Matt Walsh, former Patriots video assistant met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday as a follow up from their prior meeting. Apparently, Walsh did not have more violations of rules to share with Goodell. The two met for nearly 3 ½ hours viewing clips of coaches and their play calling signals. The Commissioner had this to say about the meeting:
“The fundamental information that Matt provided was consistent with what we disciplined the Patriots for last fall.”
Walsh also had a meeting with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, in Washington after meeting with Goodell. The Senator has been very critical towards the leagues handling of this investigation and has said in February, if he isn’t satisfied there will be possible congressional hearings.
This all got started when the Patriots were caught taping Jets defensive signals during the 2007 season opener. Both the team and head coach Bill Belichick were sanctioned by the NFL. Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team losing their 2008 first-round draft choice as well as $250,000. There were some rumors circling that the Patriots also taped the St. Louis Rams final walkthrough before the 2002 Super Bowl. No such tape has surfaced and Walsh denies having any knowledge of any tape.
Roger Goodell asked Walsh what he did prior to watching the walkthrough. Walsh said a then-New England wide receiver coach, Brian Daboll, asked him what he saw during the walkthrough. He told him about the Rams walkthrough with specifics such as formations including tight end usage based on the defense’s coverage and the fact that Marshall Faulk, Rams’ running back, was returning kicks.
All tapes have apparently been turned in, and only show signals for 5 opponents during 6 games. The whole point of this meeting was to see if any other rule violations occurred.
“There was no bugging of locker rooms,” Goodell said. “There was no manipulation of communication systems. There were no crowd noise violations anywhere that he was aware of. No miking of players to pick up opposing signals or audibles.”
Walsh did however give Goodell two violations that weren’t related to the taping of signals. One, a player on injured reserve practiced in 2001 when he wasn’t allowed and two, Walsh also claims he scalped tickets for two players for the Super Bowl during the course of two seasons. Both claims will be investigated further.
Frankly I think the Patriots should be ashamed of this. Really you start to think, could the 2002 Super Bowl have gone differently? Why does a team with such talents need to cheat by recording signals? I hope we find out.
Tape 1 – Signals vs. Miami on September 25th, 2000
This was the game on Sept. 24 2000, the Patriots lost to the Dolphins 10 – 3
Tapes 2 & 3 – Miami defensive and offensive signals vs. Miami on October 7th, 2001
Miami wins 30 – 10 with the Patriots only totaling 149 yards overall
Tape 4 – Buffalo signal camera on November 11th, 2001
Patriots win 21 – 11 and improve to 5 – 4 on the season
Tape 5 – Coaches signals vs. Cleveland on December 9th, 2001
The Patriots win 27 – 16 barely out gaining the Browns
Tapes 6 & 7 – Signals vs. Pittsburgh on January 27th, 2002
The AFC Championship Game, Patriots were 9 point underdogs and Tom Brady went out with an injured leg in the first half. Patriots win 24 – 17 after 2 special teams touchdowns
Tape 8 – Third camera vs. San Diego on September 29th, 2002
Patriots lose to the Chargers 21 – 14 for the first loss of the season after going 3 – 0