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February 02, 2008

Panthers: No indication Pats taped our practices

The Carolina Panthers aren’t jumping to any "spygate" conclusions after a newspaper reported that the New England Patriots illegally taped the St. Louis Rams prior to the 2002 Super Bowl.

In its Saturday editions, the Boston Herald cited a source saying a Patriots employee taped the Rams’ final walkthrough practice the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. New England was a heavy underdog to St. Louis, but upset the Rams 20-17 to win the first of three championships in a four-year span.

The Patriots denied the allegation Saturday.

Two years after the Rams’ game, the Patriots beat the Panthers 32-29 on a late field goal in Super Bowl XXXVIII for their second title.

There have been no reports that the Patriots taped Carolina before that game.

"We certainly have never gotten any indications of that," Panthers’ general manager Marty Hurney said Saturday. "That’s all you can go by. Nobody has ever brought anything like that to our attention. You’re very careful not to jump to any conclusions on anything."

The NFL fined coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots a combined $750,000 and stripped them of a first-round draft pick earlier this year after reviewing tapes that showed they illegally filmed opposing coaches’ signals in a season-opening win against the New York Jets.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at his Friday news conference that he doesn’t think the Patriots’ 18-0 season is tainted by the incident and doesn’t believe anything similar contributed to any of their three Super Bowl wins this decade.

But this latest report cast a new cloud of suspicion over New England on the eve of its Super Bowl XLII game against the New York Giants.

Posted by Observer Sports on February 2, 2008 at 07:45 PM | Permalink


This whole cheating thing is getting way overblown. The taping of signals is definitely not helpful in gaining an advantage. It is acceptable in league rules to watch a team call in their signals and you could even use binoculars if you wanted to. Seeing a team's signals is useless anyway without knowing what those signals mean. Any NFL coach or anyone else close to the situation will tell you teams change their signals weekly and if a team didn't for some reason then they are asking for trouble. So, if a team videotaped signals one week and then played that team weeks or even years later how on earth could that tape be helpful at all? There is way too much naivety among fans. Now if the Pats taped the Rams walkthrough before the Super Bowl now that's a different story altogether.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 2, 2008 8:34:24 PM

I call b.s. on that. Although its not an official 'report' I have heard Brentson Buckner say that Tom Brady was barking out what each Carolina defender was doing on certain plays despite the Carolina defense running plays that they have never used before. The inference was that there it was odd for Brady to know the defensive assignments for plays the Panthers have never ran.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 2, 2008 11:30:16 PM

There is always an excuse for why a team didn't win. I am as big a Panthers fan there is, but I don't for a moment believe the reason we lost the Super Bowl was because the Patriots knew our plays. There is always an anonymous source or a supposed action with allegations. Where does this stuff come from? Someone runs off at the mouth once in the locker room or in a personnel office and it becomes an unnamed source. It's ridiculous. "The inference was there that it was odd..." How on earth did the Patriots get these plays? And even more odd is why Brady would be calling out assignments as opposed to a defensive reserve or coach, instead of doing as he and most all other NFL quarterbacks and that is studying the opposing defense when not on the field. Curious how someone with an axe to grind always infers and hints at something. Honestly if something really transpired...come right out and say it. Buckner is accusing a team of something that he obviously has no tangible evidence of proving. So, with that, why say anything at all?

Posted by: Chris | Feb 3, 2008 1:32:01 AM

If the Patriots really got an opportunity to spy on the Panthers offense, then they really weren't paying attention...

-Steve Smith had a healthy number of catches and a long TD, leaving Tyrone Poole with 3rd degree burns. So, you spied on Panthers offense and didn't assume Steve Smith would need more coverage than Tyrone Poole?
-The Panthers used the old draw play in a passing situation at least twice and it worked... the play that set up the FG to end the first half and then the long Foster TD. How can you not know about that old Henning-Fox manuever? That may have been the only time it ever worked!
-They didn't seem to know what was going on when the Panthers ran a 2-minute drill to tie the game. Those same plays, with tweaks, showed up in later regular season games (remember Weinke off the bench against Detroit in 05), so I doubt they were all new for the Super Bowl.

Those were just some of the obvious things that you could have known by watching plain old tape of the broadcasts during the regular season.

But anyways... John Kasay was about to kickoff to the Pats with like a minute left and then my cable went out. I assumed the game ended in a tie and went to bed. :-(

That's how I remember the game.

Posted by: Stinger | Feb 3, 2008 1:35:09 AM

The Patriots also gave up the longest TD reception in Super Bowl history in that game.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 3, 2008 5:48:40 AM

You are kidding your self if you say that knowing plays does not help? If they knew what we were doing by filming a practice then that is cheating!

Posted by: Steven | Feb 3, 2008 7:50:45 AM

Once again, don't be so naive. Sure knowing the plays would help, I don't think anybody could dispute that. How on earth could a team know the plays a team is going to run? Stealing signals? Doesn't work...flat out. Teams change their signals way to too frequently to make sure something like that can't happen. How else could you know a team's plays? Taping a walkthrough? The whole point in this article was to say the Panthers have no knowledge that ever happened. Unsubstantiated claims all across the board against the Patriots, and even as a die-hard Panthers fan, it makes me sick.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 3, 2008 8:11:42 AM

If they gained no advantage by taping the coaches sending in calls, then why were they doing it?

Posted by: jeff | Feb 3, 2008 8:45:45 AM

Guys..its the NFL...offensive plays are designed to be executed assuming the defense knows what you're doing...

Posted by: Slew Foot | Feb 3, 2008 9:01:50 AM

The New England Patriots can't avoid the "cheater" label for obvious reasons. I wonder what happens in the off season as more and more gets uncovered. I hope Bill Belicheat gets more than he got so far, which if basically a slap on the wrist!!!

Posted by: PantherFan | Feb 3, 2008 10:22:49 AM

Exactly, why would teams go to such extensive and secretive measure to steal signals if it did not work?

And no one, at least not me, is saying that that the Panthers lost b/c of supposed spying. All I am saying is that a member of that team has come out and suggested that it was odd for the Patriots to know what plays the defense was running despite never running those plays before. He was not saying it as an excuse he was only answering a question that was asked to him by the radio host.

And Chris, its common for qb's to bark out what defenders are doing b/c they have watched film on that defense, but it is odd that he was barking out the Panthers assignments despite (supposedly) not having any film to go on.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 3, 2008 10:24:03 AM

Guys I am huge panther fan but it is crazy to think our D was running all new plays, we only had 2 weeks to prepare, you cannot put a whole new D in that amount of time. Also people who say spying doesnt help, maybe it doesnt but it is against the rules and if they did it than they did it for a reason.

Posted by: Billy | Feb 3, 2008 11:02:19 AM

Carolina Lost,They Lost,And so have the others,Lets not make excuses,Everybody gotten BEAT-UP by the PATS,THIS TEAM IS THE BEST PLAYIN TEAM AROUND,Call the dogs off the Pats,They are Who they are,(IF)there is anything else they did wrong,It will come out,But right now,I am not gonna pin them up with cheating,THEY ARE WHO THEY ARE (Must be Nice)But anyway",We'll get back in there Soon,"GO PANTHERS"

Posted by: #1 Fan | Feb 3, 2008 11:24:13 AM

Yes, I think its probable that a team could install new plays and coverages for a game. No on said they used a whole defense, but its certainly probable that they and most teams put in new plays because they dont want to give the opposition the luxery of going back and basing their gameplans off of film from games during the season.

Look, I'm not making any excuses, I'm just disputing the story that says no one from the Panthers has suggest the Pats did any spying before SB XXXVIII. The Panthers got beat and probably would have still been beat had the Patriots (if the even did) not done the spying. It silly to make excuses or to suggest the Patriots forefit the games that they cheated in.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 3, 2008 12:40:46 PM

The Patriots cheated! Give us the Super Bowl trophy! :) Haha. The funniest thing about this is that the BOSTON HERALD broke this story. The Patriots' hometown paper. Are they trying to screw their own team or what? Yeah so they gotta report the news and do so without bias, but you would think they'd eat that story, at least until after the Super Bowl...but I'm not complaining! ;)

Posted by: Haywood Jablowmi | Feb 3, 2008 1:08:52 PM

Also it is not like they can even give us the super bowl, with our roided up o-line.

Posted by: Billy | Feb 3, 2008 1:42:55 PM

Chris if stealing signs doesnt work than why do teams do it?

Posted by: Steven | Feb 3, 2008 1:45:49 PM

Why did Goodell destroy those tapes? What is he hiding? Is there audio on those tapes, that is being transmitted, then relayed to the QB? The coach to qb headset doesn't cut off until 15 seconds are left on the play clock. New England, at that time, got to the line of scrimmage with about 25 seconds left. Now, they get to the line of scrimmage with about 15 sec onds left, like most other teams.

Posted by: Ben | Feb 3, 2008 3:54:08 PM

who cares...we lost...if all everyone has to say is we got cheated then consider it a blessing we only lost by 3...past is the past and what should be the concern is whether we will even make it back to a superbowl

Posted by: Dustin | Feb 4, 2008 7:55:19 AM

Did Kasay shanking that kick-off has anything to do with New England stealing or signals?

Posted by: LA_Panther | Feb 4, 2008 9:33:43 AM

No, Kasay shanking the kick off had nothing to do with them stealing signs.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Feb 4, 2008 9:42:24 AM

Like it would have mattered...

Posted by: DJ | Feb 4, 2008 10:26:19 AM

Attempting the two-point conversions had more to with the loss than the kick-off out-of-bounds. The game should have been decided in OT, going down as the greatest SB ever.

Posted by: emlit | Feb 4, 2008 11:49:07 AM

when the pats video guy starts talking the truth will come out and he will

Posted by: JOSEPH | Feb 4, 2008 5:22:08 PM

Follow the Giant trend. We need to end up playing where we ended up playing this year in Tampa. The team needs to remember that. Get to Tampa. Let that be the last place we play. Tampa, Tampa, Tampa...
Coach Fox is hurting now. His boy Tom from the Giants. No Fox to the Giants now...lol.. Panthers have to keep him and see what he does with it...

Posted by: Panther Fan D | Feb 4, 2008 11:23:40 PM

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