Skip to main content

Was Patriots' 'no' vote a sign of cheating to come?

NFL teams continue to be abuzz about the cheating scandal that has engulfed Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

And that was before the stiff penalties  that were handed down by the NFL Thursday night to Belichick and the Patriots for violating league policy on the use of equipment to videotape an opposing team's offensive or defensive signals.

To prevent other cases of it, the league's football operations department emailed a memo to all 32 teams Thursday, reminding them of various do's and don'ts, including the rule that videotaping opposing coaches is banned.

And now that the league has determined that the Patriots violated the rules, some around the league are recalling events from last spring's owners meetings, when teams voted on whether to put electronic communication devices in the helmets of defensive captains.

Under the plan that would eliminate the need for hand signals, coaches could electronically call in defensive signals to their captains. However, the plan was voted down 22-10, falling two votes short of the 24 needed to adopt the measure.

One of the 10 "no" votes came from the Patriots.


It's usually sound advice to watch out for No. 1. But anyone watching out for No. 1 this year is going to be waiting a long time.

For the first time since 1959, the No. 1 overall picks in the NBA and NFL each stand a good chance of not playing a single minute of their rookie seasons.

The NBA's No. 1 pick, Portland's Greg Oden, is out for the year with a knee injury. The NFL's No. 1 pick, Oakland's JaMarcus Russell, signed this week after a lengthy holdout that retarded his development and it's possible he might not play at all this season.

In 1959, the NBA's No. 1 pick Bob Boozer, whom the Cincinnati Royals drafted, sat out a year so as to retain his amateur status and be eligible to play in the 1960 Olympics.

That same year, the NFL's No. 1 pick Randy Duncan, whom the Green Bay Packers drafted, went to the Canadian Football League instead of playing for Vince Lombardi.

Now, improbably, Oden and Russell could be the Boozer and Duncan of 2007 –- the No. 1's that don't make it into action until Year 2.


While trying to figure out the appropriate punishment for the New England Patriots on Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell put aside the issue for a moment to concentrate on a more important one.

Goodell spent Thursday morning in Buffalo, visiting with Bills injured tight end Kevin Everett, whom doctors initially thought might never walk again.

Yet Everett has made a miraculous recovery from his spinal cord injury, beginning to move his arms and legs, and Goodell was extremely pleased with what he saw.

After spending quality time with Everett, Goodell flew back to New York City to conduct the NFL's day-to-day business and announce the punishment for Videogate.


Chicago's defense lost two starters in its opener Sunday, but Buffalo's defense got hit even harder.

Buffalo found out Thursday that starting cornerback Jason Webster is out for the season with a broken forearm. It was just a continuation of the horrendous week it has been for Buffalo.

It already had learned that starting free safety Ko Simpson was lost for the season with a broken ankle and linebacker Coy Wire was lost indefinitely to a sprained medial collateral ligament that was expected to sideline him three to six weeks.

And Wire was replacing linebacker Keith Ellison, who suffered a high ankle sprain in Buffalo's preseason finale.

Buffalo's defense already was trying to overcome the losses of linebackers Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher, as well as cornerback Nate Clements. Tough work. And now Buffalo limps into Pittsburgh, with more early notable defensive injuries than any team in the league.


When Cleveland drafted Akron quarterback Charlie Frye in the third round of the 2005 draft, the Seattle Seahawks were disappointed they didn't get their chance at him.

But the Seahawks scouting reports on Frye also spelled out instructions that the Browns didn't seem to follow.

Seattle's scouting reports said that, given time and given patience, Frye could turn into a superb NFL quarterback. But the report warned the Seahawks not to rush along Frye, to make sure he had a fair amount of time to watch and learn from the bench, and then he would be more prepared to succeed on the next level.

In Cleveland, for a brief amount of time, Frye was viewed as the franchise's answer at quarterback. But he was inserted into the starting lineup quicker than some in Seattle thought he should have been, and now the Browns are dealing with a similar issue involving first-round pick Brady Quinn.

One NFL executive said the Browns fiercest challenge is going to be holding off all the calls to insert Quinn and to give him the time that Frye did not get.

It is why the Seahawks were willing to trade a sixth-round pick for the quarterback that, only two-plus years ago, was a third-round pick. Seattle thinks that Frye is going to get the time he needs to marinate, to learn. He also is going to get terrific coaching from Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and head coach Mike Holmgren, who helped mold Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck.


Former Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt to FOX Sports Radio on the Patriots practices of videotaping opposing coaches:

"It didn't surprise me, I'll be very honest with you. We had a couple incidents when I was the head coach with the Dolphins, that later on guys told us stories about things happening in the locker room at their facility, and Mickey Mouse stuff that I couldn't believe. I said surely not, and then you hear this. The league filed something about this a year ago very similiar. I think, where there is smoke, there is fire. I really believe that."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.