Do we have a potential scandal brewing in the NFL?
Some say, ‘yes’ (this blogger right here), others (like my editor) say, ‘no.’
“Multiple offensive players” on the New England Patriots “could be overheard talking about [linebacker] Shaquille Leonard calling out their play calls” in the locker room after their Nov. 6 26-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts, according to Mark Daniels of MassLive.
For the day, the Patriots only tallied up 203 offensive yards and a touchdown on the football field.
“One Patriots starting offensive player said Leonard occasionally called out what the Patriots were going to do on certain plays, such as outside runs and screen passes,” wrote Daniels.
Belichick said there were two or three plays that Shaquille Leonard got a big jump on during Sunday’s game. Players said Leonard was calling out plays before the snap and Belichick says they want to prevent that.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) November 8, 2022
Here is Bill Belichick’s complete answer when asked if he noticed the #Patriots offense was tipping plays last Sunday, after multiple offensive players said in the locker room Colts LB Shaquille Leonard was calling them out: pic.twitter.com/ty9DPZtyWH
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) November 8, 2022
So were the Patriots tipping off Leonard and the Colts with certain tendencies, like formations or pre-snap calls?
Here’s where yours truly gets confused: If Shaquille Leonard was tipped off with apparent trends, formations or pre-snap calls, how did he know exactly? What were the patterns?
Was it because of something that the Patriots did during the football game? Is this a tipping situation like what happened between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros in the World Series? (RELATED: REPORT: Doctors To Evaluate Bills QB Josh Allen For Elbow Injury)
These are legitimate questions.
Are we really going to rock with the narrative that Leonard was just tipped off? Seriously, how did he just conveniently know what the Patriots were going to do on offense? How did he know offensive plays to the point where he was even getting multiple, multiple, big jumps on New England?
Yours truly smells smoke, but apparently there’s no fire.