What is it about the New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins? The two teams have been lately tied at the hips of former defensive coordinators.
ESPN broke the news yesterday that they learned from an unnamed super-secret source that the Saints had the electronic capability to eavesdrop on opposing teams during games. That serious breach of league rules and federal law occurred between 2002 and 2005 when Jim Haslett coached the team. Haslett is now the Redskins' defensive coordinator.
Former Redskins DC Gregg Williams is the central villain in the Saints bounty scandal. The NFL is casting an eye on his coaching practices while he was in Washington, as they surely must do of Haslett's tenure in New Orleans.
The ESPN story points fingers Saints GM Mickey Loomis more than Haslett. Neither Loomis nor the Saints need this headache just before Commissioner Roger Goodell brings the hammer down on players involved in the bounty scandal. The Saints vigorously deny the accusation.
Haslett issued his own statement yesterday.
"At no time during my tenure as head coach with the New Orleans Saints did Mickey (Loomis) and I discuss monitoring opposing team coaches' communication, nor did I have any knowledge of this. To my knowledge this concept was never discussed or utilized."
Innocent until proven guilty, I say. Haslett didn't do nothing and doesn't know nothing. He's still going to get a call from NFL Security.
ESPN does not say how, or if, the Saints used stolen communications. It won't make a difference to the NFL. The existence of the bugs is enough. No one proved that Bill Belichick made in game use of video recording of the New York Jets sideline. It was enough that it was recorded.
There is more to come. Shall we say, "Film at 11?"