Bill Belichick fires a salvo back at Matt Walsh on CBS News tonight:
FOR HIM TO TALK ABOUT GAME PLANNING AND STATEGY AND PLAY CALLING AND HOW HE ADVISED COORDINATORS, IT'S EMBARRASING, IT'S ABSURD. HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF FOOTBALL. HE WAS OUR THIRD VIDEO ASSISTANT.
On Matt Walsh saying he was told by superiors to avoid detection:
"I NEVER TOLD ANYBODY TO DO THAT. ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS WHAT THE FACTS ARE. YOU LOOK AT THE TAPE. YOU SEE HIM FILMING THE GAME. YOU TELL ME HOW DISCREET IT IS."
On videotaping signals after the league's 2006 memo:
"I MADE A MISTAKE. I WAS WRONG. I WAS WRONG."
The strategy is clear - discredit Walsh as a low level, peripheral, support employee with little to no knowledge of football operations. Oh, let's not forget this statement from Mike Martz, head coach of the Rams during the XXXVI Superbowl:
"I was stunned at Matt Walsh’s allegation that he was on the sideline in New England Patriots apparel during our walk-thru. I find that insulting, disturbing and a slap in the face to both our team security and NFL security, who both do outstanding jobs. I promise you that if he was on the sideline, he was not in New England Patriots apparel because he would have been identified.
There is a boatload of information out there that I won't cut and paste in here, but it's clear to me the campaign to discredit Walsh has begun and it'll be a "he said, she said" kind of thing. Who you believe depends on where you sit in this whole mess. Hate the Patriots? Walsh is credible and the victim. Love the Patriots? Walsh is a disgruntled employee looking for his 15 minutes of fame.
Belichick continued to tape after being instructed, in a 2006 NFL memo, it was against the rules. He was caught and both himself and the organization were punished. I've already written that I believe the NFL totally botched this thing and are circling the wagons because noone wants our fine government investigating. Ross Tucker, a writer for SI.com and former offensive lineman had this to say:
"Bending rules is a fact of life in the NFL," Tucker writes. "From ballboys allowing the opposing team's footballs to get soaked, to hotel employees scouring rooms for game plan sheets after a team heads to the stadium, there are several ways to get in on the act. Seemingly no organization, no matter how accomplished or destitute it may be, is immune from the win-at-all-costs mentality. Some teams cheat and never get caught. Others simply refrain from breaking the rules but bend them right to the breaking point."
Hmm... What a tangled web we weave. Who you believe is a matter of where you sit. Bring it on, Arlen. Let's clear this thing up.