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No There There in Dolphins Tape Controversy

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League: Nothing Wrong ... Technically
Belichick Dismisses Claims of Gained Advantage

The NFL said the Miami Dolphins violated no rules when they allegedly obtained video tapes of the New England Patriots offense and tried to decipher quarterback Tom Brady's signals, according to ESPN's John Clayton.

Several Dolphins players bragged to the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post that they bought tapes to study Brady's verbal direction at the line of scrimmage. "Coaches tapes" provided to every team by the league contain no audio.

Despite the claims and Sunday's result, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doubts Miami gained any real edge.

"I stand out on that field every day, as do our defensive players -- who are pretty smart players -- and I don't see it," Belichick said in Wednesday's press conference, as reported by Clayton. "If I can't pick it up and our players can't pick it up, with what we know and the opportunity to see and work against each other, I have a hard time thinking somebody else [could]."

That may be true, coach, but why would the Dolphins players brag about it? Most "experts" say it probably didn't help much if at all. One player said it's a common practice. If so, why make such a big deal of it.

According to Clayton, "Reaction around the league office was, 'That's football,'" AFC spokesman Steve Alic said.

That's football? Idiotic statements like that are why we have live shots of coaches during games talking into the headsets with play-call sheets covering their mouths and other such nonsense.

We already have enough technology in the game with replay reviews, and those are necessary, and even then only because the game has changed so drastically and because game officals, as good or bad as they are, are human and thus fallible. This other stuff is decidely not football.

It may technically be legal -- there's nothing that explicitly says you can't do it. But lots of things are technically legal that no one does. Why? Because it's bush league. It's disingenuous.

If the Miami players did this, what did they really gain? They're going to be watching the playoffs at home. To what purpose did they not do anything illegal?

And Nick Saban. He is a close friend of Belichick. Legal? Yes. Necessary? Probably not. Underhanded? Most certainly. Why would you do that to a friend, even in a competitive setting?

The Patriots may not get far in the playoffs. They have bigger problems than a non-playoff team stealing their signals. But they will be in the playoffs.

Miami won't. Enjoy the games on TV, fellas.

Poll

If -- IF -- Miami stole the Patriots offense's signals, that's ...

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    ... entirely wrong. And bullcrap on top of it.
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    ... technically not wrong, but certainly unethical.
    (1 vote)
  • 40%
    ... a little shady, but it's no big deal.
    (4 votes)
  • 30%
    ... football.
    (3 votes)
10 votes total Vote Now