"I think it's ludicrous to demean a team, an organization that has done a great job and won all those games, and deserved every bit of it," Phillips said. "They won all those championships. They deserve every bit of what they got."
"The league, the Patriots, everybody, they just want this spygate thing to go away," King said. "But Wade Phillips this week told me something that I think a lot of coaches around the league and a lot of people around the league are still thinking, and that is, 'Hey, New England was caught cheating and it is a black mark on their success.'"
Phillips acknowledged talking to King, but insisted that isn't what he said -- or even inferred -- during their conversation.
"To quote me as saying black mark, that's an Eastern term. That's a Connecticut term," Phillips said. "I might use smudge or something like that from Texas. ... I'm sure he misconstrued what I said."
Phillips, the folksy coach and Texas native, said he doesn't think the alleged comments would have any impact on Sunday's game.
"That's not the character of our coach. I'm sure he didn't do anything like that," linebacker Bradie James said. "It really doesn't matter. We're about 48 hours away from playing a pretty big in-season game, so that really doesn't matter."
The Patriots were fined $250,000 for allegedly recording defensive signals relayed to opposing players on the field. New England also must forfeit a first-round draft pick next year if it makes the playoffs, or a second- and third-rounder if it doesn't.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.