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May 13, 2008
More from Brady
More from Tom Brady's interview today on The Big Show -- Sports Radio 850 WEEI Radio:
On whether he was surprised Matt Walsh had no new information
It hasn't surprised me for a long time. I think the stuff before the Super Bowl, that was unfortunate that something like that had to come up before the biggest game of the year. We dealt with it all season. We dealt with it now, until today, throughout the offseason. At some point we've put it behind us. We put it behind us the following week when we went out to play San Diego after the Jet game. So I think it's just . . . it was an incident that we accepted and we paid the price for, and a very heavy price at that, and we moved forward. So I hope everybody else does, too.
On the timing of the report of the Pats' allegedly taping the Rams' walkthrough
I don't know why they choose that time to do it. I think it was the Boston Herald that [were] the people that started it . . . Because [coach Bill Belichick is] not the type of person that wants to go out and talk about his game plans and talk about injuries and talk about how to beat teams, I think people don't like that. And because he doesn't say much, you're left to assume a lot of different things. For us, in terms of us winning games, that's what's the best thing for us, but obviously, for our fans and for the media, it's not the best thing for them. They want to know all the information right away and Coach Belichick says, "Wait a minute, I want the other teams to have to figure these things out." Which we love as a team. We love, as players, that our coach doesn't want to go out and toot his own horn and talk about how great of a coach he is. He just wants to win. And I think the best thing that he does for us is, he doesn't talk about anything other than . . . kind of the ways that we want to approach each week without getting into details, game plans, and stuff like that. We've come a long way in eight years and I think we've gained a lot of credibility around the league. And I think, in this particular instance, people kind of want to chop us down a little bit. I understand that, too, and that's part of the competition. It didn't mean anything. We won 18 games this last year. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out at the end the way we would have hoped. But we moved past it then, and we're moving it past it now.
On the taping of opponents' signals
I guess, in a lot of ways, it wasn't the right thing to do. We paid the price. We accepted it. And we moved on. And that's what life's about. In life, you're accountable for your decisions, for all your actions, and once you take responsibility, and you accept the punishment, you move on.
On whether the reports were a distraction in the Super Bowl
No, it wasn't a distraction one bit.
On the Giants
t was really a great game. I wish we would've played better at certain times, but [the Giants] made the plays and they deserved it. And I have a lot of respect for that team because they work hard, and they have a lot of great leaders on that team. It's kind of a blue-collar team. When you do lose a game, you at least want to lose to guys you respect. And I certainly respect those guys. I don't respect everybody, but I do respect the Giants.
On teams he doesn't respect
There's four letters in their name.
Those green guys?
The attitude of opposing players toward the Spygate controversy
Nobody really said much. Actually, it was funny. I got an e-mail from Lawyer Milloy the other day and he said, 'Ha, you guys cheated when you played us. Therefore, we beat you guys.' And I said, 'Okay, you're right. We give you four touchdowns back. Oh, [shoot], we still win.' He laughed. He laughed. Believe me, everybody . . . none of the players think anything of it. Believe me. Not one person has expressed anything to me. And for that reason: It's a dead issue. It's a complete dead issue. It's been that way for a long time.
Posted by Art Martone at 4:59 PM | Permalink
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Colleague John Mulligan calls in to report that the Matt Walsh-Arlen Specter press conference has been postponed until sometime tomorrow.
The meeting between Walsh, attorney Michael Levy and the Pennsylvania Senator is still going on presently, and the decision was made to push back the media portion until tomorrow.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 4:18 PM | Permalink
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Update: Specter news conference cancelled
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's news conference in Washington, which was expected at 4 p.m. after his meeting with former Patriots assistant Matt Walsh, has now been cancelled.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 4:18 PM | Permalink
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Statement from the Patriots
The Patriots have just released the following statement:
"We want to address the allegation that the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. For the past three-and-a-half months, we have been defending ourselves against assumptions made based on an unsubstantiated report rather than on facts or evidence. Despite our adamant denials, the report ran on February 2, 2008, the day before Super Bowl XLII. That game was the second-most watched program in television history and it is unfortunate that today’s news will not also reach an audience of that size. We hope that with Matt Walsh's disclosures, everyone will finally believe what we have been saying all along and emphatically stated on the day of the initial report: 'The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.'”
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 3:30 PM | Permalink
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More from Goodell
Here are more points from this morning's press conference/circus with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:
** Before the commissioner arrived at the Intercontinental Hotel, excerpts from seven of the eight tapes Matt Walsh submitted to the league were shown. On the tapes were the following games: Sept. 24, 2000 in Miami; Oct. 7, 2001 in Miami; Nov. 11, 2001 vs. Buffalo; Dec. 9, 2001 vs. Cleveland; Jan. 27, 2002 in Pittsburgh (AFC championship); and Sept. 29, 2002 in San Diego.
At one point during the tape from the Chargers' game, there was about 45 seconds showing the cheerleaders dancing in an end zone, with the camera trained on one particular cheerleader (and her derriere). A representative from lawyer Michael Levy's firm quickly came around the room and said that Walsh was not the cameraman for that game, he was just in possession of the tape.
** Walsh acknowledged to Goodell that he was at the Rams' walkthrough on the eve of Super Bowl XXXVI with other members of the Patriots' video staff. He was in Pats' gear and was working to set up tables, printers and other equipment on the New England sidelines for the game.
"No one asked him to tape the walkthrough, he's not aware of anybody else who may have taped the walkthrough, he has not seen such a tape, he does not know of anybody who says there is a tape," Goodell said.
After Goodell's press conference, a group of media members were brought before NFL outside counsel Gregg Levy, who was also at the Goodell-Walsh sitdown.
According to Levy, Walsh was asked by former New England assistant coach Brian Daboll what he saw at the Rams' walkthrough, and Walsh offered that Marshall Faulk was in punt or kickoff receiving formation. Daboll apparently also asked Walsh about offensive formations, particularly about the use of tight ends.
Levy said the story was uncorroborated, but will be looked into. Daboll is now an assistant with the Jets.
** Once the Spygate scandal began, all sorts of other charges were made by other teams and outsiders about additional wrongdoing by the Pats. Walsh told Goodell that he had no knowledge of the team bugging opponents' locker rooms, scrambling the coach-to-quarterback radio signal, placing microphones on defensive players to pick up a quarterback's calls or any other claims.
** When asked why Walsh had kept the tapes, Goodell said the former New England employee had said he was thinking about becoming a coach one day (he apparently also kept tapes of Pats' practices), and for resume purposes: if a potential future employee asked what he did with the Pats, Walsh could break out the tapes and show them.
** Goodell had not yet spoken with the Patriots to let them know of his findings, nor did he say he planned on speaking with Robert Kraft, Scott Pioli and/or Bill Belichick. New England did have an attorney, Dan Goldberg, at the meeting today.
** There were two new bits of information Walsh offered to Goodell that were not previously known: in 2001, a player New England had on injured reserve practiced with the team, a no-no, and Walsh helped a couple of players scalp Super Bowl tickets, saying it was between 8 and 12 tickets total over a two-year period.
Walsh identified the player on IR and Goodell said the league is trying to verify that, though, he added, there would be no further fine imposed on the team if it is found to be true; Goodell said it would be included in the $750,000 in fines already assessed to the franchise and Belichick.
As for the tickets, which he said is a non-competitive issue, Walsh named names for that as well and Goodell said that will be looked into as well.
** Walsh said after making recordings during games, he handed the raw footage over to Ernie Adams, New England's football research director. According to Goodell, Walsh had little to no interaction with Belichick, whom he referred to as "the man behind the curtain" at one point during his meeting with Goodell.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 2:29 PM | Permalink
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Brady during 'EEI interview: Super Bowl loss was 'numbing'
Tom Brady spoke in depth about the 2007 season, and the loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, in a wide-ranging interview on WEEI Radio this afternoon:
On whether pressure built during last season as the team remain undefeated
As a team we really insulated ourselves from it. I think the great strength of ours is our coach keeps us focused on each game, each week and each day of practice. And if we didn't have a good day of practice, we heard about it. So we never got caught up in it . . . And I think that's the way to approach it. because if you don't, you lose . . . When we started last season, the goal wasn't to go undefeated. It was to win the Super Bowl. And that will be the goal this year.
On how the Pats felt after losing the Super Bowl
It was numbing. It's just a numbing experience because we just didn't see that happening. Not that you can't lose any game, and you know going in that you can lose any game, but after the game, everyone was reflecting on what could have happened if we'd have won. I'm glad we were in that position. A lot of guys have moved on, we've made significant changes to the team. . . I think we have a great team. We start practice on Monday, I know all the guys are excited to be back.
On whether or not the Pats didn't take the Giants seriously
There was no way that we did that. I think that's why you can get over that, because I reflect back . . . we were prepared. It wasn't like we left anything on the table. It was a game of field position . . . [that was] a great defense we played and one of the best defensive lines in football. We finally scored there at the end and they just had a miraculous drive at the end to score on our defense. That game will stay with us for a long time, obviously, but hopefully we can have more opportunities. And I'm confident that we will. As long as we have [owner Robert Kraft] and [coach Bill Belichick], I'm confident that we will.
On the Giants
They have a great D-line and a very complimentary secondary with very athletic linebackers. I thought they did a good job of picking their spots to blitz us. They played incredible [in] that game.
On plays the Pats failed to make during the Super Bowl
Just before [halftime], on the strip sack, Randy [Moss] was behind the defense, but we just weren't able to find him in time. That should have been a touchdown.
On comparisons between the Pats' victory over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, and the Giants' win over the Pats in Super Bowl XLII
There was no way we should have won that game in 2001 but we found a way to win because we executed. And I think the Giants executed that way against us this year.
On mistakes the Pats made against the Giants
We didn't have a lot of possessions and we needed to play more of an error-free game. We just made errors at the wrong time, and they capitalized.
On the game
It was a great team game for the Giants . . . For us, it was back and forth. We were in control, and then we weren't in control. If we made one or two plays, the outcome's different. I think they had a great scheme on defense, they found ways to put pressure on us, they did a great job in those short-yardage situations . . . it just wasn't our day. It just wasn't our day.
On whether he was bothered by the Giants' pass rush
I don't get ever frustrated with pressure. I was frustrated we weren't able to put together drive after drive. They put pressure on you, and we knew that.
More on the game
We went down and scored right when we needed to, at the end. We had our opportunities. That's all you can ask for in the game, and that's all you can ask for in life.
On the last-minute pass to Randy Moss that was broken up by Corey Webster
Aw, man, when I let that go, I thought we had it. I thought that was it.
Posted by Art Martone at 2:28 PM | Permalink
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Goodell: Further sanctions unlikely
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just wrapped his press conference and said much of what Matt Walsh told him during their three hour, 15 minute meeting was consistent with what the Patriots had admitted as far as videotaping opponents' signals.
Due to that, Walsh said he expects no further sanctions against the team above the $750,000 in total fines and loss of a first-round draft pick levied against the team.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 1:08 PM | Permalink
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News break: Walsh has no new information on Spygate
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, speaking at the moment to the media, said Matt Walsh brought no new information on the Spygate scandal to their meeting today and that Walsh didn't tell him anything that the Patriots hadn't already been punished for.
He also made clear that Walsh did not tape the Rams' walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, and that Walsh had no knowledge that anyone taped it.
"As I stand before you today . . . I don't know where else I would turn [for more information],'' Goodell said when asked if Spygate was over.
More to come . . .
Posted by Art Martone at 12:30 PM | Permalink
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So, who was spying on the Patriots?
Assistant Sports Editor Mark Divver just sent me this link from the blog ColdHardFootballFacts. Intriguingly, the post links to a New York Times story from 2002, as the Patriots were preparing to face the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. The gist: someone was seen spying on the Patriots' practice with some sort of telescope as they were preparing for the game, and league officials themselves saw it.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:50 AM | Permalink
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Watching the tapes, waiting for Goodell
We have now relocated back to the Astor room at the Intercontinental The Barclay, just a block from NFL headquarters.
As we wait for commissioner Roger Goodell to arrive, league PR officials have begun playing the eight tapes Matt Walsh submitted last week. So far, video from a Sept. 24, 2000 game in Miami, an Oct. 7, 2001 game in Miami - with both defensive and offensive signals, the Jan. 27, 2002 AFC championship in Pittsburgh and a Sept. 29, 2002 game in San Diego have been shown. Next up, apparently, is a Nov. 2001 game in Buffalo.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 11:38 AM | Permalink
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After waiting an hour and 40 minutes outside NFL headquarters on Park Avenue for Matt Walsh and attorney Michael Levy in the hopes Walsh would take a few questions, the pair came out of the building without Walsh saying a word.
The former video assistant stood stoic in a black double-breasted suit as Levy delivered the following statement:
"Mr. Walsh is pleased to have been able to assist the National Football League in its investigation of the New England Patriots' videotaping practices. Senator Arlen Specter has waited quite a while to meet with Mr. Walsh, and we are heading immediately to Washington, D.C. for an appointment this afternoon with Senator Specter. Out of respect for Senator Specter, neither Mr. Walsh nor I will speak with the media prior to meeting with the Senator."
With that, Levy and another gentleman ushed Walsh through the throng, which had grown to include passerby wielding cameraphones.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 11:02 AM | Permalink
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Standing, waiting... (with photo of Walsh)
AP photo / Louis Lanzano
Matt Walsh, left, arrives at NFL headquarters for his meeting this morning with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
This is the status of the Matt Walsh situation: I and a couple dozen other reporters are standing here at 280 Park Avenue, outside NFL headquarters, waiting for Matt Walsh and his lawyer, Michael Levy, to make an appearance. The feeling is he's going to duck out on the press conference with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, so the hope is Walsh will say something before heading to the airport to fly to Washington D.C. for his meeting with Sen. Arlen Specter.
We'll update you further when we have more.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 9:17 AM | Permalink
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Raw video: Matt Walsh arrives at NFL offices
Click here to see the video, from the AP, of the Spygate figure checking in to meet NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this morning. And check back here for much more throughout the day.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 8:58 AM | Permalink
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Patriots top ESPN power rankings
ESPN has the New England Patriots listed as still the team to beat in the National Football League on the network's NFL power rankings for May. Just behind the Patriots are the Colts, the Chargers, the Cowboys and the Jaguars. The weakest team in the power rankings: Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons.
Here's what ESPN's Mike Sando has to say about the Pats: "A healthy Tom Brady and a happy Randy Moss make the Patriots championship contenders this season and for years to come."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 7:42 AM | Permalink
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