View Full Version : Herm Waves Hello to Patriots.

03-02-2008, 04:11 PM
POSTED 2:57 p.m. EST, March 2, 2008


The whole free-agency thing has made us nearly forget about that thing called Spygate.

Key word: "Nearly."

Matt Walsh still hasn't spoken and, more importantly, his lawyer still hasn't commented on whether reports that Walsh isn't bound by a confidentiality agreement are accurate.

Meanwhile, there's another previously unknown tidbit about Spygate I, courtesy of Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.

Apparently, then-Jets coach Herm Edwards and defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson spotted a Patriots camera operator during a 2004 game between the two teams, and Edwards and Henderson waved "hello" to it (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2008/03/02/2008-03-02_4_years_before_scandal_herm_edwards_wave.html).

But why didn't Edwards make a proverbial federal case out of the situation? Perhaps it's because Edwards realized that teams routinely try to steal each others defensive coaching signals, and that part of the challenge of coaching a team is to come up with ways to protect the secrets.

And that's why the real problem with Spygate I was that the Jets' zeal to "nail" the Pats came at the expense of the league's broader interests. The staggering penalty imposed on the Patriots created the perception that this was a rare and unusual occurrence, which called for a rare and unusual consequence. As we've all learned from folks like Jimmy Johnson, it wasn't.

Hey, it was still stupid and/or arrogant for the Patriots to keep videotaping defensive coaching signals when it was known that teams were trying to catch them. But the ensuing brouhaha has somehow created far more damage than steroids or HGH or any other scandal that the league has seen in years, if not ever.