HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The spy games between the New York Jets and New England Patriots began last season.
"We taped the game, is what we taped, and we taped end-zone copy of the game, and we tape a double end zone, which is standard operating procedure for us," Mangini said Wednesday. "We request that every single road game, and it's usually granted if physically it's possible. And when people request it from us, we do the same thing: We grant it."
"We do it every time we go on the road," Mangini repeated. "We ask for permission to do it. It's within the league rules, and when people ask us to do it, we grant it, as well."
"I don't know," he said. "Really, it just was what it was. We had asked for permission, it was granted and then that changed, and we respect their decision. It's their stadium."
"No," Mangini said smugly.
He was then asked if the Patriots requested similar permission to have someone taping at various angles or end-zone angles. Again, Mangini replied simply: "No."
"Just didn't look to get permission," Mangini said. "Didn't think it would be granted."
New England coach Bill Belichick refused to address the situation during his news conference with Patriots reporters.
"There's a lot of things that have happened in the past," Belichick said. "Really, the past is in the past."
Patriots players also were staying away from the issue, much as they did when Pittsburgh's Anthony Smith guaranteed a victory over New England last week.
"It just doesn't matter. Who cares?" safety Rodney Harrison said. "It has no impact whatsoever, just like when Smith made his comments. It has no impact. The game isn't won or lost through the media Monday through Saturday. It's won or lost on Sunday, 1 o'clock. It's whoever makes more plays."
This is just the latest in the long-running rivalry between the teams. After helping Belichick and the Patriots win three Super Bowls as a defensive assistant, Mangini left to become coach of the Jets. The relationship between the two has been frosty since.
Things got even chillier after a Patriots video assistant was caught taping from the sidelines during their game against the Jets in Week 1, a move some speculated fueled New England's drive to perfection. The NFL punished the Patriots by taking away their first-round draft pick, fined them $250,000 and fined Belichick another $500,000.
"When you practice, anytime you practice, you try to shoot the unit from the sideline and then from the end zone behind them, so that you can see hand placement, fits, that type of thing," Mangini said. "That's how you watch practice every day. That's how you evaluate practice every day. And it's the same thing with games. You like to have that same copy because, really, that's just an extension of the evaluation."
"It's usually just a function of whether there's a location that we can do it from or not," he said. "It's a pretty common courtesy."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.