AFC Championship: Patriots vs Steelers, the buildup

Curt S Loew

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DrewDawg

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Everyone keeps saying it's not a big deal, but I'm enjoying that lots of people are still discussing Antonio Brown's video.
 

Number45forever

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Everyone keeps saying it's not a big deal, but I'm enjoying that lots of people are still discussing Antonio Brown's video.
Was saying exactly the same thing this morning. Please, keep this going in the media cycle for a couple more days. ESPN owes us this, right?

Regarding Butler on Brown, I agree the size difference here is something that's likely playing in. A lot of the other top receivers are huge, strong guys. Doubling them with bigger corners like Rowe or whoever makes sense. Butler and Brown physically match up so much better.

Count me in favor of the Revis-Browner year special of doubling the best WR with your No. 2 corner and a safety. Then, leave the No. 1 corner (Revis then, Butler now) to man up on the No. 2 WR.
 

j44thor

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Everyone keeps saying it's not a big deal, but I'm enjoying that lots of people are still discussing Antonio Brown's video.
Could see this backfire and Brown wanting to prove it wasn't a distraction. He is a lot mentally tougher than OBJ so I don't think Brown will wilt from this. Hopefully it is just a non factor.
 

kelpapa

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Brown is 3" -7" shorter than all the others on that list. I imagine that's a big part of this.
Absolutely. SN said that Rowe/Ryan covers the larger player, and Butler typically covers the quicker play. I hadn't realized that was how the coverage was broken down, but this list would agree with that.
 

drleather2001

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Could see this backfire and Brown wanting to prove it wasn't a distraction. He is a lot mentally tougher than OBJ so I don't think Brown will wilt from this. Hopefully it is just a non factor.
I mean... You think a professional, All-Pro level, NFL player needs to pull the reverse-psychology nonsense to get adequately motivated for an AFC Championship game?

This "distraction" stuff is 10% real and 90% built up for the storyline. I'd wager $1,000 that many people here have thought about it more than Brown or the rest of the Steelers have.
 

pappymojo

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I mean... You think a professional, All-Pro level, NFL player needs to pull the reverse-psychology nonsense to get adequately motivated for an AFC Championship game?

This "distraction" stuff is 10% real and 90% built up for the storyline. I'd wager $1,000 that many people here have thought about it more than Brown or the rest of the Steelers have.
He wasn't suggesting that Brown needs to use reverse-psychology to motivate himself. He was suggesting that Brown may feel that he was in the wrong and that he acted unprofessionally and may, as a result, be more focused and determined to prove himself than he would be otherwise.
 

drleather2001

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He wasn't suggesting that Brown needs to use reverse-psychology to motivate himself. He was suggesting that Brown may feel that he was in the wrong and that he acted unprofessionally and may, as a result, be more focused and determined to prove himself than he would be otherwise.
I'm sorry, I don't see the difference. "motivated" is synonymous with "focused and determined to prove himself."
 

DrewDawg

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This "distraction" stuff is 10% real and 90% built up for the storyline. I'd wager $1,000 that many people here have thought about it more than Brown or the rest of the Steelers have.
Maybe. But they're still being asked about it and Brown put out another statement apparently.

At the end of the day, it likely has little meaning either way. I just enjoy it.
 

drleather2001

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Maybe. But they're still being asked about it and Brown put out another statement apparently.

At the end of the day, it likely has little meaning either way. I just enjoy it.
Sure, it's a "thing" in that people are talking about it. I just think people are talking about it to create a narrative that they can play up and then use after-the-fact, as either "Steelers lose and Brown's mishap MEANS something" or "Loose Steelers shake off distractions as they dispatch uptight Patriots."

It's shit created by the media to fill a void, just like the Giants party boat thing a couple of weeks ago.
 

TheoShmeo

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The same refrain gets raised any time there's bulletin board material or anything of that nature in the mix. "You mean playing in the X game is not motivation enough for a professional athlete?! Guffaw. Nothing to see here." And yet we often hear after a game that some perceived slight gave a player a little extra push (whether that's actually true or not)..

I don't know the answer in this case but I don't see it as a reach to suggest that Brown is a bit embarrassed about all the attention and getting rebuked by Tomlin and Ben, and as a result will amp up his focus and intensity a bit for this game. Seems like a human reaction. Or at least plausible.
 

johnmd20

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Sure, it's a "thing" in that people are talking about it. I just think people are talking about it to create a narrative that they can play up and then use after-the-fact, as either "Steelers lose and Brown's mishap MEANS something" or "Loose Steelers shake off distractions as they dispatch uptight Patriots."

It's shit created by the media to fill a void, just like the Giants party boat thing a couple of weeks ago.
If it means absolutely nothing, why does Belichick care so much about the players not creating outside distractions?

It isn't the end of the world and this alone won't cause the Steelers to lose, but it's fair to say sometimes games are won on the margins, that extra 1 or 2% break that occurs for whatever reason, preparation, focus, technique, training, and luck.

It's Belichick's goal to be on the right side of those margins, so he cares a lot about avoiding distractions. If the Steelers are talking about Brown's video and not how they are going to deal with Neon Dion Lewis on the outside, it's not good for the team.

Say what you will about these guys being professionals, OBJ played one of the worst games of the year after his trip on the boat, which was nothing but a big distraction for him and the team, rightly or wrongly.
 

pappymojo

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I'm sorry, I don't see the difference. "motivated" is synonymous with "focused and determined to prove himself."
So, are you saying that all pro athletes don't use recent events as extra motivation to perform well in short term scenarios?

That just seems wrong to me.

I assume that every person with a job that they have had for a long time experiences down periods where they are quite simply not as motivated to work and perform well as they are at other times of their career. I think it is just part of human nature. Granted playing in the AFC Championship is probably sufficient motivation to work and perform well, but it's not like extra motivation is going to be a negative.

Furthermore, do you think that Tom Brady's performance in this year was at all influenced by his motivation to react to the deflategate suspension?
 

Marciano490

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Athletes who go that route - pumping themselves up over perceived slights or to show this guy or that - can find anything to motivate them. If it wasn't the video, it'd be the girl who dissed him in high school, or the waiter who didn't recognize him, or the joke Eli Rogers made about taking over as WR1 next year. Do you think Brady and Rodgers still wake up pissed up their draft positions, or do they get to the gym and the field and use that as a totem to work themselves up over? Even for multimillionaires, there's enough shit in life to use as a springboard if that's your motivational technique.
 

pappymojo

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Perhaps my inclusion of Brady's performance this year was not a good comparison. For Brown, however, we are not necessarily talking about perceived slights, but rather we are talking about someone who screwed up. Perhaps a better comparison would be Dion Lewis' fumbles in the last game.
 

bankshot1

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Not being a professional athlete, I have no idea, how bulletin board material impacts motivation. But as an observer of the human race, no one likes to be disrespected. That Tomlin called the Pat's assholes is not a big deal, and might have been mentioned briefly in the Pat's locker-room. I suspect BB has leveraged it, if he saw an advantage in doing so. And as I recall several years ago a Steeler DB who got mouthy before a game about the Pats/Brady, was targeted by Brady, and he got burned for 3 TDs. It might have happened any way, but as I recall, there was a extra dose of Pats chatter about the guy after the game. .
 

drleather2001

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Yeah. I assume that to get to the level that they are at, they are capable of motivating themselves sufficiently, out of necessity.

Getting to the Super Bowl is a pretty big motivating factor. To suggest that this silly ass video thing is what will motivate Brown over that (plus myriad other motivating factors like his coaches screaming in his face or his teammates counting on him and the fans, think of the FANS, man!) just seems nonsensical and borne more out of "Hey, wouldn't it be fun if..." than reality.

I mean, it's also insulting, frankly, to imply that the guy cares more about making up for a non-event that's all about himself than actually winning a championship. Think about it for a second.
 

drleather2001

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That being said, half of these guys are fucking lunatics so who knows. And at some point, their perception is kind of reality for them.

By the way, I doubt very much that Brady would let a personal slight manifest itself on athe field. I'm sure he relishes, after the fact, burning someone that shat on him in the press. But he and Belichick are very much into making the right decisions, not the one that feels the best. That's Rex Ryan shit.
 

pappymojo

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My opinion is fairly simple.

1) Brown was in the wrong to broadcast the video of his coach talking to his team in the locker-room after the game.
2) In the grand scheme of things, the video doesn't mean anything but it has become a story, and Brown's coaches and team-mates have to speak to it when they meet with the media.

How do you expect a professional athlete to react when they make a mistake?

A) Ignore the mistake, and go about your work as usual.
B) Acknowledge the mistake, but treat it as a past event and go about your work as usual.
C) Acknowledge the mistake, and rededicate your works efforts to make up for the mistake.
 

Curt S Loew

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My opinion is fairly simple.

1) Brown was in the wrong to broadcast the video of his coach talking to his team in the locker-room after the game.
2) In the grand scheme of things, the video doesn't mean anything but it has become a story, and Brown's coaches and team-mates have to speak to it when they meet with the media.

How do you expect a professional athlete to react when they make a mistake?

A) Ignore the mistake, and go about your work as usual.
B) Acknowledge the mistake, but treat it as a past event and go about your work as usual.
C) Acknowledge the mistake, and rededicate your works efforts to make up for the mistake.
D) Snapchat your Haircut.

So, I guess A) really.
 

Marciano490

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Not being a professional athlete, I have no idea, how bulletin board material impacts motivation. But as an observer of the human race, no one likes to be disrespected. That Tomlin called the Pat's assholes is not a big deal, and might have been mentioned briefly in the Pat's locker-room. I suspect BB has leveraged it, if he saw an advantage in doing so. And as I recall several years ago a Steeler DB who got mouthy before a game about the Pats/Brady, was targeted by Brady, and he got burned for 3 TDs. It might have happened any way, but as I recall, there was a extra dose of Pats chatter about the guy after the game. .
Different strokes, but I've found a lot of guys at that love - guys who need to be pumped and jacked to perform their best - are geniuses at coming up with perceived slights. If it's not the bulletin board material given by the other team, they'll find some "nobody believes in us" trope, or an ancient insult or make stuff out of whole cloth.
 

jsinger121

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Some notes on ref Terry McAulay.

As a referee, he has worked eight games at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots have covered the spread in five of those games, and they’ve gone 7-1 overall in those games (the lone loss was the Week 17 scrimmage against the Bills in 2014). He was also the referee for Super Bowl XXXIX, when the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 in a game in which New England was favored by seven points.

McAulay did end up in the news earlier this season, coincidentally in a game that involved the Steelers. Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. complained about McAulay’s crew for what he considered a one-sided affair.

“There’s plenty of calls in the game, and anybody can go watch the film. Anybody. Anybody can go watch the film and see exactly what was going on. I don’t know. I don’t really think that we should have this crew anymore … with the past history and everything that’s going on,” Beckham said, referencing the famed fight-fest between the Giants and Panthers in 2015, which McAaulay’s crew also officiated.
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/01/19/pats-steelers-ref-terry-mcaulay-has-favorable-history-for-road-teams/
 

Van Everyman

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I would love this unconditionally were it not for "Spygate's Wounds Are Still Painful for Ex-Steelers."

What wounds, you ask?
I'll spoiler it because people really should read the whole thing.
Starkey's Mailbag: Did the Patriots cheat the Steelers out of Super Bowls?
January 17, 2017 11:07 AM

Thomas Zielke, @ThomasZielke:
Do the Steelers also need to game plan for the Patriots’ cheating?

Starkey: They need to game plan for Tom Brady and all his weapons and the league’s No. 1 scoring defense, Mr. Zielke, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to lock the hotel trash bins and bring walkie-talkies to the stadium in case the headsets go out.

Actually, I think the best way to go into New England is to treat it like any other place in the league. I think people see ghosts there because of what may or may not have transpired in the past.

That being said, let us celebrate the fact that Mike Tomlin has never been shy about calling out the Patriots, culminated, of course, by blasting them in what was supposed to be a private locker-room setting the other night (thanks, AB). Using a single word, Tomlin described the Patriots as the rest of the universe sees them, and our Paul Zeise delivered a wonderful take.

But it’s not like Tomlin has shied away from ripping the Pats in public. Do you remember last year’s season-opener? That was the game in which the Steelers, having had all offseason to prepare for Brady, unveiled their “Invisible Man” defensive package, featuring nobody, nobody at all, covering Rob Gronkowski on multiple plays. It was also the night Tomlin freaked out and all but accused the Patriots of messing with his headset.

It’s never a bad time to recount that postgame media address …

Reporter: “Mike, there was a report that your radio went out?”

Tomlin: “That’s always the case.”

Reporter: “Here?”

Tomlin: “Yes.”

Reporter: “So you’re saying every time you play here you have rad—”

Tomlin: “I said what I said.”

Reporter: “Mike, what exactly happened? You just didn’t have any communication?

Tomlin: “We were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half. On our headsets.”

Was he seeing ghosts? Maybe. Maybe not. Again, I believe people get paranoid when they go to Foxborough. I also believe that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you.

Back in his first season (2007), right after Spygate broke, Tomlin was asked about previous whispers of New England spying on coaches in order to steal signals. His answer was surprisingly candid.

“You hear rumors of things of that nature,” he said. “It’s nothing new. In terms of confirming it, it’s never been confirmed in any instance to my knowledge. But usually where there is smoke, there’s fire. Those rumors are founded on something. So it’s not totally shocking, no.”

Nothing is shocking when it comes to the Patriots. The key is to not get freaked out.

Joe Starkey, @JoeStarkey1: You never answered your own question, jerk: Did the Patriots cheat the Steelers out of a Super Bowl or two?

Starkey: Hi, Joe. I’m going to say no in 2001, despite Hines Ward’s protestations. I’m a lot more suspicious of 2004, when the Patriots likely stole the Steelers’ defensive hand signals during a regular-season game at Heinz Field and came back here for the AFC championship.

The nagging question about Spygate has always been this: How, precisely, did the Patriots benefit?

Where was the smoking gun?

ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham offered something close to one in a piece published in September of 2015. The key Steelers-related part read like this:

Some of the Steelers’ defensive coaches remain convinced that a deep touchdown pass from Brady to Deion Branch in the January 2005 AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Patriots 41-27, came from stolen signals because Pittsburgh hadn’t changed its signals all year, sources say, and the two teams had played a game in the regular season that (Matt) Walsh told investigators he believes was taped. “They knew the signals, so they knew when it went in what the coverage was and how to attack it,” says a former Steelers coach. “I’ve had a couple of guys on my teams from New England, and they’ve told me those things.

Would that be good enough in a court of law? No. But it’s pretty damning in the court of public opinion, as are the contentions of multiple former Steelers players and coaches. When Spygate broke, I asked then-defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau if stolen signals would have helped the Patriots back in the ’04 title game.

“I don’t see how it could hurt ’em,” he said.

For what’s it worth, multiple ex-Steelers, from Ward to Chris Hoke to James Farrior, have expressed the opinion they felt cheated. After the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl five years ago, Steelers linebacker James Harrison tweeted, “Told you, cheaters never win!!!!!!!!!.”

Nobody called out the Patriots louder than ex-Steelers linebacker Larry Foote, who told 93.7 The Fan two years ago: “I still feel like in ’04 I should have another Super Bowl ring on my finger. I had a feeling they knew our plays before the ball was snapped.”

Sour grapes? Perhaps. But I always respond with a simple question when somebody pooh-poohs Spygate: If the Patriots weren’t receiving tangible benefits, why do it so long? Why would somebody as smart as Belichick put effort into systematically stealing signals for so many years if it wasn’t helping him in any way whatsoever?
http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/joe-starkey/2017/01/17/joe-starkey-mailbag-new-england-patriots-cheat-steelers-afc-championship-super-bowl/stories/201701170112

Woof tickets, indeed.
 

pappymojo

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For me, the potential motivating factor for Brown is not that the media has turned this into a story, and the potential motivating factor is not based on any reaction from the Patriots, but that potentially the motivating factor for Brown is that he may feel that he did something wrong and/or that his actions have had a negative impact on his team. Even if he isn't one of those guys who motivates themselves through perceived slights, he might be one of those guys works harder after making mistakes.

And I think that is what j44thor was getting at.
 

Marciano490

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For me, the potential motivating factor for Brown is not that the media has turned this into a story, and the potential motivating factor is not based on any reaction from the Patriots, but that potentially the motivating factor for Brown is that he may feel that he did something wrong and/or that his actions have had a negative impact on his team. Even if he isn't one of those guys who motivates themselves through perceived slights, he might be one of those guys works harder after making mistakes.

And I think that is what j44thor was getting at.
I can see that as a nice narrative and some pop psychology, buy my and Leather's response would be...."working harder than he did to be arguably the best receiver in the NFL?" This isn't a Moss or Haynesworth type go.
 

TheoShmeo

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Starkey talks out of both sides of his mouth there:

Actually, I think the best way to go into New England is to treat it like any other place in the league. I think people see ghosts there because of what may or may not have transpired in the past.
I think he's right there and would prefer that the Steelers spent some time on the paranoia patrol. But my guess is that they wont and will only bring up that crap if they lose.
 

snowmanny

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The amount of wishful thinking in the national media regarding the demise of Tom Brady based on last week's drubbing of the Texans is beyond me. The Patriots may or may not win the game but it won't be because Tom Brady isn't a great quarterback and it won't be because the Steelers replicate the Texans' defense.

As others have pointed out, the Texans defense has been really good. For example, Aaron Rodgers, I've been told, is playing QB at the OMG HIGHEST LEVEL IT HAS EVER BEEN PLAYED. Well he had the Texans in Green Bay last month, and while he had two good drives in the 4th quarter, after three quarters it was 7-7 and by my math at that point he had 111 yards passing. Not sure that's substantially better than anything we saw Saturday.
 

pappymojo

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I think I was wrong to use the term 'works harder' when I wrote '...he might be one of those guys (who) works harder after making mistakes.' It probably would have been better to say '...he might be one of those guys who performs better after making mistakes.'

Regardless, everyone who works hard motivates themselves in one way or another, and I would think that most people including all pro athletes going into big games find multiple levers to motivate themselves. Granted some athletes at Brown's level may have something like a zen-like focus on their routine and preparation that allows them to ignore outside events, but people are still people.

When a story like this one starts to build on the periphery of the athlete's normal preparation routine, there are going to be some players whose performance is negatively impacted, there are going to be some players whose performance is positively impacted, and there are going to be some players whose performance is completely unaffected by the story.
 

Marciano490

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I think I was wrong to use the term 'works harder' when I wrote '...he might be one of those guys (who) works harder after making mistakes.' It probably would have been better to say '...he might be one of those guys who performs better after making mistakes.'

Regardless, everyone who works hard motivates themselves in one way or another, and I would think that most people including all pro athletes going into big games find multiple levers to motivate themselves. Granted some athletes at Brown's level may have something like a zen-like focus on their routine and preparation that allows them to ignore outside events, but people are still people.

When a story like this one starts to build on the periphery of the athlete's normal preparation routine, there are going to be some players whose performance is negatively impacted, there are going to be some players whose performance is positively impacted, and there are going to be some players whose performance is completely unaffected by the story.
I think the last paragraph is true, but often in ways people don't think about. An athlete may be normal as ever going about practice and prep and weight lifting, but are stress and distraction affecting his ability to turn off and sleep at night? Is he missing meals running around dealing with the fallout? Increased cortisol levels, etc. That's where it can creep in around the margins.
 

koufax32

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A few weather prognostications say rain on Sunday night. Anyone know when this is supposed to start?
 

Beale13

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I know we don't need to rehash Spygate here, but someone has to help me with this passage from the article inside that Pittsburgh Post Gazette cover:


"The nagging question about Spygate has always been this: How, precisely, did the Patriots benefit?

Where was the smoking gun?

ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham offered something close to one in a piece published in September of 2015. The key Steelers-related part read like this:

Some of the Steelers’ defensive coaches remain convinced that a deep touchdown pass from Brady to Deion Branch in the January 2005 AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Patriots 41-27, came from stolen signals because Pittsburgh hadn’t changed its signals all year, sources say, and the two teams had played a game in the regular season that (Matt) Walsh told investigators he believes was taped. “They knew the signals, so they knew when it went in what the coverage was and how to attack it,” says a former Steelers coach. “I’ve had a couple of guys on my teams from New England, and they’ve told me those things.

Would that be good enough in a court of law? No. But it’s pretty damning in the court of public opinion, as are the contentions of multiple former Steelers players and coaches. When Spygate broke, I asked then-defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau if stolen signals would have helped the Patriots back in the ’04 title game.

“I don’t see how it could hurt ’em,” he said."


So the teams play in the regular season, and the Steelers use defensive signals to communicate plays. These defensive signals are communicated from their sideline using hand gestures that are not invisible to the human eye. Then they use the same exact signals in a game against the same team weeks later.

If the Patriots didn't use a camera to record them in the first game, they could have had a staff member simply observe them, take notes on them, and match them up to game film later.

So in other words, how the f*** were these hand signals "stolen?" How can you steal something that is freely offered to you?
 

Captaincoop

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That being said, half of these guys are fucking lunatics so who knows. And at some point, their perception is kind of reality for them.

By the way, I doubt very much that Brady would let a personal slight manifest itself on athe field. I'm sure he relishes, after the fact, burning someone that shat on him in the press. But he and Belichick are very much into making the right decisions, not the one that feels the best. That's Rex Ryan shit.
After some Steelers DB (whose name I refuse to honor by looking up) guaranteed a Steeler victory over the Pats in 2007, I remember Brady throwing a TD on him and then getting in his face about it. I kind of believe that the Pats, and Brady in particular, get fuel from this stuff.
 

garzooma

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If the Patriots didn't use a camera to record them in the first game, they could have had a staff member simply observe them, take notes on them, and match them up to game film later.
It's actually stupider than this. The Patriots could legally use a camera to record signals. They just couldn't have the camera on the sidelines (to prevent usage during the game). That's why it's better to call the mess CameraPlacementGate rather than SpyGate.
 

Bowhemian

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Not being a professional athlete, I have no idea, how bulletin board material impacts motivation. But as an observer of the human race, no one likes to be disrespected. That Tomlin called the Pat's assholes is not a big deal, and might have been mentioned briefly in the Pat's locker-room. I suspect BB has leveraged it, if he saw an advantage in doing so. And as I recall several years ago a Steeler DB who got mouthy before a game about the Pats/Brady, was targeted by Brady, and he got burned for 3 TDs. It might have happened any way, but as I recall, there was a extra dose of Pats chatter about the guy after the game. .
After some Steelers DB (whose name I refuse to honor by looking up) guaranteed a Steeler victory over the Pats in 2007, I remember Brady throwing a TD on him and then getting in his face about it. I kind of believe that the Pats, and Brady in particular, get fuel from this stuff.
I believe bankshot is talking about Anthony Smith. Might have been the same guy.
 

joe dokes

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Starkey: They need to game plan for Tom Brady and all his weapons and the league’s No. 1 scoring defense, Mr. Zielke, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to lock the hotel trash bins and bring walkie-talkies to the stadium in case the headsets go out.
So he thinks the Steelers should cheat like the Giants did?


The Patriots should pay a flock of Mark Hendersons to just wander around the dumpsters outside the Steelers' hotel.
 

snowmanny

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I know we don't need to rehash Spygate here, but someone has to help me with this passage from the article inside that Pittsburgh Post Gazette cover:


"The nagging question about Spygate has always been this: How, precisely, did the Patriots benefit?

Where was the smoking gun?

ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham offered something close to one in a piece published in September of 2015. The key Steelers-related part read like this:

Some of the Steelers’ defensive coaches remain convinced that a deep touchdown pass from Brady to Deion Branch in the January 2005 AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Patriots 41-27, came from stolen signals because Pittsburgh hadn’t changed its signals all year, sources say, and the two teams had played a game in the regular season that (Matt) Walsh told investigators he believes was taped. “They knew the signals, so they knew when it went in what the coverage was and how to attack it,” says a former Steelers coach. “I’ve had a couple of guys on my teams from New England, and they’ve told me those things.

Would that be good enough in a court of law? No. But it’s pretty damning in the court of public opinion, as are the contentions of multiple former Steelers players and coaches. When Spygate broke, I asked then-defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau if stolen signals would have helped the Patriots back in the ’04 title game.

“I don’t see how it could hurt ’em,” he said."


So the teams play in the regular season, and the Steelers use defensive signals to communicate plays. These defensive signals are communicated from their sideline using hand gestures that are not invisible to the human eye. Then they use the same exact signals in a game against the same team weeks later.

If the Patriots didn't use a camera to record them in the first game, they could have had a staff member simply observe them, take notes on them, and match them up to game film later.

So in other words, how the f*** were these hand signals "stolen?" How can you steal something that is freely offered to you?

The Patriots were punished in 2007 for violating rules regarding camera placement spelled out in a memo from 2006.

I'm having trouble relating that to 2001-2004.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,835
I know we don't need to rehash Spygate here, but someone has to help me with this passage from the article inside that Pittsburgh Post Gazette cover:

snip...
I would love there to be an FAQ about Spygate. The Pats were not punished for taping signals. There was no rule against taping signals, nor was there a rule against stealing signals. They were punished for taping from the sidelines, a rule that was not enforced until it was clarified in a league memo published in 2006.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
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Jul 15, 2005
21,626
Hingham, MA