This discussion must begin with the acknowledgement that the combination of Belichick and Brady has been one of the most successful coach-qb tandem's the league has ever seen. Brady's accuracy and determination combined with Belichick's wisdom (yeah, I said it) has notched win after win while piling up the offensive stats.
But at the same time, the second thing all must acknowledge in any discussion of the Patriots is the tainted legacy. Three super bowl victories that became asterisks if not question marks after arrogance was left unchecked, with major breakdowns in every season since Belichick went too far.
The simple facts are that procedures were used in New England that were found to be against the rules, and the team and coach were fined heavily for employing them. And now comes a new chapter that must raise eyebrows, especially now that the man who was quoted as saying "cheating was practiced and coached" there has again assumed the reins of the offense.
An recent article on Boston.com let slip a very telling comment from safety Tavon Wilson:
The Patriots’ defenders, especially the linebackers and “money” player Tavon Wilson, have been given keys to the Bills’ plays by the coaching staff. “If player X does this, then look for this.”
Sure, it's possible to interpret this comment as the NE coaching staff picking up on "tells" or other cues they've noticed on tapes. After three games...
But it strikes me as emblematic of the overall philosophy in New England that has prevented them from achieving un-tainted glory. Win at all costs? When you spend your time building a foundation on sand, eventually it crumbles away. It is not easy building the solid granite that leads to success in the NFL, but relying on tips, cheats and tricks will ultimately expose you for what you are - a trick pony in a race with thoroughbreds.
hmmmm. so if the Pats determine that 99% of the time that Sanchez is gonna pass when he lines up in the shotgum with an empty backfield on 3rd and 25, that's cheating? Maybe Rex should watch some game film.....