Recent accusations by
the New York Jets that the New England Patriots were stealing their signals
through use of a video camera have raised questions as to the prevalence of such
actions league wide.
The Jets aren’t the
only divisional rival expressing concern. The Boston Herald is reporting that
the Buffalo Bills have begun analyzing recent Bills-Pats games for any
Worried about your
Miami Dolphins becoming a victim?
Rest easy, assures
Senior Vice President of Media Relations Harvey Greene.
obviously won’t comment on an active league investigation, nor would he get
into specifics as to what the Dolphins do to prevent spying, he was able to
confirm that the Dolphins actively take steps to deter unwanted eyes from
“We wouldn’t want to
disclose to other teams what we do (because) it is a competitive disadvantage,”
Greene did say that
the team actively employs several “self scouting” techniques as a preventive
measure. He also cited some of the obvious countermeasures, such as coaches
covering their mouths with their playsheets to avoid having their lips read as
they speak into their headsets.
While the Jets
decided to file a complaint with the NFL against the Patriots, Greene suggested
that the Dolphins might not necessarily choose to follow the same course of
action should they discover spying.
Greene didn’t want elaborate publicly on what alternatives would be considered
as anything he might say could be used by an opponent to gain an advantage.
In many sports,
including football, teams often take steps to deter spying. On game days, it is
common to see teams use two guys to send in hand signals to the players on the
field. One guy gives the real signal; the other guy is a decoy.
technique is to use dummy colors or numbers to fool the other team. This is a
common practice in situations where a former player or coach has recently joined
In 1997, the Patriots
were accused of stealing signs from Dan Marino in a playoff game that the
Dolphins lost 17-3.