Tony Dungy: We Stole Signals, Everyone Steals Signals

AB in DC

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Actually, that's not correct. They both said they were cooperating with the league and would prefer to defer to the league for further comment. Belichick admitted he misinterpreted a rule.
Which is exactly what I was saying. Stuff like that comes across very, very poorly to most people.
 

Harry Hooper

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Which is exactly what I was saying. Stuff like that comes across very, very poorly to most people.
After losing trust in NFLHQ over Deflategate, how could Kraft not endorse a more aggressive PR campaign when the next imbroglio hits?
 

E5 Yaz

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Dungy's defense is "depending on what the definition of 'is' is"
 

Leather

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To me, the frustrating legacy of Spygate NOW is that even people that point to Deflategate as an overreaction claim that it was done so to "make up for" the "light" penalties handed down for Spygate.

It's bullshit all the way down. Spygate should have been a fine and maybe...MAYBE...a 5th round pick.
 

mauf

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And probably a suspension of Belichick.
BB absolutely should've been suspended -- not because he got some huge competitive advantage, but because he continued breaking the rules after the league sent a memo to all teams telling them to knock it off (which, as others have said, strongly suggests that lots of teams had been breaking the rule previously).

You can draw a straight line between Goodell's leniency there, and his ridiculous (and factually unsupported) harshness with Brady.
 

E5 Yaz

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This is why we can't have nice things. We get a perfectly good chance to mock the crap out of Tony Dungy, and it turns into another rehash of the NFL's hatred of the Patriots.
 

pappymojo

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It would have been great if Goodell had been a strong enough leader to admit his own mistakes in regards to Spygate.

If the rule as written was not clear, Goodell should have followed the established process to rewrite the rule. Issuing a memo with his interpretation of what the rule means was the biggest mistake of the whole story and if he were a bigger man, Goodell would have admitted as such.

I am convinced that Goodell destroyed the earlier tapes because he was covering up for his own incompetence.
 

Ralphwiggum

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A big issue with both Deflategate and Spygate is that the League let the media run with a "PATRIOTS ARE CHEATING CHEATERS WHO CHEAT!!!!" narrative right out of the gate and allowed it to get out of control early in both situations (in DFG this was almost certainly intentional, not sure about Spygate). This then either justified or forced Goodell into the harsh penalties, depending on your perspective.
 

lexrageorge

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BB absolutely should've been suspended -- not because he got some huge competitive advantage, but because he continued breaking the rules after the league sent a memo to all teams telling them to knock it off (which, as others have said, strongly suggests that lots of teams had been breaking the rule previously).

You can draw a straight line between Goodell's leniency there, and his ridiculous (and factually unsupported) harshness with Brady.
Belichick was fined $500K for his actions. That wasn't a light punishment by any means.

And therein lies the problem. Goodell made no real attempt to stave off the "Belichick got off lightly" crap from the media. In fact, he openly stated that he agreed that Belichick got off lightly during an interview several years after the fact. Then the NFL cited Spygate as one reason for the harshness of the Deflategate punishment.
 

ifmanis5

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A big issue with both Deflategate and Spygate is that the League let the media run with a "PATRIOTS ARE CHEATING CHEATERS WHO CHEAT!!!!" narrative right out of the gate and allowed it to get out of control early in both situations (in DFG this was almost certainly intentional, not sure about Spygate). This then either justified or forced Goodell into the harsh penalties, depending on your perspective.
So so this. The league office, Goodell & the owners were (and are) all too happy to play the PR battle with the Pats and paint them with a Scarlet C. They don't do this to other franchises.
 

Ralphwiggum

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So so this. The league office, Goodell & the owners were (and are) all too happy to play the PR battle with the Pats and paint them with a Scarlet C. They don't do this to other franchises.
They did it to the Saints in Bountygate because the general public and the media were just starting to get up in the League's face over player safety issues and it was a chance for Goodell to make it look like he was taking a stand. They also did it to the Dolphins in the Incognito thing.

But in almost every other instance of an organization being accused of violating league rules (salary cap, injury report, coaches interfering with play on the field, etc.) the league handles things quietly and the media and fans are not allowed to get into a bloodlust to the point where Goodell feels justified or forced into dropping the hammer on teams or players.
 

ifmanis5

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They did it to the Saints in Bountygate because the general public and the media were just starting to get up in the League's face over player safety issues and it was a chance for Goodell to make it look like he was taking a stand. They also did it to the Dolphins in the Incognito thing.

But in almost every other instance of an organization being accused of violating league rules (salary cap, injury report, coaches interfering with play on the field, etc.) the league handles things quietly and the media and fans are not allowed to get into a bloodlust to the point where Goodell feels justified or forced into dropping the hammer on teams or players.
Saints and and Dolphins weren't branded with the C word. And they shouldn't have been.
Getting back to Dungy, for him to trot out the 'everybody does it' excuse is beyond insulting. If that's the case, then why wag the finger at the Pats as he did many times? What about the 'integrity of the game?'
 

Super Nomario

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They did it to the Saints in Bountygate because the general public and the media were just starting to get up in the League's face over player safety issues and it was a chance for Goodell to make it look like he was taking a stand. They also did it to the Dolphins in the Incognito thing.
Nothing happened to the Dolphins.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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A big issue with both Deflategate and Spygate is that the League let the media run with a "PATRIOTS ARE CHEATING CHEATERS WHO CHEAT!!!!" narrative right out of the gate and allowed it to get out of control early in both situations (in DFG this was almost certainly intentional, not sure about Spygate). This then either justified or forced Goodell into the harsh penalties, depending on your perspective.
This is obviously correct, as individuals in the league office, namely Joe Browne and Mike Kensil, absolutely hated the Patriots and were allowed to destroy the team. We can only hope that since neither is there anymore things may have gotten more professional at Park Avenue, but I wouldn't bet on it.
 

BroodsSexton

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This is obviously correct, as individuals in the league office, namely Joe Browne and Mike Kensil, absolutely hated the Patriots and were allowed to destroy the team. We can only hope that since neither is there anymore things may have gotten more professional at Park Avenue, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Umm, they've won two Super Bowls since then. The team is far from destroyed.
 

Rosey Ruzicka

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mauf

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Belichick was fined $500K for his actions. That wasn't a light punishment by any means.

And therein lies the problem. Goodell made no real attempt to stave off the "Belichick got off lightly" crap from the media. In fact, he openly stated that he agreed that Belichick got off lightly during an interview several years after the fact. Then the NFL cited Spygate as one reason for the harshness of the Deflategate punishment.
No one cares about fines.

If BB had been suspended for four games, DFG would've been a nothing-burger, or in a worst-case scenario, handled in a manner to the Falcons piping in crowd noise. There's no question that several other owners were furious about BB's light punishment, felt it was partly due to Goodell's close relationship with Kraft, and therefore pressured him to take a hard line on DFG. As it turned out, that hard line was not only out of whack with the severity of the offense (no one ever, in the history of the sport, gave a flying fuck about the inflation of footballs), but was completely unmoored from the facts.

Back on topic, fuck that sanctimonious douchebag Tony Dungy.
 

ifmanis5

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Destroyed in the court of public opinion...I think we are all aware of the winning of the Super Bowls, but thanks for pointing that out.
Exactly. Many general sports fans will always use the C word with the Pats and think they were up to no good while the league fed garbage to people like Stephen A. Smith who repeated whatever they leaked to him. It's been a PR hit job that we haven't seen with other clubs. And also Dungy sucks.
 

Cousin Walter

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Perhaps the most infuriating thing about Camerapositiongate was the fact that the team was docked a first-round pick if they made the playoffs but would have been only docked a second-rounder had they missed the playoffs. There is no justifiable reason for the punishment to somehow be proportional to the success of the team.
 

MarcSullivaFan

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Given what's going on in this country right now, it's sort of quaint to think that anyone might give a crap about facts or fairness when it comes to football.

If Jesus himself floated down on a cloud and proclaimed from the 50 yard line on opening night that the Patriots aren't cheaters, and then electrocuted Goodell with force lightning and turned everyone's water into beer to prove that he was really Jesus, the reaction from non-Pats fans would still be, "Yeah, but ..."

Edit: To clarify, I don't give a rat's ass about this stuff anymore. Goodell is an ass, Belichick was insolent, and it led to a predictable result. Now we have the best best possible revenge which is overwhelming success. I wish Pats fans would rejoice in the victory and stop trolling themselves over this stupid shit. And Patricia (who I otherwise love) is a moron for wearing those barstool shirts. Why in the fucking world would you incite that asshole? It's insane.
 
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Reverend

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Basically two things interest me about spygate:

1) Belichick knew that the opposing coach knew that this was something he did and did it anyway. This suggests to me he really didn't think it was a big deal.

2) The league "destroyed the tapes" which is an utterly absurd thing to claim in the digital age. This suggests to me there was stuff on the tapes Goodell didn't want people to see. (My bet: Evidence that other coaches knew about it.)

Even bracketing my own opinions, I have yet to see a good theory about why spygate was a big deal that can account for those two things.
 

Ed Hillel

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Basically two things interest me about spygate:

1) Belichick knew that the opposing coach knew that this was something he did and did it anyway. This suggests to me he really didn't think it was a big deal.

2) The league "destroyed the tapes" which is an utterly absurd thing to claim in the digital age. This suggests to me there was stuff on the tapes Goodell didn't want people to see. (My bet: Evidence that other coaches knew about it.)

Even bracketing my own opinions, I have yet to see a good theory about why spygate was a big deal that can account for those two things.
I've always thought the tapes contained, among other things, some footage of opposition cameras pointed back at them. Once Goodell and the owners went down the scorched Earth worst cheaters ever path, they couldn't afford to deal with that fallout.

This has actually hit ESPN now. Which gets back to the how awful/dumb Dungy is. He just couldn't let this go because he felt the need to tell the world he wasn't a cheater and the Pats were. Nobody outside of Pats fans would have ever remembered Deion's comments, but Dungy decided to put his name on record instead. Maybe Saint Dungy needs a mentor of his own.
 

RedOctober3829

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I've always thought the tapes contained, among other things, some footage of opposition cameras pointed back at them. Once Goodell and the owners went down the scorched Earth worst cheaters ever path, they couldn't afford to deal with that fallout.

This has actually hit ESPN now. Which gets back to the how awful/dumb Dungy is. He just couldn't let this go because he felt the need to tell the world he wasn't a cheater and the Pats were. Nobody outside of Pats fans would have ever remembered Deion's comments, but Dungy decided to put his name on record instead. Maybe Saint Dungy needs a mentor of his own.
Cris Carter is available to be his fall guy.
 

Reverend

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I've always thought the tapes contained, among other things, some footage of opposition cameras pointed back at them. Once Goodell and the owners went down the scorched Earth worst cheaters ever path, they couldn't afford to deal with that fallout.
A long time ago, on a message board right about here, a poster once claimed that, in a bar, a Patriots player told him what was on that tape.

Among other things, it was alleged that it showed opposing coaches waving and otherwise hamming it up for the camera. Like, doing the chicken dance and stuff.

I can neither confirm nor deny.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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No one cares about fines.

If BB had been suspended for four games, DFG would've been a nothing-burger, or in a worst-case scenario, handled in a manner to the Falcons piping in crowd noise..
This is absolute nonsense.

Goodell could have suspended BB for a year for spygate, and DFG would have still been a shitshow.

McDaniels got caught taping practices for Denver. He received no suspension, and there was no hubbub.

This has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with Goodell's handling of BB, it has to do with it being BB.
 

lexrageorge

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http://www.csnne.com/new-england-patriots/curran-espns-rehash-spygate-breaks-little-new-ground?page=3

Included on the tapes, in addition to shots of the scoreboard and the opposing sidelines, was video of cheerleaders shaking their buttocks, and one opposing coach waving to the camera
http://archive.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2008/02/02/goodell_tapes_on_six_games_got_destroyed/

Although he levied record fines and penalties against the Patriots, Goodell downplayed the significance of the tapes in his Super Bowl press conference. He said one of the tapes included an opposing coach "waving at the camera, indicating they almost knew they were being taped.

"I think as far as the actual effectiveness of taping signals from opposing football teams or other sports is something that's done, and done quite widely, and teams prepare for that," Goodell said. "I think it probably had little effect, if any effect, on the outcome of any game."
...
Goodell said he did not believe the tapes contributed to any of the franchise's three Super Bowl championships because the tapes were from 2007 preseason games and "primarily from late in the 2006 season" although he did not indicate if one of the exhibition games was against the Giants.
...
Goodell noted multiple times that attempting to decipher signals is commonplace. Where the Patriots crossed the line was the vehicle they used to do so.

"I'm not sure there is a coach in the league that doesn't expect that their signals are being interpreted by opposing teams. That's why they go to great lengths," Goodell said. "I think it was Coach [Bill] Parcells earlier this season who said, 'Any coach that doesn't expect his signals to be stolen is stupid.' It's pretty simple but teams understand that it's a risk and they prepare for that. I don't believe it affected the outcome of any games."
 

blueguitar322

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I noticed in that ESPN article that Gary Brackett (Colts LB from 2003-2011) admitted that the Colts had opposing teams' signs on camera as well:
"If you're watching game film and you see different signals that offenses and defenses are doing, that's just you studying and putting in the work to be really good and be successful on the field."
Have any other former players or coaches actually come out to say they used game film to steal signals?
 

Marciano490

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Doesn't the fact that many coaches cover their mouths when calling places kinda sorta indicate that lip reading and sign stealing is rampant in the NFL?
 

Stitch01

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A long time ago, on a message board right about here, a poster once claimed that, in a bar, a Patriots player told him what was on that tape.

Among other things, it was alleged that it showed opposing coaches waving and otherwise hamming it up for the camera. Like, doing the chicken dance and stuff.

I can neither confirm nor deny.
Jay Glazer has the original tape.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/13/glazer-still-has-spygate-tape-was-threatened-with-jail-over-it/

Goodell showed parts of the tape to the media and said that part of the tape was coaches waving at the camera.

A portion of it was the camera zooming in on the Chargers cheerleaders fairly inappropriately.
 

ifmanis5

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Doesn't the fact that many coaches cover their mouths when calling places kinda sorta indicate that lip reading and sign stealing is rampant in the NFL?
Sure. College too. It has been and still is totally legal for assistant coaches to be in their boxes with high powered binoculars and look at the signals on the opposing sidelines and communicate what they see to the head coach. Everyone does it and everyone knows everyone does it.
 

Harry Hooper

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Jay Glazer has the original tape.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/13/glazer-still-has-spygate-tape-was-threatened-with-jail-over-it/

Goodell showed parts of the tape to the media and said that part of the tape was coaches waving at the camera.

A portion of it was the camera zooming in on the Chargers cheerleaders fairly inappropriately.

IIRC, I remember seeing the footage of Herman Edwards waving/mugging at the camera.


Just to clarify, there's the original spygate footage (which Glazer got ahold of) which was destroyed by order of the Commish, and then there was the Matt Walsh footage (which I think is where the cheerleaders zoom in appeared). When the Commish announced that the Walsh stuff added no new info, the NFL had the Walsh footage running on a loop for everyone to see.
 
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m0ckduck

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ESPN also has an audio clip of Bill Poilan discussing the 'legal stealing' that he did, and stressing that the difference is whether you obtain the signals 'via mechanical means'. Then, in practically the next breath, he describes 'looking at tape' as part of his legal sign-stealing process.

Look, It would be fine to say that the Pats engaged in a greater degree of sign-stealing than other teams. Some on this board would argue; I don't know that I'd bother. The attempts of Dungy and Polian to characterize the Pats actions as different in kind and not degree— as lying on the other side of some bright red line that separates 'legal stealing' from 'cheating'— is pretty ridiculous to behold.
 

m0ckduck

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There is no editing required. There is rewinding required. Do you have any idea how long it takes to rewind recorded video? Not long. And nobody is suggesting that 12 minutes is enough time to review *all* playcalls or whatever. Perhaps this recording only helps decipher one signal. That's one more than they should be allowed to do.

- Record down, distance, game clock
- Record hand signals calling defense

Coach knows this is going on, and notes the time of a particular play he wants to know the hand signal for

- Have cameraman rewind through the viewfinder to that point, then let coach watch the defensive play call

There's a good reason recording is permitted at some areas but not at others. Nobody here seems to want to acknowledge that.
I realize we've already circled around this point some, but: if this is the goal of taking video, how does the 'filming from unauthorized location' aid this goal? If it is possible to perform this process that you're describing at halftime, couldn't any team to this from legal video shot in an enclosed space with a roof and so forth? From what you're describing, it doesn't sound like capturing audio would be important (which some posters are suggesting is the advantage of sideline recording).

I'm not asking this to poke holes in your hypothesis— I'm just still struggling to make sense of the the permitted vs. non-permitted filming location distinction, ten years later.
 

Ed Hillel

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ESPN also has an audio clip of Bill Poilan discussing the 'legal stealing' that he did, and stressing that the difference is whether you obtain the signals 'via mechanical means'. Then, in practically the next breath, he describes 'looking at tape' as part of his legal sign-stealing process.

Look, It would be fine to say that the Pats engaged in a greater degree of sign-stealing than other teams. Some on this board would argue; I don't know that I'd bother. The attempts of Dungy and Polian to characterize the Pats actions as different in kind and not degree— as lying on the other side of some bright red line that separates 'legal stealing' from 'cheating'— is pretty ridiculous to behold.
The other great thing is that Dungy specifically mentions a time Bruce Arians, while with the Steelers, knew their signals and Peyton used it against them by switching the play up. Guess who was on that Steelers team. Ryan Clark, aka Sanctimonious douchecanoe #2.
 

loshjott

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All this "benefits of filming from one location vs another" is irrelevant. It's a simple story.

NFL has a rule, the specifics of which are irrelevant.
Teams are breaking this rule.
NFL sends memo to teams telling them not to break it.
Patriots are caught breaking it after the memo.
New Commish is pissed, takes it personally.
New Commish has to show his toughness and independence
Possibly egged on by jealous and petty NFL officials, new Commish imposes big penalty.

End of story, the rest is commentary.
 

nighthob

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I realize we've already circled around this point some, but: if this is the goal of taking video, how does the 'filming from unauthorized location' aid this goal? If it is possible to perform this process that you're describing at halftime, couldn't any team to this from legal video shot in an enclosed space with a roof and so forth? From what you're describing, it doesn't sound like capturing audio would be important (which some posters are suggesting is the advantage of sideline recording).

I'm not asking this to poke holes in your hypothesis— I'm just still struggling to make sense of the the permitted vs. non-permitted filming location distinction, ten years later.
Because he's a DV person he doesn't seem to grasp that the tape count and the game clock don't synch, so finding something on video isn't as easy as saying "go to 10:45 on the tape". That's before the absurdity of the coach being the suuuuuuuuper-genius necessary to know that one sign to steal.
 

m0ckduck

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Because he's a DV person he doesn't seem to grasp that the tape count and the game clock don't synch, so finding something on video isn't as easy as saying "go to 10:45 on the tape". That's before the absurdity of the coach being the suuuuuuuuper-genius necessary to know that one sign to steal.
I can accept the premise of what he's suggesting. I videotape down-and-distance before every play; then I record the signals or personnel grouping or whatever coming onto the field. At halftime, my coach says, "That one play where they ran such-and-such stunt-- 3rd and 1 at 10:25-- what were the signals then?" I rewind through a whole bunch of footage until I see scoreboard shot reading "3rd and 1 / 10:25". It's not very efficient, and probably not very useful, but I get the mechanics of how it would work.

My question is still: how does taping from an unauthorized location aid this? Can you see the signals better? Get some additional info? If the answer is, 'It doesn't help', then teams could ostensibly still be breaking down signs at halftime based on their shot-in-authorized-location 'legal stealing' footage, no?

And, yes, I realize I should have had this conversation ten years ago.
 
Feb 8, 2017
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"Have any other former players or coaches actually come out to say they used game film to steal signals?"

Jimmy Johnson has publically admitted so in the past (http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/patriots/?p=2202&srvc=home&position=recent)

Q: Did you ever steal signals?

JJ: Oh in a heartbeat, yeah. Yes I did.

Q: Via video, Jimmy? Or no?

JJ: Oh yeah, I did it with video and so did a lot of other teams in the league. Just to make sure that you could study it and take your time, because you’re going to play the other team the second time around. But a lot of coaches did it, this was commonplace.

Q: But did you do it by taping the signal caller?

JJ: Yeah.

Q: Oh you did.

JJ: That’s what I’m saying. I was saying one of Marty Schottenheimer’s scouts, Mark Hatley, who has passed away now, Mark told me that’s how they did it, and Howard Mudd their offensive line coach with Kansas City, who now coaches for Tony Dungy, he was the best in the entire league at stealing signals.