Reports detailing the eight video recordings that former Patriots' employee Matt Walsh turned over to the league may not include any smoking tapes that go beyond what New England coach Bill Belichick already had admitted to but there are a couple of interesting wrinkles.
For one, there was a tape of San Diego offensive signals. To date, it was believed that the Patriots had only been taping defensive signals because sideline-to-quarterback radio communication would have eliminated the need for offensive hand signals.
In addition, the tapes make apparent that was an increasing sophistication in how the tapes were shot and edited as the practice continued. The Walsh tapes date from 2000 to 2002 and later tapes showed a sequence that had coaches signaling instructions, then there was a scoreboard shot of down-and-distance, and then two shots of the resulting play from different angles.
Walsh is expected to meet with NFL officials on Tuesday and then later with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter who has often shown an interest in the NFL's activities.
If you take a look at the video that's part of this link featuring ESPN investigative reporter Mike Fish, he makes an interesting point about the taping. Although it appears there is no new news here, the fact that the older tapes can now be viewed (remember, the league destroyed the more recent spy tapes) raises again the issue of competitive advantage the Patriots may have gained. Fish points out that if the Pats didn't gain a competitive edge (the league has said that the taping did not impact on the outcome of games), then why would the Patriots have continued to refine their techniques as they went along? It would appear to be an awfully time-consuming exercise if it had no value. Would Belichick waste his staff's valuable time on work that had no payoff?
If nothing else, the Walsh-supplied tapes further fuel the debate over the legitimacy of the Patriots' legacy.