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 Patriots taped Rams walk-through before Super Bowl?

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Registration date : 2008-02-04

PostSubject: Patriots taped Rams walk-through before Super Bowl?   Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:59 pm

PHOENIX - The Patriots have denied a report quoting a source who says the team illegally taped the St. Louis Rams' walk-through session the day before Super Bowl XXXVI six years ago.

The Boston Herald reported in yesterday's editions that a source had knowledge of the illegal taping at the New Orleans Superdome the day before the game. The Patriots beat the heavily favored Rams in the first of three Super Bowl wins.

"The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walk-through on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI is absolutely false," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue."

Rams team president John Smith said through a spokesman, "At this point, we have no comment."

The Patriots were caught taping the Jets' defensive signals in a Week 1 game at Giants Stadium this season. After an investigation by the NFL, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, the team was fined $250,000 and the Patriots' 2008 first-round pick was taken away. The Patriots still have a first-round pick from the 49ers that was acquired in a 2007 trade.

According to the report, an unnamed source said a Patriots employee secretly videotaped the Rams' walk-through, in which they went through their plays at a reduced speed. After the Patriots' walk-through, the employee remained behind to tape the Rams' session. The cameraman was not asked to identify himself or produce a press pass and rode the media shuttle back to the Patriots' hotel after the walk-through was over, according to the Herald.

The Giants have taken extra precautions to protect their practices from being taped, according to team officials. This is done as a matter of course, but the team is even more sensitive to the issue in light of the Patriots' involvement in Spygate.

"They've been extra vigilant," one team official said of the club's security staff.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spent much of his annual Super Bowl briefing Friday addressing issues related to Spygate. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has pressed Goodell to directly address Congress about his decision to destroy Patriots tapes that showed previous spying. Goodell destroyed seven tapes, including one from the Jets-Patriots game last September.

"There was no indication that it benefited them in any of the Super Bowl victories," Goodell said. Asked Friday if the league had investigated any allegations involving the Patriots' Super Bowl win over St. Louis six years ago, he said, "I'm not aware of that."

Yesterday, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league previously heard about the possibility of the taping of the walk-through but found no evidence to support it.

"We were aware of the rumor months ago and looked into it," he said. "There was no evidence of it on the tapes or in the notes produced by the Patriots, and the Patriots told us it was not true."

The Patriots did not have a walk-through yesterday. The Giants had theirs at the Cardinals' practice facility.

In an interview with, Matt Walsh, a former Patriots video department employee, suggested that he has information that could have exposed the Patriots' taping procedures before the Spygate episode during their Week 1 game against the Jets. The league has not spoken to Walsh, who has declined to detail any allegations without getting immunity from prosecution.

"If I had a reason to want to go public, or tell a story, I could have done it before it even broke," Walsh told "I could have said everything rather than having Mangini be the one to bring it out ... If they're doing a thorough investigation, they didn't contact me. So draw your own conclusions. Maybe they felt they didn't need to. Maybe the league feels they got satisfactory answers from everything the Patriots sent them."

Walsh, 31, now an assistant golf pro at the Kaanapali Golf Resort in Lahaina, Hawaii, worked for the Patriots from 1996 until the winter of 2003, when he was fired.

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