Belichick risked his Reputation on Questionable Information

Belichick risked his Reputation on Questionable Information
Bill Belichick

Belichick risked his Reputation on Questionable Information

            A reputation is the hardest thing to build and the easiest thing to lose.  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has bet his on the word of Bill Belichick, a proven cheater and suspected liar.  By closing the book on SpyGate, Goodell has in effect accepted the word of Belichick that those games that the league has seen tapes on (including those that the league destroyed) were the only ones that were taped.

By Bill Smith

            Goodell needs to tell us which teams and games were on those tapes he destroyed.  However, if the Colts were not seen on any of the tapes, then we know that there are more ahead and Goodell should proceed very cautiously.

            The thing that must make us question Belichick's sanity is why he would violate the rules for a source of information that the value of which is at best questionable.  As early as 1970, we were using a computer to give us a breakdown of the tenancies of our opponents.  We set our offensive and defensive game plans based on the tenancies of our opponent.

            On offense, we would have the down and distance with the percentage of times they called each play from a given formation.  Our chart would look something like this:

Third 10+

3 wide 72% (% of times they would use 3 wides at this down/distance)

21% 7-9-9 (refers to the patterns that the x y and z receivers ran)

19% draw play

18% 9-9-9

            On defense, we would have the same thing showing blitz percentage.  We even had history on how an opponent defense would respond to a shift by our offense from specific formations.  These records would be updated from every game tape we got and every game we played against them.

            Every NFL team has been doing this same thing for decades.  The point is that the actual history of a team under a given coaching staff provides much more reliable information than any tape of hand signals could ever hope to equal.  With the ability to tape coverage every game of every team, such statistics are even more accurate.

            Given the football IQ of Belichick, we can not help but wonder why he would risk violating league rules to get something of such questionable value.  The only possible explanation is Belichick's audacity.  Those that believe they are the smartest ones in the room often feel that they are above the law or in this case, rules of the league.

            At least in this case, Belichick was not the smartest guy in the room.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent.  He is a senior writer for  He has also published several novels on and edits
Tags: Football NFL

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