This space for rent. These snippets were on the following website on 2/21/08, regarding league reaction to videotaping procedures by the New England Patriots this past season:
Martz interested in Walsh
INDIANAPOLIS -- San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams team that lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, said he is interested in seeing whether Matt Walsh comes forward.
Walsh is the former Patriots employee who has hinted he has potentially damaging material, including an alleged tape of the St. Louis Super Bowl walkthrough prior to the Patriots' 20-17 win in 2002.
"Of course, I'm interested. I was involved in that," said Martz to a group of reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine who asked about Walsh. "It was my responsibility. I was responsible for a lot of people in that game. I am interested. But I'm going to assume, like anything else, that this is totally false. Until it proves differently, there's really not much to talk about."
When asked whether he was surprised that one of his former St. Louis players, Willie Gary, was named as a plaintiff in a $100 million lawsuit filed last week against the Patriots, owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick stemming from the alleged taping, Martz demurred.
"I'm not going to go there. When this is all over with and the investigations are finished I hope that Bill is exonerated and this didn't happen, so we'll see."
However, Martz did say that if the Patriots did tape the walkthrough it would have to be considered cheating.
"First of all, I doubt that this happened, I really do," said Martz. "I'll only say this, and I'm not going to talk about it anymore. I don't think the point is ever whether they got something out of it. The whole point is, were they cheating or not? Isn't it? Isn't that really the point? I think so.
"When you say he took some steroids that did help or didn't help. ...that's never the point. The point is to all these high school coaches and high school kids and college kids, if they did cheat, I think that's the point, not whether it was effective or ineffective. I guess that's what is being glossed over.
"But I'm going to choose to believe this is all not true. I just have too much respect and admiration for Bill, and I just don't think it's true. But I guess when I hear people say it didn't affect [the game], well, it probably didn't. No, it probably didn't affect it at all. But that's really not the point, now is it?"
Competition Committee on Patriots
INDIANAPOLIS -- Members of the NFL Competition Committee just addressed media members here at the combine. Co-chairman Rich McKay indicated that the committee received details regarding the Patriots’ taping procedures.
“This morning, we spent a lot of time on the issue of the New England tape situation, just getting a briefing, an understanding of the procedures and everything that went into it,” McKay said.
“They took us through the investigation, what they did, and what transpired and what they found. They asked our opinion on the penalty, and if there were any suggestions we had that we needed to do from a rules perspective to address it.”
Members of the committee seemed to agree that there was nothing from a rules perspective that needed to be further addressed to avoid the situation in the future.
Another member of the committee, Colts president Bill Polian, shared his opinion on the NFL’s investigation of the Patriots.
“From my perspective, that was a thorough, fair, efficient process with lots of integrity,” he said. “I think it’s fair to say we [as a committee] were satisfied with the explanation, satisfied with what was done, and at least I am anyway. It’s behind us. It’s time to move forward.”
Giants co-owner John Mara also shared his thoughts of the Patriots’ taping procedures.
“I can’t speak for everybody else, but I’m just tired of hearing about it,” he said. “I think we’re all satisfied that it was thoroughly investigated.”
Lovie on Super Bowl 36:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Bears coach Lovie Smith answered questions from media members this morning. Smith was the Rams defensive coordinator during Super Bowl XXXVI and was asked about a Feb. 2 Boston Herald report that stated a Patriots official taped the Rams' walkthrough the day before the game.
Some of the Q&A:
Did you ever feel that the Patriots had information that helped them be a step ahead?
"No. Not at all. Again, I'm having a hard time remembering last year's [Super Bowl]. To think back to St. Louis, that's definitely harder for me. What I recall is that we were beaten by a good football team that year. It was an excellent football game. That's about all I remember."
As a coordinator and coach, what type of precautions do you take to protect signals?
"Signals, we take all type of precautions. Most teams have wristband calls, and things like that. I don't spend a whole lot of time. Most of my effort goes into trying to find a way to be successful on the football field, doing it the right way, we spend most of our time on that. We have precautions in place to guard against that on game day. That's how we've always done it."
What were your inital reactions when you heard about the report that the Patriots might have taped the Rams' walkthrough?
"I don't go into accusations an awful lot. I think it's dangerous to do that. Of course, I was aware of what was going on [with the report]. Whenever you have people accusing guys of doing things like that, it's just hard for me to fathom that anyone would do anything like that. Those were my thoughts right away. I trust our NFL office and I'm sure that if there is something to it, No. 1, that will come out later on. Time has a way of taking care of all things. Again, during that time, I was more interested in watching a great game which I saw. I have this picture of the Chicago Bears being back in Tampa next year in that same environment."
Gene Upshaw has strong feelings on videotaping
Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, shared his feelings on the Patriots' videotaping procedures following a meeting at the downtown Westin. His thought is that the impact of the videotaping has been overblown. "It's absolutely ludicrous to believe it affects a play," he said. "Look at the play in the Super Bowl, you can have all the film in the world but Eli [Manning] still gets out of the pocket, sheds those tackles, and throws that ball. Then go back to the Super Bowl against St. Louis, do you think filming had anything to do with Kurt Warner's fumble?"
Can we finally put this thing to rest now...for Christ's sake, the COLTS GM, Polian, is running to the Pats' defense...do we need even more of a signal to remind us that this isn't really that big a deal...?