By Phil Perry
Eric Mangini is no longer coaching in the NFL so he doesn't have to worry about dealing with awkward postgame handshakes with Bill Belichick, but he went on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show Tuesday morning and sounded like he wanted to extend an olive branch to his mentor.
The former Patriots assistant said there are "a lot of regrets" when it game to the Spygate scandal that rocked Belichick's reputation around the NFL.
"It's one of those things where the end result wasn't the goal," Mangini said of the scandal. "I owe so much to Bill, I appreciate what he's done for me and my intention was never to hurt him or the Patriots organization, the Kraft family. Yeah, there's a lot of regrets, I didn't want to hurt him or the Patriots by any stretch."
In 2007 Mangini, then head-coach of the Jets, accused Belichick of videotaping Jets' signal callers during a game between the two teams. The NFL investigated and came down hard on the Patriots. Belichick was fined 500,000 and the team 250,000. The Patriots lost their first-round pick in the 2008 draft, too.
The money and the lost pick hurt, but the investigation also raised the suspicion that New England had cheated during to help win three Super Bowls earlier in the decade -- a big blow to someone like Belichick who so reveres the history of the NFL.
"I wasn't happy with the end result," Mangini said. "How it could have been different, how different decisions and events could have taken place, I'm not sure how it would have played out differently. I just didn't want it to play out the way it did."
Mangini said his current relationship with Belichick is "a work in progress."