Patriots

Matt Cassel: How Bill Belichick will handle 'Spygate 2.0' behind the scenes

Matt Cassel: How Bill Belichick will handle 'Spygate 2.0' behind the scenes

When “Spygate” originally went down, we as New England Patriots players were unaware of anything that was going on. 

The story became national news pretty quickly. You'd turn on the television and hear everyone calling us cheaters and saying, “This is the reason why they’ve accomplished what they’ve accomplished.” 

It was so blown out of proportion, and it was all speculation at that point.

We were going into our second week of the 2007 season, and Bill Belichick addressed the team to discuss the elephant in the room.

He said, “Look, this is what’s going on, but it’s nothing you guys need to be concerned with. It’s a league issue, and you guys have nothing to do with it."

It was a general statement just notifying the team: "You’re going to be asked about it. I’ll handle the questioning on it."

The fact of the matter was, he wanted to get back to status quo. He reminded us that we had a game that week, and that we had to focus on that.

After that, it was business as usual. “Spygate” wasn’t this overarching theme he addressed constantly throughout the week. Once he said his peace in that first meeting, we were on to the San Diego Chargers (our next opponent), and then the week proceeded as usual.

I think this week's circumstances are completely different from when that development first broke in 2007. 

The players and football staff have no understanding of anything the production team is doing. ... We never saw those guys.

This situation is something in which the film crew for the Patriots' in-house production team was doing their show, "Do Your Job," on an individual scout.

The players and football staff have no understanding of anything the production team is doing on week-to-week basis. We never saw those guys unless they requested an interview with us like any other media outlet.

They weren’t at practice, they were never in meetings. There’s just no communication between them and the players and coaching staff, unless they're doing a story on one of us.

So, this is outside even the realm of football, really.

It's a mishap by the Patriots' production group in that they forgot or didn't acknowledge the rules, and because of the history, everybody immediately draws the conclusion that Bill had something to do with it and this team is somehow benefiting from this. 

That's false -- especially when you're talking about the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won one game all year. That's what makes it more comical when you consider the circumstances.

My guess is Bill won't make more than one quick statement to the team about this.

He'll say, “Look, none of you guys have anything to do with it. Even as a team and a coaching staff, we have nothing to do with this. You let me address it in the media, and if you don’t have any common knowledge of it -- which none of us do -- then there’s really no reason to comment on it.” 

That’s it. Then it’s back to business, back to the work week and back to getting ready for the Bengals. I don’t think it will be brought up any more than that.

Editor's note: Matt Cassel had a 14-year NFL career that included four seasons with the New England Patriots (2005-2008). He's joining the NBC Sports Boston team for this season. You can find him on game days as part of our Pregame Live and Postgame Live coverage, as well as every week on Tom E. Curran’s Patriots Talk podcast and NBCSportsBoston.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Jimmy Garoppolo says it would be ‘hard’ so see Tom Brady leave Patriots

Jimmy Garoppolo says it would be ‘hard’ so see Tom Brady leave Patriots

MIAMI – If Jimmy Garoppolo were to give a Patriotic answer to a question about Tom Brady on Monday night, the upshot of it would have been that he was focused on his own self at this juncture.

But Garoppolo’s not a Patriot anymore so, when asked if he was curious where his former teammate may end up, the 49ers quarterback dove right in.

“Definitely,” Garoppolo said during Super Bowl Opening Night. “I think everybody’s curious. Whenever he makes a decision and whatever he decides, I’ll be happy for him.”

Garoppolo paused then added, “But … I heard Danny (Amendola) say the other day, ‘It’ll be hard to see him in anything other than a Patriots uniform.’ So we’ll see.”

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The atmosphere Monday night was positively playful as the Chiefs and 49ers met with the media en masse at Marlins Park. The Chiefs went first from 7 to 8 p.m. The Niners had the late slot, 9 to 10 p.m.

The indignation, irritation, rage, grudging respect and flat-out fatigue the Patriots inspire among the national media and football fans in general has given way to a kinder, gentler atmosphere this week, it seems.

The coaches are relatively cuddly. The quarterbacks are fresh-faced. The perpetual plumbing for scandal that accompanies every Patriots postseason run is wholly absent. Everyone wants to have a nice time.

But Garoppolo’s presence and past means the Patriots still have a hand in this one. I asked Garoppolo if he was at all eager to blaze a trail away from being thought of as a “former Patriot.”

“Your past is always part of you,” he said. “The Patriots is where I started and really introduced me to the pro game and how different it is than college. I thank everyone over there for everything they did for me. Obviously what they did there got to this point here. Everything’s tied together but the 49er team is kind of a story of its own.”

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: 

What Tom Brady texted Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of Super Bowl Week

What Tom Brady texted Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of Super Bowl Week

For the the first time in his career, Jimmy Garoppolo will serve as a starter in the Super Bowl.

That's not to say that the former New England Patriots quarterback doesn't have experience with the Super Bowl. He earned two rings as the backup to Tom Brady during his time in New England. But now, he'll get a chance to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a title when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

And ahead of the game, it seems that Jimmy G is taking some advice from Brady.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

As Garoppolo told NFL Network's Michael Irvin at Super Bowl Opening Night, Brady did text Garoppolo some words of encouragement ahead of the big week.

"Yeah, he shot me a text," Garoppolo said. "Just good luck and everything like that. Go handle business. It wasn't anything complicated. It was just, 'Go handle business. Go win.'"

That sounds very much like something Brady would say. It's a page from the Patriots playbook. Stay focused, keep it simple, do your job.

We'll soon see if Garoppolo and the 49ers can execute and do their jobs when they take on the Chiefs in Sunday's Super Bowl.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: