If Patriots Spied on Rams, NFL Could Crack Down on Jets, Browns, Raiders
Let's assume the worst for the moment about the latest spygate allegations: Let's say that the Patriots really did assign a team employee to tape the Rams' final walk-through before the Super Bowl in 2002, and that the Patriots' defensive coaches then scrutinized the tape as they made last-minute adjustments to their game plan.
If all that is true, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will most certainly discipline Patriots coach Bill Belichick. But he wouldn't stop there.
The Patriots' defensive coaching staff for that game consisted of Belichick and five assistants: Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, inside linebackers coach Pepper Johnson, defensive backs coach Eric Mangini, defensive line coach Randy Melvin and outside linebackers coach Rob Ryan. All of those five are still in the NFL, but only Johnson is still with the Patriots.
Crennel is now head coach of the Browns and Melvin is one of his assistants. Mangini is head coach of the Jets. Ryan is defensive coordinator of the Raiders. If those four men all cheated to win the Super Bowl, then all four need to be disciplined.
What would that discipline entail? It's awfully hard to say because we still don't know much about this case. But if it's bad as some are suggesting, all of Belichick's defensive assistants from the 2001 season could be suspended. Jets, Browns and Raiders fans may want to keep an eye on this story.