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Thread: Steelers receiver Hines Ward suspected New England Patriots spying

          
   
   
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    Steelers receiver Hines Ward suspected New England Patriots spying

    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Wide receiver Hines Ward suspects the New England Patriots may have had some type of inside information on the Pittsburgh Steelers before at least one of the teams' two AFC championship game matchups since the 2001 season.

    Ward is certain the Patriots, while known for the thoroughness of their scouting under coach Bill Belichick, had some kind of unusual help before their 24-17 upset victory in Pittsburgh in the January 2002 AFC championship game. The Patriots went on to win the first of their three Super Bowls.

    "Oh, they knew," Ward said Wednesday. "They were calling our stuff out. They knew, especially that first championship game here at Heinz Field. They knew a lot of our calls. There's no question some of their players were calling out some of our stuff."

    NFL security officers confiscated a video camera and tape from Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella while he was working on the New York Jets' sideline during New England's 38-14 victory on Sunday. The league has confirmed that it is investigating whether the Patriots were taping the Jets' defensive coaches as they signalled to players on the field.

    On Tuesday, Steelers first-year coach Mike Tomlin, who wasn't around for those AFC championship games, said "when there's smoke, there's fire" of widespread suspicion some NFL teams use spying tactics.

    The Patriots also beat the Steelers 41-27 in the January 2005 AFC championship game, though that victory was so convincing it would be difficult to pin it on cheating.

    Still, Ward said he is disappointed there are allegations that any NFL team may have resorted to spying to gain an edge.

    "You would hope that, during their run, when they were winning all their (three) Super Bowls, all that stuff wasn't going on," Ward said. "You look back in the past, and we played them in the championship games, and you kind of wonder. It seemed like they were a step ahead of us at all times, but those games are behind us. There's nothing we can do about it. You just look forward and see what the commissioner (Roger Goodell) will do."

    Ward said any team caught spying should give up high draft picks.

    "It's really hard to say (they should) forfeit games," Ward said. "Draft picks would hurt a lot of teams; take away their first or second-round pick - that would be a stiff penalty to make sure nobody does it again."

    Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend also felt suspicious, if only for one play he didn't identify, during one of the AFC title games.

    That led quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to joke, "If they cheated during our AFC championship game (in 2005), so we should get a Super Bowl ring."

    Roethlisberger has given little thought to the possibility the Patriots may have had an unfair advantage against Pittsburgh.

    "No, it's actually the farthest thing from my mind. I don't think it's been in the front of too many people's mind," he said.

    Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton also downplayed the cheating talk, saying scouting is so through in the NFL that it's difficult to fool any team.

    "In this league, everybody knows what everybody's going to run. It's just a matter of stopping it," he said. "The bottom line is you watch enough film and you know where guys are and where they're coming from."

    Dick Hoak, the NFL's most tenured assistant coach before retiring this year after 35 seasons, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Steelers once received a suspicious video tape by mistake from an opposing team during a routine tape exchange.

    The tape focused on a coach making hand signals from the sideline, Hoak said, but the Steelers did not report the tape to the NFL.

    -

    AP freelance writer Jim Wexell contributed to this report.
    source

  2. #2
    Stairwayto7's Avatar
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    I just don`t like when he refers to them as " being a step ahead" Could this be cheating? Yes. Maybe they were better and we need to get over that?? Just throwing it out there. They were pretty damn good even though I hate to admit it!


    **** Formerly Clevestinks!****
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clevestinks View Post
    I just don`t like when he refers to them as " being a step ahead" Could this be cheating? Yes. Maybe they were better and we need to get over that?? Just throwing it out there. They were pretty damn good even though I hate to admit it!
    yes they where however knowing what we where calling did not really help....

    Could they have won the game even if they did not know what we where calling yes, however they did know wand for that I am not happy about it and hope the NFL comes down hard on them...

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    WaterBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clevestinks View Post
    I just don`t like when he refers to them as " being a step ahead" Could this be cheating? Yes. Maybe they were better and we need to get over that?? Just throwing it out there. They were pretty damn good even though I hate to admit it!
    and maybe they werent. we will never know for sure if they were stealing our signals. cheating bastards.

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    Top 30 BBG7's Avatar
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    I've heard rumors of him doing this well before his days with the Pats...so I wouldn't doubt they cheated their way through all of their championships. They have been caught doing it before...it's about time the NFL lay the law down! Bilicheat claims to have misinterpreted the rules...that's just crap. The NFL Network read the rule and you would have to be the stupidest person in the world to misinterpret that...it's as plain as day!

    sig made by K Train....Thank you!

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    They were a step ahead or Cowher was a step behind

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    Top 30 BBG7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB 67 View Post
    They were a step ahead or Cowher was a step behind
    probably both

    sig made by K Train....Thank you!

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    "stealing" the oppositions signals is not against the rules. After all the defensive coaches and/or players are making them right out into the open. Now recording them and broadcasting them out, that's a different story. Depending on what the NFL really finds out about what the Pats have been doing and for how long one has to wonder if this will taint their SB wins in the eyes of the fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohio steeler View Post
    We watched this practice in Ohio high school games but I never once believed that with the hugeness of the NFL and how they have always had a solid policy against gambling that something like this couldn't happen.
    If Ward and from what I've seen on the Web tonight, others are right then the next step is up to the Government and some quick search warrants that should begin with the great files of NFL Films. If this same Photographer shows up on film at any other games then the League has a real problem that must be dealt with as soon as possible.
    Winning a game is important but when a teams operation involves a practice that gives them an advantage in a game it also effects the multi millions of dollars that are wagered all over the world " On Every Given Sunday".
    For the league and some of the finest people in sports I hope that this was a one time thing but for the Game Of Football I hope that we don't have a bit of what our current Government and Justice Department have been doing.
    We don't need a cover up or we will see the Fans thinking twice when they see the price of an NFL ticket and go back to College Football for their entertainment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBG7 View Post
    I've heard rumors of him doing this well before his days with the Pats...so I wouldn't doubt they cheated their way through all of their championships. They have been caught doing it before...it's about time the NFL lay the law down! Bilicheat claims to have misinterpreted the rules...that's just crap. The NFL Network read the rule and you would have to be the stupidest person in the world to misinterpret that...it's as plain as day!
    He sure as **** wasn't doing it in Cleveland. So now we know what it takes to be a winner. Bill Ballashit can kiss the Hall of Fame good by. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
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    After reading the cheating news tonight I wondered just how many NFL fans will think twice the next time they see their offense stuffed at the line and some fat announcer smarts off " man it's like the defense is in their huddle.
    Saturday night I'll be at a Mount Union game in Alliance, Ohio and watch those non scholarship boys play the game the way it was intended to be played.
    Last edited by dick rasile; 09-13-2007 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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