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Ex-Panther Brad Hoover still believes the Patriots cheated

Washington Redskins v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 23: Brad Hoover #45 of the Carolina Panthers looks on during warmups before the NFL preseason game against the Washington Redskins at Bank of America Stadium on August 23, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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As the Panthers try to win their first championship in franchise history, players from the team that lost in the Panthers’ previous Super Bowl appearance think they got cheated.

The latest ex-Panther to say so is Brad Hoover, who said on 610 WFNZ that he thinks the Patriots spied on the Panthers and knew their game plan.

“Can I prove they cheated? No. But deep down in my heart, I think they did,” Hoover said.

Hoover said the Panthers were shocked by the way the Patriots knew their offense in the first half, and so they made wholesale changes at halftime, and in the second half the Patriots didn’t know what was coming.

“At halftime, we changed our whole offensive game plan, and that’s one of the advantages of having that long intermission,” Hoover said. “How did they know what we were doing? The play in the second half was a lot different. We were able to put a lot more points on the board and I think that’s a part of it.”

Others on that Panthers team, including Will Witherspoon and some unnamed players have made that accusation. And former Panthers G.M. Marty Hurney has said there’s a “culture of cheating” within the Patriots organization. Patriots fans will think that’s sour grapes, but the Panthers firmly believe the Patriots won the Super Bowl by cheating.