Notebook: Signal-stealing remarks brushed off

Brad Childress' comments about the Patriots stealing signals in 2006 have barely made a dent with New England players and coaches. Plus, the Vikings' secondary appears to be getting healthier, the Patriots are looking to extend an impressive and nearly record-tying streak and other notes and quotes, including Bill Belichick's thoughts on Childress.

Vikings coach Brad Childress created some waves with comments this week criticizing the officials, but he also went back in time and talked about the New England Patriots' ability to steal signals from the opposing sideline when the two teams last met in 2006, before a defensive player was allowed to have a transmitter in his helmet to receive calls from the sideline.

"I'm mindful of the last time we faced them here on Monday Night Football. It was like a surgical procedure. That's back when we used to signal (plays from the sideline) and things like that," Childress said Monday, referring to the Patriots 31-7 win that night. "I remember having a conversation with (former defensive coordinator) Mike Tomlin about that. These were some of the all-time great signal stealers. In fact, that's what was going on. They were holding, holding, holding. We were signaling from the sideline. They were good at it. It's like stealing signals from a catcher."

Some teams might have taken that quote and posted it in the locker room. The Patriots don't seem to care that much.

"I'm not really too worried about 2006. I'm worried about this Sunday against Minnesota," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters in Boston. "I'm not worried about next Sunday, last Sunday, '06, '02, '89. Really, it's just this Sunday."

Even Childress tried to downplay his comments two days later.

"I said what I said. That's in the past. We all try to get any tips that we can get or glean standing on the sidelines. I'm sure it's done throughout the league. We do it as well. I'll just let those stand," he said on a conference call with Patriots reporters. "I have a great deal of respect for Coach Belichick and the way he's formulated that program in the last 10 years, and I've told him so. He has a mentally tough team that are great competitors that play the way I hope one of my teams play one of these days."

Patriots receiver Wes Welker said Childress' comments about signal-stealing haven't even been discussed in the New England locker room, but quarterback Tom Brady said every team is looking for an advantage.

"When I'm out there on the field, I know I'm listening for what they're saying. I'm trying to hear different things that they're saying," he said. "Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you're trying to fool them with what you're saying. Everyone has to communicate out there. To hear the different forms of communication that go (on) out there, if it helps you one play in a game, that's great. You just study it and try to see if it will pay off. I know other teams have said they watch TV copies of our games and they have all the stuff we do. I guess that's just part of being diligent."


The Vikings secondary appears to be in better shape heading into their game against the New England Patriots than it was against the Green Bay Packers Sunday night.

Rookie cornerback Chris Cook, who was limited last week in practice as he recovered from meniscus surgery, was a full participant on Wednesday, and safety Husain Abdullah (concussion), who didn't practice at all last week, was also a full participant as well.

The offense wasn't nearly as fortunate. QB Brett Favre (foot/ankle) and guard Steve Hutchinson (quadriceps), both Pro Bowl players, did not practice Wednesday. Hutchinson had a sleeve on his right leg as he watched practice.

Favre might not practice all week as the Vikings try to give his the fractures in his ankle and heel time to rest. Favre said on Wednesday that he hopes to play on Sunday, despite having a walking boot on since Monday.

Also appearing on the Vikings' injury report as limited were G/T Chris DeGeare (ankle), DT Letroy Guion (hamstring), CB Lito Sheppard (hand), C John Sullivan (calf) and DT Pat Williams (quadriceps).

For the Patriots, S Patrick Chung (knee), S Jarrad Page (calf), WR Matthew Slater (ankle), RB Fred Taylor (toe) and DT Vince Wilfork (not injured) did not practice.


The Patriots have won 23 consecutive games at Gillette Stadium when Brady starts.

"I love playing at home. There are quite a few things you can do at home that you don't necessarily do on the road, but I don't think about it that much," Brady said. "We've had pretty good success since I've been here, since I arrived in 2000. We just have to play good football. I think that's why those streaks continue, because you're executing well. You're not just going to win because you're playing at home; you're going to win because you're playing well.

The NFL record for most consecutive home wins by a starting quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger is held by Brett Favre, who won 25 straight games at Lambeau Field from 1995-98.


  • Wide receiver Randy Moss, who played for the Patriots for three-plus years, once again declined to talk to reporters on Wednesday. It's been two weeks since Moss has engaged reporters by answering questions. The Vikings traded a third-round draft choice for Moss on Oct. 7.

  • Wide receiver Sidney Rice was working out for trainers and assistant coaches again on Wednesday after practice, catching balls while moving half speed and doing some moderate change-of-direction drills.

  • Defensive end Jared Allen, who has one sack this season, was asked if his sack totals were down because he cut his mullet. "This is the Samson theory, right? Fortunately, I've sacked the quarterback without long hair before, so we'll see what happens," he said.

  • Brady was asked if he could envision offensive lineman Matt Light and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork flying to California to pick him up to play, like Steve Hutchinson and Jared Allen did with Brett Favre. "No, they'd be flying coach JetBlue or something like that," Brady said. "I would love it. I would never do that though. I don't think I would. Maybe things happen when you get older, but …"

  • Belichick on what he thinks of Childress as a coach: "I think the Vikings had a great year last year. That's a credit to the team, the coach, the organization, everybody involved with it," Belichick said.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

  • Viking Update Top Stories