If there's a team it's not smart to needle too much or provide motivational material for, it's probably the New England Patriots.
So did what Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton say Thursday constitute a thinly veiled Spygate reference? You be the judge.
Here's what Hamilton said, per the Indianapolis Star, about his experience coaching against the Patriots twice a season as a New York Jets assistant from 2003-2005, in the heart of the Patriots' championship run — and pre-Spygate scandal:
"I do know for a fact that it was always a 60-minute chess match," Hamilton said. "It was ever-changing looks and disguises and they always tend to find ways to figure out some of your signals."
Hmm. Interesting wording there, Pep. Hamilton might have realized what he had said and tried to hedge some by praising Patriots head coach Bill Belichick later.
"It's truly an honor to have an opportunity to field a team and compete against the likes of Coach Belichick, who will go down as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Football League," he said.
So was Hamilton kicking dirt on the Patriots with that comment? And if so, will it matter? For the record, Hamilton can say whatever he wants (even if head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't approve), and it's not like you can't say there wasn't a ton of evidence suggesting that the Patriots did exactly what Hamilton described.
But the Patriots for years have taken other teams' words and used them against them as motivation. Whether or not it had any effect, who knows? But the Patriots' record the past 13 years under Belichick is hard to argue with.
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