JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio believes stealing signals in football happens as routinely as it does in baseball.
It’s just not supposed to include videotape.
“It’s quite obvious that when you’re signaling defensively, the other bench is like a guy on second base,” Del Rio said Wednesday. “If the pitcher or catcher is giving away signals, then he can relay things. But that’s part of the game. You’re not talking about having a camera set up on the center field fence that you’re looking and shooting the catcher’s signals and then studying that before you go play that opponent.
“That’s a different issue. Do we look at each other’s sidelines and look for hints at what might be coming? Sure. I think all teams do that. That’s been going on forever. That will continue to be part of our game.”
Del Rio’s remarks followed reports that New England violated league rules by videotaping defensive signals.
NFL security confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee during New England’s 38-14 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. The employee was accused of aiming his camera at the Jets’ defensive coaches as they signaled to players on the field.
The news didn’t surprise the Jaguars, who were skeptical of a situation that happened at New England two years ago in the playoffs.
“Our coach-to-quarterback system mysteriously malfunctioned the entire first half,” said Del Rio, whose team was assessed two delay-of-game penalties in the first 20 minutes and eventually lost 28-3.
Although no one blamed the Patriots for Jacksonville’s headset problems, defensive end Paul Spicer said allegations involving the three-time Super Bowl champions were nothing new.
“This ain’t news,” Spicer said. “I’ve heard it in the past. They finally got caught. ... The Patriots got caught. They’re busted.”
But he said he wouldn’t be surprised if the punishment was more severe.
“Do like the NCAA and kick them out of the playoffs or something,” Spicer said. “Put them on probation; they can’t go to no playoff games. Roger Goodell has definitely enforced some new rules. He’s been hard on players. Now let’s see how hard he’s going to be with a team.”
Spicer said NFL teams have been trying to gain advantages for years, from trying to steal sideline signals to signing players recently cut by other teams in hopes of gleaning information about plays, formations and schemes.
But he said this was over the line.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
Spicer also said the spying news will prompt defensive coaches to react quickly to try to secure their signals.
“You already see offensive coaches. What do they do when they’re out there calling plays? They put that big paper over their mouth, thinking that somebody 55 yards across the field is going to read their lips,” Spicer said. “Now you’re going to have defensive coaches out there having two or three players standing in front of them, throwing out a couple of signs over here and throwing out a couple of signs over there. It’s going to be crazy.”
CSN: The Super Bowl's golden anniversary will be held in the Golden State. The new stadium, which opens in 2014, in Santa Clara will host Super Bowl L two years later, the NFL announced Tuesday.
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