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  Dolphins Take Passive Approach to Latest Spygate Tapes
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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Amongst the batch of tapes that former Patriots employee Matt Walsh turned over to the NFL this week were videos of Miami Dolphins games from 2000 and 2001. One of the tapes reportedly captures offensive signals from the October 7, 2000 game that the Dolphins won 30-10.


The capture of the Dolphins’ offensive signals indicates that the Patriots’ video taping practices extended beyond the taping of defensive signals.


According to Walsh’s attorney Michael Levy, the film showed Dolphin "offensive coaches signaling Miami's offensive players, followed by a shot from the end zone camera of Miami's offensive play, followed by a shot of Miami's offensive coaches signaling Miami's offensive players for the next play, then edited to be followed by a shot of the subsequent Miami offensive play." Scoreboard shots are interposed along the way.


For now, the Dolphins are deferring to the league. Said Dolphins Vice President of Media Relations Harvey Greene, “We look at it as a league matter and feel comfortable they will handle it appropriately”.


The Patriots have also declined comment at this time, but may issue a statement once the findings are complete.


Dave Wannstedt, currently the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, was the Dolphins head coach in 2000. Just how much Wannstedt knew of the Patriots active taping practices at that time is not clear. Messages left by Phins.com with Wannstedt had not been returned at the time of this column. His entire coaching staff and almost all of the football operations staff are no longer with the team.


NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is currently in the process of reviewing the Dolphin tapes to determine what damage, if any, was done to the competitive nature of the games beyond what has already been disclosed by the Patriots regarding their taping practices dating back to 2000.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he would consider imposing additional penalties on the Patriots if the scope of the disclosures from Walsh extends beyond what has already been disclosed by the team.


Last year, Greene told Phins.com that the Dolphins actively take steps to deter unwanted eyes from prying.


 “We wouldn’t want to disclose to other teams what we do (because) it is a competitive disadvantage,” said Greene.


According to Greene, the Dolphins actively employ several “self scouting” techniques as a preventive measure. Understandably, Greene would not disclose specifics regarding other countermeasures the Dolphin use. Common techniques in the game include using two coaches or players to send in hand signals to the players on the field (one guy gives the real signal; the other guy is a decoy). Another common technique is to use dummy colors or numbers to fool the other team, especially in situations where a former Dolphin coach or player has recently joined the opposition.


Interestingly, the Dolphins’ countermeasures may have helped. According to ESPN’s Matt Mosely, the Patriots went 31-9 against the teams that were filmed on the tapes Walsh handed over (Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Chargers and Steelers). Of the nine loses the Patriots suffered, six were to the Dolphins. The Patriots won nine games against the Dolphins during that timeframe.


This is not the first time the Patriots have been accused of stealing Miami’s signals. In 1997, the Patriots were accused of stealing signs from Dan Marino in a playoff game that the Dolphins lost 17-3.



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