Matt Walsh comes clean on Spygate and the Bucs
I know you're sick of Spygate, but get a load of this.
Among the revelations is a very detailed account of the Patriots' first usage of film containing an opponent's defensive signals. We previously learned that occurred against the Bucs in the 2000 season opener. Now, Walsh sheds some light on how it all unfolded and explains that it proved to be an unbelievable advantage, even though the Bucs won 21-16.
He said he learned the ins and outs from a Patriots quarterback whom he did not identify (Tom Brady perhaps?) who was called into coach Bill Belichick's office and informed by then-offensive coordinator Charlie Weis that the team was in possession of film containing the Bucs' signals. The signals were filmed during a preseason game against Tampa Bay a few weeks earlier. The coaches asked the quarterback to learn the signals and assist in relaying them to starter Drew Bledsoe. Suffice it to say the plan worked beautifully.
Read the excerpts below provided to us today by HBO. All of the quotes are from Walsh.
"I had spoken with one of our quarterbacks that said he was called into Coach Belichick's office shortly before the Tampa Bay game. In the office was Ernie Adams, Charlie Weis, and Coach Belichick. They closed the door, Charlie said to him, 'You know, we've got tape of the Buccaneers' coaches defensive signals. What we're going to do is have you learn this, then we’re going to have you next to Charlie on the sideline, when he's calling in the play to Drew over the coach-to-quarterback communication system. Drew's got the, the earpiece in the helmet, and you're going to tell Charlie the defense that's being called, and we're going to relay the information, or use that in calling the play into Drew.' The quarterback later told me that within two to three seconds of when Monte Kiffin sent a play call into John Lynch, Drew Bledsoe had it in his helmet."
It was so successful, it seems the Patriots could no longer resist.
"After the first game when we played the Buccaneers in the first season, after the tapes would have already been utilized, I went up to one of our quarterbacks. . . I said, 'Was the footage that I shot of the opposing coaches' signals, you know, any use for you guys? Did it help at all? And one of the quarterbacks told me, he said, probably about 75 percent of the time Tampa Bay ran the defense that we thought they were going to run."