By Phil Perry
Now this is a juicy photo, isn't it?
In it, a camera man who looks like a Jets employee is seen standing behind Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, pointing his camera out in the direction of the field.
Or is he shooting across the field, zoomed in on a Patriots coach giving signals on the opposing sideline?
Smell like Spygate? Remember, Bill Belichick was docked 500,000 and the Patriots were fined 250,000 and lost a first round draft pick after the NFL determined that they filmed Jets defensive coaches' signals in 2007.
Since the Jets camera man photo hit the World Wide Web, it's stirred up quite a reaction over whether or not it constitutes evidence for Spygate Part Deux.
On Tuesday, the Jets came out and told everyone to step back and take a deep breath. The camera man was a Jets employee, they explained, and he was authorized (the lime green vest he was wearing marked him as such) to be on the sideline to shoot video for "team programming."
The NFL allows team video crews and TV video crews that produce club-licensed programming (coaches shows, team magazine-style shows, etc.)on the sidelines to shoot footage for those club-licensed programs only.
So as long as the camera man wasn't shooting video for the Jets coaching staff to use as a scouting tool, the Jets are in the clear. But how does anyone know what these camera men are shooting? And how do we know coaches never gets their hands on the tapes to use them deviously?
Seems strange that the NFL would be OK with all of this given the fallout from Spygate.
If coaches are paranoid about the placement by NFL Films of microphones into the pads of offensive linemen, how can coaches be OK with the presence of cameramen who work not for the league or NFL films but for the team that could misuse the images captured by the cameras?This one just seems odd. Maybe every coach is fine with it because every coach has an in-house camera guy potentially doing precisely what the Patriots used to do, with only the addition of a lime green vest. Or maybe the lime green vest makes it easy to track the guy with the camera in order to make sure no funny business is happening.Still, it seems odd to say the least that NFL teams would want to have to worry about this.
Or maybe they aren't worried at all. Maybe, just maybe, every coach in the league trusts every other coach to play by the rules at all times. Sounds plausible . . . right?