Fox Sports’ “NFL Sunday” studio show Sunday morning examined the Patriots’ videotape scandal, including comments from Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson on their “Grumpy Old Coaches” segment. Switzer said OU used “overt operations” while he coached there, but wasn’t specific and mentioned both the offense and defense. Most likely, Switzer meant to say they used “covert,” or veiled, operations.” Overt means open to view.
Switzer: “A lot of the head coaches didn’t know, but we had some overt operations, maybe on the offense. It was on the defensive side of the ball, on Jimmy side’s of the ball. (Johnson was OU defensive line coach from 1970-72 when Switzer was a defensive assistant coach). It’s just part of the game. You don’t close your practice. A lot of coaches are paranoid and they do that. It’s happened before. It’s happen on the staffs I’ve been on, but when I went to Dallas and inherited your staff (Johnson’s staff), they promised me that you didn’t do it, so therefore I didn’t do it.”
Switzer said the strong punishment handed out by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would discourage coaches from cheating.
“There is a new sheriff in town. He’s set a hard line. They better be careful.”
Johnson said cheating is widespread in the NFL.
Johnson: “Bill Belichick was wrong because he videotaped signals after a memo was sent out to all of the teams saying not to do it. But what irritates me is hearing some reactions from players and coaches. These players don’t know what their coaches are doing. And some of the coaches have selective amnesia because I know for a fact there were various teams doing this. That’s why the memo was sent to everybody. That doesn’t make him (Belichick) right, but a lot of teams are doing this.”
Fox Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer showed an exclusive copy of the tape that was confiscated during the Patriots-Jets game and sent to Goodell.
Glazer: “Everyone wants to know what evidence the NFL has in order to drop the hammer on the Patriots. We’ve got it for you. Check this out. (Tape runs) Video assistant Matt Estrella is clearly picking up the Jets’ defensive coaching signals, and then he pans up to the scoreboard for down and distance. This goes on throughout the entire tape. What they do is take this film and then afterwards, synch it up with the actual coach’s game tape. One of the coaches will then study the signals, and the next time they play the New York Jets and see those same hand signals, they can relay the blitz and coverage info down to the coaches on the sideline. Obviously this evidence proved to be damning enough for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.”
In the subsequent discussion, Johnson said he used to have an intern to go through the trash in the opposing team’s coach’s box after the game.
Johnson: “Because after the game, what do they do? They take their game plan and their scouting reports and throw them away. My intern would get all of that stuff and put it right in the file.”
For the second week in a row, CBS’ “NFL Today” beat Fox’s “NFL Sunday” in the ratings.