New York Daily News - Don Shula, the coach of the only perfect season in NFL history, believes the Patriots have a legitimate shot at running the table and joining his '72 Dolphins in going undefeated in the regular season and playoffs. But if they can pull it off, Shula insists the NFL needs to place an asterisk next to the Patriots in the record books because Bill Belichick got caught cheating in the Spygate scandal.
Shula is naturally protective of the Dolphins' accomplishment and certainly wants that '72 team to stand alone. Long ago, he said, he learned that "rooting doesn't make anything happen. The Patriots look so good. I think they got a real shot at doing it."
The Dolphins were 14-0 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs, including the Super Bowl. If the Patriots don't lose, they will finish 19-0. Shula admires the Patriots' team, but then, without being asked, he said Spygate negatively impacts the way they should be perceived this season.
"The Spygate thing has diminished what they've accomplished. You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They've got it," Shula told the Daily News yesterday. "Belichick was fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,00 and they lost a first-round draft choice. That tells you the seriousness or significance of what they found."