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Bill O’Brien on Patriots getting information from ex-Cowboys: Happens every week in the NFL

Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said this week that former Cowboys quarterback Will Grier, who now plays for the Patriots, “is definitely being interrogated” this week as the Patriots and Cowboys prepare to play on Sunday. Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said that’s just the way business is done in the NFL.

O’Brien took issue with Schottenheimer’s suggestion that the Patriots were interrogating ex-Cowboys, but he did say NFL teams routinely seek information about their opponents, any way they can get it.

“Interrogating?” O’Brien said. “Schotty is a good guy. I’ve known Schotty for a long time. I think that’s the way it is every week in this league, every year in this league. There’s gonna be guys that come into your organization off teams that you’re about to play, and it goes both ways. It’s always going to happen. At the end of the day, you’ve got to study film. Everybody’s going to be on the same page with what we’re doing. I’ve never thought in my years in the league that any of that was a real overriding factor in a win or a loss. It comes down to the players on the field and the coaches putting the players in the right positions to make plays, and that’s what we’re trying to do. I don’t think we’re trying to hold a light over anybody and say, ‘Tell me what you did on July 20 of 2023.’ We’re not doing that. We’re not interrogating anybody. We’re just trying to put together the best game plan we possibly can.”

Realistically, NFL players and coaches change teams so often that not much stays secret for long. Occasionally a player will be able to tip off teammates about an opponent, such as Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett telling his defensive teammates last year what Russell Wilson’s hand signals meant in Wilson’s first game after being traded from the Seahawks to the Broncos. But neither Schottenheimer nor O’Brien seems to think that’s going to be a major factor on Sunday.