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Old February 2nd, 2008, 03:34 PM   #67
Erbs
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Wow. From Profootballtalk.com...

Quote:
POSTED 9:30 a.m. EST, February 2, 2008

REPORT: PATS FILMED RAMS WALK-THROUGH

When it rains, it freakin' pours.

After a bizarre day in which Spygate unexpectedly reappeared on the league's radar screen and strong hints of previously undisclosed cheating emerged, John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots videotaped the walk-through practice of the St. Louis Rams prior to Super Bowl XXVI.

Here's the key excerpt from Tomase's report:

"According to a source close to the team during the 2001 season, here's what happened. On Feb. 2, 2002, one day before the Patriots' Super Bowl game against heavily favored St. Louis in New Orleans, the Patriots visited the Superdome for their final walkthrough.

"After completing the walkthrough, they had their team picture taken and the Rams then took the field. According to the source, a member of the team's video staff stayed behind after attending the team's walkthrough and filmed St. Louis' walkthrough.

"At no point was he asked to identify himself or produce a press pass, the source said. The cameraman rode the media shuttle back to the hotel with news photographers when the Rams walkthrough was completed, the source said."

Though the Herald doesn't identify the cameraman, it doesn't take a genius to suspect that it was Matt Walsh, the video employee who has been quietly but doggedly pursued for nearly five months. It also doesn't require much gray matter to realize that Walsh likely gave Tomase the green light to cite him as an unnamed source.

A walk-through practice usually involves execution of the plays that are in the team's offensive game plan, out of the specific formations that each play will be called. Having access to that information would provide an enormous advantage to the opposing team.

In Super Bowl XXXVI, the ordinarily high-octane Rams offense struggled in the first half to move the ball, and trailed the underdogs from New England 14-3 at intermission. Seven of the Pats' points came when cornerback Ty Law jumped a route and took an interception to the end zone. After making halftime adjustments, the Rams came back, tying the game at 17 before the Pats won the game on a late field goal.

What does it all mean? For starters, much of the media assembled to cover the Super Bowl will soon swarm upon key figures from the 2001 Rams, searching for quotes that might support the notion that the Pats seemed to know exactly what the Rams were doing on offense. Guys like former coach Mike Martz and his offensive assistants (Henry Ellard, Bobby Jackson, Jim Hanifan, John Matsko, Wilbert Montgomery, and John Ramsdell) can expect to be pestered. Players like quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk and receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt will be pursued, too.

For now, however, we're even more convinced that the Patriots will win Super Bowl XLII by a huge margin. If the inflammatory remarks of various members of the Giants' organization weren't enough, the calling into question of the game that sparked the New England dynasty will surely drive the team to prove to the world that they win games based on talent, preparation, and execution.

Even if, six years ago to the day, they supplemented their skill and sweat with something else.


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