Report: NFL's Patriots use videocam to steal signals

Assistant coach is accused of violating rules by taping opponent's hand signals. League is also investigating the way Pats used radio frequencies.

Chalk this up to overkill. The New England Patriots, victors in three of the past six Super Bowls, are accused of using technology to gain an unfair advantage last Sunday.

The NFL's front office has determined that the Patriots swiped defensive signals during Sunday's 38-14 drubbing of the New York Jets, according to a report published Tuesday on ESPN.com. League officials confiscated a video camera and tape from one of the Patriots' assistant coaches after he allegedly was caught taping Jets' coaches sending hand signals, ESPN reported.

A spokesman for the league could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. New England has been accused of stealing signals in the past.

What the league found on the tape convinced them that the Patriots were cheating and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is considering whether to hit the Pats with "severe sanctions," according to ESPN. NFL rules prohibit coaches from videotaping from the sidelines or the coaches booth.

The league is also looking into how the Patriots were using radio frequencies during the game, in which New England racked up 431 yards of offense.

Under NFL rules, only one offensive player, typically the quarterback, is allowed to receive communications from coaches via radio during games. Several teams are pushing for a rule change that would allow coaches to wire a defensive player with a radio helmet as well.

About the author

Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
10 mobile gadgets gone gonzo (pictures)
Apple in 2014: iPhone 6, iCloud hack, Beats and more (pictures)
The 12 most distinctive phones of 2014 (pictures)
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)