Eagles player reveals extreme measures team took to prevent Patriots from spying
Playing against a team that was fined over the “Spygate” controversy, the Philadelphia Eagles were no taking no chances against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
One Eagles player has revealed that his team took extreme measures to thwart any potential espionage by its opponent.
During an interview on WDAE-AM in Tampa Bay this week, Philadelphia long snapper Rick Lovato told co-hosts Ron Diaz and J.P. Peterson that the walk-through practice at U.S. Bank Stadium was completely for show.
“I believe our whole walk-through was just a complete fake walk-through,” said Lovato. “We did it at the stadium — there were people walking around.”
Of course, the suspicion was that some of those people walking around might have been Patriot spies looking for intel to help with their game plan.
“I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays that we were running weren’t even plays that were in the playbook for the Super Bowl,” said Lovato. “You never know.”
The play that’s known as the “Philly Special” — tight end Trey Burton’s 1-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter, was definitely not rehearsed in the walk-through.
“So you guys purposely did not run it in practice in Minnesota — was that for fear that you thought the Patriots might be watching?” asked one of the co-hosts.
“Correct,” responded Lovato.
“We had our game plan all set for the last two weeks. We had two weeks to prepare for that game so for the walk-through the day before the game we weren’t going to show anybody anything, especially at the stadium,” he said.
Now, there is no evidence or even a claim that the Patriots were watching the walk-through, but the Eagles were just being safe, given New England’s history.
VERY smart move by the #Eagles !! #FlyEaglesFly won this #SuperBowl before the game even started #SB52 #NFL #DAESuperBowl https://t.co/bfKWcqk01r
— Ron Diaz (@RonDiazWDAE) February 7, 2018
The Patriots, of course, got nailed for “Spygate,” where they were found to have been illegally filming coaches’ signals from an unauthorized area during a Jets game in 2007.
Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the team was hit with a $250,000 fine and loss of a first-round draft pick.
Although there’s never been any evidence of wrongdoing, opponents in each of the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl wins — the Rams, Panthers and Eagles — have openly wondered if the Pats filmed their walk-throughs or stole their signals.
Is it all just paranoia?
But one thing is clear: Eagles coach Doug Pederson was taking every precaution — and he has a Super bowl ring to show for it.
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