Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 21, 2008
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INDIANAPOLIS – There was a lot of talk about Spygate today at the NFL Combine.

Members of the NFL’s Competition Committee stepped to the podium this morning to talk about things like timeouts being called right before a late field goal.

Instead they were hit with questions about the New England Patriots and their taping of opposing teams’ defensive signals and alleged taping of the St. Louis Rams walkthrough before they played in the Super Bowl in 2002.

Spygate (by the way, who gave it that name?) won’t go away as Congress appears interested in looking into the situation.

The Competition Committee said the Patriots’ punishment, which included losing this year’s first-round pick, was harsh enough.

“We don’t anticipate the Patriots’ situation repeating itself because of the clear message that the commissioner sent to the organization and to the head coach,” said Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, who is on the committee.
Here’s what Colts president Bill Polian said of the meeting Commissioner Roger Goodell on the situation:

The briefing was thorough.
It was detailed. The process at arriving at the discipline was explained to us.

That process was fair, detailed, efficient, and what was on the tapes was explained
to us and what was in the notes was explained to us. The reason that that
information was done away with was explained to us. From my perspective, that was
a thorough, fair, efficient process with lots of integrity.

Everyone involved believes it’s time to move on. And if the government wants to get involved, it has nothing to do with the Competition Committee.

*Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas was peppered with questions about his ability to be a standout pro at last year’s combine because the last highly-touted tackle from the Big Ten, the Raiders’ Robert Gallery, didn’t fare well.

Thomas played in the Pro Bowl this month. So I guess he made sure he wouldn’t be linked to Tony Mandarich.

No one had any questions about Gallery for Michigan’s Jake Long. Instead, he was asked about his ability to do well because of Thomas’ success.

“ He's a great player and represented his school in the Big Ten very well,” Long said of Thomas. “He had a great rookie season. I'm going to have to follow in his footsteps and represent for the Big Ten. He showed me and all the other rookies that you can come in and make a huge impact, have a great season. That's encouraging to me and to other players I'm sure.”

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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