Former head coach Mike Shanahan: "Everyone" was trying to steal signals
Coming off the heels of the two not-so-bomby-bombshells dropped by ESPN and Sports Illustrated the other day, former NFL head coach Mike Shanahan appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and told DP that when he was coaching in the league, "everybody" was attempting to steal play calls.
“Back then, everybody was trying to steal signals,” Shanahan said. “Some of the best quarterbacks in the league had different cue cards from the sideline — depending [on the] defense or blitz — and tried to do everything they could. They looked at [videotaping] for a lot of years, and came up with a final verdict. I could go back and tell you a hundred different stories.”
...this came after former head coach, longtime broadcaster and overall football legend John Madden gave a little insight as to how team's would routinely try to steal the signals of other teams during a broadcast from a game between the Redskins and Cowboys in 1992:
...which of course comes after former head coach and current analyst Bill Cowher admitted that it was common practice for teams to videotape others looking to steal signals, adding that the act was "part of the game"...
...which of course comes after former head coach and current analyst (sensing a pattern here?) Jimmy Johnson admitted in 2008 that the practice of filming signal callers in the NFL dates back decades, and how Howard Mudd, an offensive line coach for the Chiefs in the late 80s was "the best in the entire league at stealing signs." Mudd would later work as Tony Dungy's offensive line coach from 1998-2009.
As has always been the divide here, it was the dirty secret that no NFL team ratted on each other for because filming the opposing team's signal callers was legal from certain areas of the press box. Where Bill Belichick and the Pats ran into trouble was when they attempted to push the envelop (like every team did) by placing Matt Walsh on the sideline against the Jets in 2007, yet that one infraction blows up into World War III.
Anyway, enough about Spygate, it's time to leave it in the rear view. W're kicking off the 2015 season tonight against the Steelers.