NEW YORK - Former New England video assistant Matt Walsh dismissed Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s attempts to minimize the impact of the team’s illegal taping of opponents’ coaching signals.
“... it was something that they continued to have me do throughout the two years I worked in video, under Coach Belichick,” Walsh told HBO’s Andrea Kremer in an interview scheduled to air Friday night on “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”
“If it was of little or no importance, I imagine they wouldn’t have continued to do it, and probably not taken the chances of going down onto the field in Pittsburgh or shooting from other teams’ stadiums the way we did.”
The Spygate investigation began after the NFL confiscated tapes from a team employee who recorded the New York Jets’ defensive signals during the 2007 opener. Belichick was fined $500,000, while the team was fined $250,000 and forced to forfeit its 2008 first-round draft choice.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell essentially declared an end to the case after a 3½-hour meeting Tuesday with Walsh, who supplied the league with tapes of coaches’ signals made by the Patriots. After meeting with Walsh later Tuesday, Sen. Arlen Specter called Wednesday for an independent investigation. The senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Specter criticized Goodell, saying he has made “ridiculous” assertions that wouldn’t fly “in kindergarten.”
“The line of reasoning that we would give to other teams for why we need a third camera setup was, ‘Well, our coaches want to have a tight shot of the kicker and the holder ... exchange just to go over with the guys in meetings. You know, they want a tight shot, you know, of the quarterback, you know, just to go over the quarterback’s footwork and mechanics in meetings,”’ said Walsh, who mentioned Patriots video coordinator Jimmy Dee as one of the superiors who coached him.
“If I was in the end zone, we would say, ‘Well, we just want to have two end zone shots of the game because our coaches like always seeing the view of our players’ backs.”’
Kremer asked Walsh about Belichick’s comments about his lack of familiarity with Walsh and his actions, referencing a comment that “I couldn’t pick Matt Walsh out of a lineup?”
“Um, it’s funny. The first time I heard that was when somebody in Hawaii brought the quote to me, too. And my first hand answer to them was, ‘Well, I wonder if he can pick me out on one of the three team pictures we’re in together.’
“I don’t know, if I was just that forgettable and he can’t remember me, or if he was just trying to distance himself from this whole situation as best as he could. ... I think Bill’s got a pretty good memory.”
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.
“When I was doing it, I understood what we were doing to be wrong,” Walsh said. “We went to great lengths to keep from being caught. Just saying that the rules were misinterpreted isn’t enough of an apology or a reasoning for what was done. ... Coach Belichick’s explanation for having misinterpreted the rules, to me, that really didn’t sound like taking responsibility for what we had done, especially considering the great lengths that we had gone through to hide what we were doing.”
PFT: Tom Brady, who turns 36 in August, says he has "never felt better throwing the football" and his confidence is peaking.
PFT: Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith said the draft process taught him an important lesson on taking criticism.
Is the case closed on Spygate?
May 13: Roger Goodell says no further sanctioning will be given to New England as a result of his meeting with Matt Walsh.
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