Defense Takes Offense to Story

It's a story that has become national news, this idea that the Dolphins bought tapes of Patriots games with audio so they would later be able to steal signals. But Nick Saban and his players were quick to dismiss on Wednesday, and Zach Thomas was unhappy that the suggestion diminished what the Dolphins accomplished in shutting out Tom Brady and New England on Sunday.

Thomas normally talks to the media on Thursday every week, but he did his weekly session a day earlier because he wanted to address the story.

""That whole thing was blown out of proportion," Thomas said. "It's kind of frustrating because it takes away what we did in the game. Everybody's thinking the only way we can beat the New England Patriots is if we steal their signals. There was no stealing signals. We watched tape. I mean, the frustrating part of it … it just frustrates me to even be put in the conversation of the whole stealing signals."

The Palm Beach Post reported earlier this week that two players said the Dolphins had bought tapes.

The league provides tapes to teams, but those do not include audio. Still, it's not like it's difficult for a team to just get a television replay of a team's game with the commentary and be able to hear a quarterback call out signals at the line of scrimmage.

Saban called the story the "most ridiculous thing" he had ever heard in his life, and Jason Taylor pretty much followed suit when he addressed the media.

"It never ceases to amaze me that some, I don't want to call anybody names, but some buddy out there just comes up with stuff," Taylor said. "Buying the videotape? I thought it was hilarious. And actually when I heard about it I got a phone call about it and I was laughing it off. I guess Zach had mentioned something about it and I got on the Internet and wasted my time looking it up and it's unbelievable.

"Whoever out there has not been on the sideline, there's a dome that's about this big that the guy holds, that if you flatulate [sic] he's going to hear you. We've got TiVo … it goes back, like Nick said, I don't know about 100 years, but it goes back a long time. You can turn on your TV or turn on your TiVo and you hear a snap count. If you don't do that — if you live in a box all week — then you can go out on the field and the first series or two you're going to hear those cadences and you can start getting tendencies on him. If they're stealing stuff, stealing tape here or buying it on eBay or wherever they buy it and they're stealing signals, I'd like Nick to call me upstairs and let me know what they are because he hasn't told me yet."

In case you're wondering, the Patriots have dismissed the whole notion of the Dolphins stealing signs or doing anything improper and the NFL has no plans on doing anything.

The bottom line is the Dolphins did nothing illegal in beating the Patriots, just something very effective.

"They blew that out of proportion when somebody said ‘bought tapes,' " Thomas said. "There were no bought tapes. Why you gotta buy tapes in this league? We have enough tapes we watch. It's frustrating because it takes away a great win for our defense. That's the only thing that frustrated me -- that's the only way we can beat the New England Patriots, is if we steal their signals.

"First of all, Tom Brady was going first sound the whole time. He wasn't even really checking off a lot. He knows what we're doing, we've played each other so many times. That whole thing's blown out of proportion. I just hated that even a quote they put chopped up into the mix with that (about) bought tapes, and all that. That was not said. I hated to be associated with that, but they're going to run with it. We won that game, we played well, we're a different team right now and, like I said … it's done."


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