Colts' Pep Hamilton: Pats find ways to decipher signals


The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots have a history of huge games over the last decade, but the rivalry doesn't feel the same since Peyton Manning left town. Perhaps offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's words Thursday will spice things up.

Schein: Don't forget about Pats
As the playoffs ramp up, Adam Schein reminds us that this time of year belongs to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. READ

Hamilton, fresh off a stint at Stanford, has his own history against the Patriots as an assistant under former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards from 2003 to 2005. Hamilton was asked about what he expects when he faces the Patriots.

"I do know for a fact that it was always a 60-minute chess match. It was ever-changing looks and disguises and they always tend to find ways to figure out some of your signals," Hamilton said.

The crack is in reference, of course, to New England being punished for stealing opposing signals in 2007 through illegal videotaping methods. Coach Bill Belichick was punished with a $500,000 fine for the infraction.

Hamilton went on to say what an honor it is to go against Belichick, whom he called one of the "greatest coaches in NFL history." We fully expect this quote to make the rounds, especially in New England.

GMC Never Say Never Moment
Tom Brady and the Patriots overcame a 24-point halftime deficit against the Broncos to prevail in Week 12. Was it the best moment of 2013?

Is it a big deal that Hamilton took a light crack about the Patriots' history? Of course not. Two of the most fascinating quarterbacks in the NFL are about to face off, and that's the real story.

Based on Belichick's history, though, we can fully expect Belichick to privately make a big deal out of the quote as he prepares his team for the game. Belichick never says anything in public, but the Patriots love using minor slights as added motivation before big games.

No one can convince me that these added motivational gambits actually make a difference on the field, but football coaches much smarter than myself seem to disagree.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" featured a special in-studio visit from Bears star Brandon Marshall.