Eagles Wonder About Super Bowl Loss to Patriots
PHILADELPHIA--With the New England Patriots accused of using videotaping equipment to steal defensive play signals from the New York Jets last weekend, some Philadelphia Eagles players said today they wonder if they might have been cheated out of a Super Bowl title three seasons ago.
The Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots by three points in February 2005. Safety Brian Dawkins said he doesn't know if the Patriots used any improper tactics in that game, but he does question if what he regarded then as superb halftime adjustments by the New England coaches actually was something else.
"There's always going to be questions about the situation, was it great adjustments at halftime or what," Dawkins said. "But the bottom line is, we didn't make the plays we needed to make to win that game."
Dawkins said it would bother him to find out that the Patriots used sign-stealing methods in that game that violated NFL rules.
"I was giving them a whole bunch of credit for making halftime adjustments.... It's troublesome," Dawkins said. "I don't know how different to say it--it bothers me. But there's nothing I can do about it at this point. It doesn't do me any good to rant and rave about it."
Said Eagles reserve safety Quintin Mikell: "They probably were [stealing signs]. But you can't do nothing now. They're not going to give us a trophy."
Coach Andy Reid avoided the subject, and quarterback Donovan McNabb took a more lighthearted approach.
"Maybe we can get our ring back," McNabb said. "Maybe we can get the real one."
Both McNabb and Dawkins said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shouldn't hesitate to suspend any Patriots coaches or front office officials found to have acted improperly, given Goodell's emphasis in recent months on handing out lengthy suspensions to players for off-field misbehavior.
"He's kind of set that tone already, that he's going to be tough on someone who makes a mistake," McNabb said.
Goodell spoke to Patriots Coach Bill Belichick this week about last weekend's incident. Sources have said that Goodell is prepared to strip a draft pick or picks from the Patriots. Dawkins said he wasn't particularly surprised when the accusations against the Patriots surfaced.
"People are going to try to get edges," Dawkins said. "From the beginning of sports, people try to get edges. I'm not saying cheating is okay. But let's face it, it's going to happen. When you talk about filming people and demolishing people in the second half because of that, I draw the line there."
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