Taping Scandal Widens

The widening instances of taping of opponents by the Patriots is said to include every team that Pats have played over the last several years, including the Vikings, in their own illegal bootleg tape library.

The last week has been dominated by the news that the New England Patriots were caught taping defensive signals from the Jets from their Week One game. However, the circle is widening as to the extent of the taping that the Patriots did and it is said to include film on every team the Patriots have played over the last several years, including the Vikings.

Why would playing the Vikings once every four years make a difference? It might have already paid dividends. The story as it's growing has it that the Nixonesque eavesdropping the Patriots have done was intended to include coordinators and defensive assistants. If they went to another team, they likely would bring much of the same terminology with them to their new team.

The benefit of having tape heading into last year's game with the Vikings would be that the Patriots likely had some idea what the Vikings defensive signals could be due in part to Mike Tomlin being an assistant with the Buccaneers and bringing some of their signal-calling with him to the Vikings. Having tape of Tomlin on the sidelines almost surely helps the cause with Tomlin now in the AFC as a direct rival with the Steelers.

At first, many thought the penalty was excessive. As the story continues to unfold, it seems that the punishment fits the crime. Now we may understand more why coaches cover their mouths with playcards when signaling plays to their quarterbacks.

* One proposed solution to the taping scandal is to put a microphone in the headset of a defensive player for each team. But that poses its own set of problems that may not immediately meet the eye. On offense, there is a quarterback in on every play and, since he gets the ball to start every play, it is logical to put microphones in their helmets. But on defense, players aren't in on every play and some coaches have linebackers make defensive calls, while others have safeties in charge of that duty. Without a uniform way of doing the same on defense, we may be left with the same archaic system that has coaches making moves akin to smoke signals to keep sending in plays.
* Of the Lions' 20 points Sunday, 17 came off turnovers. The Vikings got seven points directly from a turnover, but failed to capitalize on any of the other four turnovers.
* The Vikings didn't have a penalty until five minutes remained in the first quarter. It would be the first of 12 penalties they had during the game.
* Darren Sharper's two interceptions Sunday give him 51 for his career – 11 of those coming against the Lions.
* Troy Williamson suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday's game. Childress will likely address that matter at his weekly press conference today.
* The Bears had to use kicker Robbie Gould to punt yesterday after suffering a second injury to their punters in as many weeks. Brad Maynard missed Sunday's game with the Chiefs due to injury and Dirk Johnson, signed as his replacement, was injured in the third quarter and Gould had to do the remainder of their punting.

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