Sunday, July 5, 2015

Transcript of Roger Goodell news conference after meeting with Matt Walsh

NFL commisioner Roger Goodell met with reporters in New York after his three-plus hour meeting with former Patriots employee Matt Walsh (pictured here walking into the meeting).

Transcript of Roger Goodell news conference after meeting with Matt Walsh

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NFL commisioner Roger Goodell met with reporters in New York after his three-plus hour meeting with former Patriots employee Matt Walsh (pictured here walking into the meeting).

"Today, we were able to confirm all of the details of his activities while he was a Patriots employee. The fundamental information that Matt provided was consistent with what we disciplined the Patriots for last fall. Essentially they were taping coaches signals against NFL policy.

We also were able to verify that there was no Rams walk-through tape. No one asked him to tape the walk-through. He’s not aware of anyone else who may have taped the walk-through. And he has not seen such a tape. And he does not know of anybody who says there is such a tape.

He said he was in the building at the time of the (Rams) walk-through along with other Patriots video personnel. They were doing their job prior to the game. He in fact was even on the sidelines in his Patriots gear while the Rams were practicing. So it was clear there was not an overt attempt to access the Rams’ walk-through.

In addition, he confirmed that he was aware of no other violations of league policy by the Patriots or anybody associated with the Patriots. There was no bugging of locker rooms. There was no manipulation of communications system. No crowd-noise violations that he was aware of. No miking of players to pick up opposing signals through audibles.

So, we were able to confirm that the Patriots had followed NFL policy as far as he knew other than the taping of coaches signals.

Is spygate closed?: As I stand before you today after having met with Matt Walsh and 50 other people, I don’t know where else I would turn. I specifically asked Matt that and he said he did not know of anyone else who may have information. As I’ve said before, I’ve reserved the right, if anything further comes up, I will look at it.

Why did Walsh hang on to the tapes all this time?: I asked him that more than once. He just said he may one day need something for his resume to indicate the types of things he did when he was a Patriots employee. So he kept them as evidence of the work that he did. That was the answer he gave me.

Did the Patriots use the tapes during same game that they were taped?: He very specifically said they did not. He was very specific that the tape remained in his possession the entire game, and that they were not used during the (same) game.

On what Walsh did with the tapes after he did the taping?: He would videotape as part of his responsibility during the game. He than would take the tape, mark it and then hand it off to (Belichick personal assistant) Ernie Adams. He had no knowledge of where it went from there.

Your opinion on impact videotaping signals had?: It’s impossible to know the specifics of the impact it has. Because teams know there is a permissible way to this (steal signals without videotaping), that they prepare for that.

If these tapes are all he had, why did Walsh tell NY Times before the Super Bowl that he had information that Patriots people would have to answer to?: He did not feel it was well known publicly that the taping had gone back to 2000. He said he didn’t think there was enough knowledge of that, and that’s what he was referencing (to NY Times).

Will there be any further sanctioning of Patriots?: I don’t anticipate it. The fundamental information that was provided today was consistent with what we knew last September. The discipline I took then was appropriate.

Do you feel Walsh’s explanation will finally quiet Arlen Specter?: That’s for Senator Specter to respond to, not me.

On Belichick’s explanation that he thought it was legal to videotape as long as he didn’t use the info in the same game….did you believe him?: I didn’t accept Bill Belichick’s explanation for what happened, and I still don’t to this day.

Did walsh know what he was doing was against NFL policy when he was videotaping signals?: It was very clear that he had to be very careful that no one discovered what he was doing. That he was very cautious about the way he did it, who was watching. He believes that they were well aware this was something that they shouldn’t have been doing.

Why was Walsh on the sideline during Rams’ walk-through practice before Super Bowl 36?: They were setting up their (video) operation (for the game). They have printers, they have cables that needed to be set up.

Do you find it unusual that an employee for the opposing team would be on the field during the other team’s walk-through?: No. The only thing I found a little unusual was that he was standing out there on the field in his Patriots gear.

Did Walsh have much contact with belichick?: He described him at one point as The Man Behind The Curtain. He said he was someone they just did not see very often and that he was someone he did not have any direct relationship with or contact with.

Was it worth the 3 ½-month wait to talk to Walsh?: I think it is because I think this is important. You’re dealing with the integrity of the NFL. You’re dealing with the public trust in our game for our fans. There’s obviously been widespread media speculation. There’ve been reports of violations going from miking to tapings of walk-throughs. The general interest of the public was we want to know the facts. I wanted to know the facts. So that’s why we’re here today to give them to you.

Do you believe Matt Walsh?: I think on the fundamentals of the things I was concerned with and the competitive issues and what transpired, it was consistent with what we were told.

Looking back, are you comfortable with the punishment you handed out to the Patriots?: Absolutely. I think it was appropriate. I think it was unprecedented. I think it sent a loud and clear message to not only the Patriots, but every other club, that they need to play by the rules.

How widespread do you think videotaping has been?: I don’t think it’s widespread. I think it’s very limited in its practice and in its effect.

How confident were you that he was not going to tell you anything you didn’t already know?: I was not fully confident of what he was going to tell me. We had no indication of what he was going to tell us, what he was going to bring forth. We tried to create an environment where he would come forth with as much information as possible. And I think he did feel comfortable. At the end, we asked an number of general questions – is there anything else we should ask, is there anything else we should know, are there any other violations or any other areas we should cover. And I think he was very satisfied that we were thorough.

Daily News NFL Columnist
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