this savior with the super-bowl rings and how he got where he is today.

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2008 12:38 am

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

I agree with the post. Even if it helped them by on a few plays. Those plays could have helped them beat the Raiders in the snow game. We never know know and never will. Its the unknown plays that change things

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2008 6:14 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

I know pushing the runner is illegal in the NFL, but there isn't a rule like that in the college game there???

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2008 9:06 am

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of


While I do not condone cheating in any form and most certainly do not buy the excuse that it's ok because other teams were doing it, here's a couple of facts for you:

1)  The 1998 Denver Broncos were fined by the league for intentionally going over the salary cap.  They won a Superbowl that year and if that's not "gaining an unfair advantage" over an opponent, I don't know what is.

2)  Jimmy Johnson admitted to filming signals while coaching the Dallas Cowboys.  He only stopped filming because the effort to do it was not worth the minimal advantage gained.

It is hypocritical to single out one team for cheating and not hold the rest accountable.  How many Superbowls have the San Fransisco Forty Niners won since Eddie Debartolo was run out of football?  Debartolo flaunted league rules and exploited loopholes to get his team an advantage over the rest of the league.  The bottom line is that the league finally decided to take serious steps to curtail cheating by the teams, and the Patriots got the spanking. 

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2008 1:28 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

Broncos Penalized Again for Salary Cap Violations<!--plsfield:stop-->




<nitf></nitf>The penalties imposed Thursday on the Denver Broncos for violations of the league's rules regarding the disclosure of deferred compensation to players and the salary cap were the second sanctions against the team for similar infractions in less than three years.

<nitf></nitf>In December 2001, the Broncos were fined $968,000 and lost a third-round pick in the 2002 draft for violations reportedly relating to $29 million in deferred payments to quarterback John Elway and running back Terrell Davis. On Thursday, the league announced that the Broncos have been fined $950,000 and will lose a third-round selection in next year's draft for circumventing the salary cap between 1996 and '98. The penalties were set in an agreement between the league, the Players Association and the Broncos and resolve a case against the team brought before the sport's special master by the NFL's Management Council in January 2003, the league announced.

<nitf></nitf>The penalties could be viewed as further vindication for Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, who has said in the past that Broncos owner Pat Bowlen should be suspended for salary cap violations. Davis has contended that the Broncos' circumvention of the salary cap helped them win the Super Bowl in the 1997 and '98 seasons.

<nitf></nitf>Bowlen said in a written statement released Thursday by the Broncos that the club gained no competitive advantage from these cap violations.

<nitf></nitf>"The non-disclosures brought to my attention by the National Football League took place in the mid-1990s," Bowlen said. "We cooperated with the NFL throughout their examination of the situation. While I regret that the circumstances took place, it is important to note that there was no competitive advantage gained by our organization, nor was there any involvement or responsibility by anyone who is currently with the Broncos in any capacity.

<nitf></nitf>"We accept our penalty, will pay our fine as directed and from this point on put the issue behind us. Our entire organization is working toward a great season in 2004."

<nitf></nitf>Harold Henderson, the chairman of the Management Council and the NFL's executive vice president of labor relations, confirmed in a written statement released by the league that "the individuals responsible for the violations are no longer with the team" and that the Broncos "have been cooperative throughout the investigation." Henderson did not directly address the issue of whether the club gained a competitive advantage but said the Broncos circumvented the cap to help pay for costs related to the construction of Invesco Field at Mile High.

<nitf></nitf>"The investigation resulted in the discovery of undisclosed agreements between the club and Broncos players during the same period [1996-1998] pursuant to which various players agreed to defer certain compensation in exchange for a commitment to pay interest on the deferred amounts," Henderson said in the statement. "These agreements were plainly designed to help the club cope with seasonal cash flow problems exacerbated by the Broncos' need to fund front-end expenditures associated with development of the new stadium in Denver."

<nitf></nitf>The Broncos reportedly were responsible for about $100 million of the approximately $401 million cost of Invesco Field at Mile High, which opened in 2001 and replaced Mile High Stadium as the team's home.

<nitf></nitf>This set of violations, the league said, was related both to agreements between the team and "several" unidentified players to defer salary payments with interest and to a 1997 agreement between the club and a former player to not waive the player prior to a certain date. "Both types of agreements raised salary cap accounting issues," the league said.

<nitf></nitf>Henderson said of the agreement not to waive the player before a certain date: "That commitment had the effect of converting the player's roster bonus into a guarantee, which affected the timing of the salary cap treatment of a portion of the bonus."

<nitf></nitf>Henderson said the league considered the settlement terms "satisfactory to resolve the dispute."

<nitf></nitf>An unidentified agent for a former Broncos player will donate $100,000 to charity without admitting wrongdoing in the case, according to the league

By Mark Maske <!--plsfield:credit-->Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 17, 2004; 5:37 PM

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2008 1:22 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

By Carl Kotala, Florida Today DAVIE, Fla. — Nick Saban never will be confused with Rodney Dangerfield, but the Miami Dolphins coach did kick off his Wednesday press conference with a pretty good zinger:

"I'm a little late today because I was watching TV tape," Saban deadpanned.

It's the story that won't go away.

Wednesday, when talk usually would center on the Dolphins' upcoming opponent — the Buffalo Bills, in this case — the subject of Audio-gate was still hot in the locker room.

Not a popular topic, just a hot one.

ESPN talk-show host Colin Cowherd had dedicated a portion of his program — and even took phone calls — about a report in the Palm Beach Post saying the Dolphins had purchased audio tapes of New England games. The story said they then used those tapes to pick up quarterback 's cadence and audible calls, so they could scheme their blitz packages around his protection calls and pick up his audibles.

The Dolphins won the game 21-0, sacking Brady four times and holding him to just 78 yards passing.

"If I knew the signals, I wouldn't be telling them. I'd be stupid," Miami linebacker said. "You need to slap me if I tell y'all that I figured out their signals. Because I'm not the smartest guy — I don't win no Trivial Pursuit and I'm not very good at Jeopardy. I'll tell you what, if I knew their signals, I'm definitely not telling you guys. I'm a poker player. You can't show your hand.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2008 1:20 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

Apparently, the New England Patriots aren't the only team that uses cameras.

According to a report in Wednesday's Newsday, NFL sources familiar with the situation said that the New York Jets were caught using a video-taping device during a game against the Patriots in Foxborough last season, which resulted in the removal of a Jets' employee.

Gillette Stadium officials noticed the employee recording the game from the mezzanine level between the scoreboard and a "decorative lighthouse in the end zone," according to the report, and asked the employee to stop and leave the area.

The camera was not confiscated by the Patriots or stadium security and the Jets admitted on Tuesday that they did videotape the game and that their employee was confronted.

However, the report states that the Jets said they had permission from the Patriots to film from that location in an attempt to record a second end-zone angle.

"All filming at last year's Patriots game was done with pre-approval from the Patriots and in accordance with NFL rules," Bruce Speight, the Jets' senior director of media relations, told Newsday.

New York played at Gillette Stadium twice last campaign, once during the regular season and again in the playoffs. A source familiar with the Patriots' situation told Newsday that the filming occurred during the first game while a source close to the Jets said it happened during the playoffs.

Video taping opposing teams' signals was brought to the public's attention when Jets security allegedly told NFL officials that a Patriots' employee was recording their defensive signals during the New York-New England game in Week One of this season.

After reviewing the evidence, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined New England coach Bill Belichick $500,000. The Patriots organization was fined an additional $250,000 and was forced to forfeit a first-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

An NFL source told Newsday that the league office is unaware of the incident and that the Patriots did not bring up the situation while under investigation.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2008 1:13 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of

Stephen Cooper of the San Diego Chargers gets caught taking an illegal substance and suspended for the first four games of next season.  What no front page in the papers or top story on ESPN sports center.

Cooper is the starting inside linebacker for the Bolts and led the team in tackles last season with 179.  He said in a statement that he took a recently banned stimulant and apologized to his team and made it clear that no banned substances were taken before this past off season.

Now while in college Cooper did admit to possessing steroids while being a passenger of a car that was pulled over by police.

This is the second time that a Chargers linebacker has been suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Shawne Merriman served a four-game suspension in 2006 after testing positive for steroids.

So are steroids in the NFL quickly becoming a problem?

We've heard of several prominent players being suspended for banned substances and there is little press about it.  So how often does the NFL test its players?  Maybe there is more under the surface then we think.

In a sport where intensity at all times is a must there could be more players loading up on these stimulants than is reported.  Maybe I'm reading too much into this but I'm sure that many of the sports big names are taking something that no one knows about.

Is the media being hypocritical about steroids?

If a big name major league baseball player was suspended for any banned substances it would headline sports pages and ESPN but when a pro bowl NFL player is suspended there is just one line on the sports ticker.

But the biggest question is whether fans really care.  While parents want to teach their children the dangers of steroids do the die hard sports fans really care if their favorite player gets busted.

You tell me!

Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2008 6:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 20, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2008 4:46 pm

Charlie Weis pulled into Spygate, sort of


I think you are correct at the extra attention because of the Patriots success.  It does seem that we do that too much (call it the Barry Bonds Syndrome if you will).  However, I think the biggest reason that this is still a story is two-fold.  First, why did the commissioner destroy the evidence?  It makes no sense.  That opens up questions about the league and there is no body other than congress which would have any authority to look in to it.  I don't like it, but those are the facts.  Second, we only recently learned that it appears Bellichick lied about having a different interpretation of the rule and that he knew what they were doing was against the rules (I don't think this one will go on much longer though).

But for those two reasons, I think this issue would be gone.

I don't agree with the punishment that was levied, but I also think what is done is done, and don't think they should punish the Pats anymore.  I would have suspended Bellichick for a year to be consistent with the more harsh punishments being levied against players, but that is now water under the bridge.

If there are any important questions left to be asked in this story, I think that Goodell is the only one with explaining left to do. 

It is good to debate with a Pat's fan that doesn't just come back with "well you're just mad the Pats beat the Chargers", and one that actually debates the issue.


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