“I believe our whole walkthrough was just a complete fake walkthrough,” Lovato said on WDAE-AM this week, via Pro Football Talk. “We did it at the stadium. There were certain people walking around. … I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays we were running weren’t even in the playbook for the Super Bowl.”
The Patriots have been accused of looking to gain an advantage — whether legal or otherwise — over the years.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Orlando Pace said he was suspicious of New England following its Super Bowl XXXVI win against the Rams, while Steve Spagnuolo also declared recently that he thinks the Patriots gained an illegal upper hand against the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
While it’s never been proven that the Patriots cheated in those games, Eagles coach Doug Pederson apparently wasn’t taking any chances.
“We already had our game plan set all week for the last two weeks,” Lovato said. “We had two weeks to prepare for that game. A measly walkthrough the day before the game, we weren’t going to show anything to anyone, especially being at the stadium.”
For those wondering, the “Philly Special” was not on display during the walkthrough in question.
“We had run that play during a walkthrough like two weeks ago,” Lovato said.
Spagnuolo recently told 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia that he believes the Patriots cheated during Super Bowl XXXIX. Spagnuolo, who was the linebackers coach for the Eagles at the time in 2005, claimed the Patriots knew their signals.
“I remember through the course of the game (Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson) saying, ‘They’re getting our signals. They know when we’re blitzing … Try to hide it, etc. etc,'” Spagnuolo said, via Newsday.
“I remember distinctly thinking, ‘Jim I don’t think that’s true.’ Now I’m not saying this to him, because I don’t want to upset him. I’m saying it to myself. ‘I don’t think so, Jim. Just concentrate on calling the game.'”
Spagnolo changed his tune as time passed and now agrees with the late Johnson.
“In hindsight, he was right,” he said. “When you go back and look at that tape, it was evident to us. … I’m not crying over spilled milk here, but we believed that Tom (Brady) knew when we were pressuring, because he certainly got the ball out pretty quick. But, you know, you got to play the game, and they won that particular day.”
The Patriots are no strangers to being accused of cheating, as an assistant was caught illegally filming the New York Jets during a game from an unauthorized location in what is referred to as “SpyGate.”
The NFL also investigated allegations that the Patriots had deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts following the 2014 season. Brady served a four-game suspension for failing to cooperate with the league’s investigation.