Jaguars' Spicer defends spying comments calling Patriots cheaters

Updated: January 8, 2008, 5:27 PM ET
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars defensive end Paul Spicer defended his early-season comments about New England's spying scandal Tuesday, saying "if they want to use that as bulletin-board material, go ahead."

Spicer said in September that allegations involving the three-time Super Bowl champions were nothing new.

"This ain't news," Spicer said. "I've heard it in the past. They finally got caught. ... The Patriots got caught. They're busted."

Spicer even suggested commissioner Roger Goodell should fine the Patriots $2 million and make them forfeit a second- and third-round draft pick. He added that he wouldn't be surprised if the penalty was more severe.

"Do like the NCAA and kick them out of the playoffs or something," Spicer said. "Put them on probation; they can't go to no playoff games."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was fined the NFL maximum of $500,000 and the team was ordered to pay $250,000 for spying on an opponent's defensive signals. Goodell also ordered the team to give up April's first-round draft choice.

The Patriots responded by becoming the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0. They host Spicer and the Jaguars on Saturday night.

On Tuesday, Spicer didn't back down from his comments and said the Patriots shouldn't need to use them as motivation.

"It's my opinion, that's all it was," Spicer said. "This is four months later. It's about the playoffs. It's about the Jaguars, what we can do to beat the Patriots. We haven't done research like they did, didn't go back and look at everything they said over the season and see if we can use that to get motivated to go play.

"You shouldn't need what somebody else says to get you motivated. This is the NFL. It's a playoff game. You guys are undefeated. We're coming up there. That's enough right there to get motivated. I know I'm motivated."

The Jaguars have dropped two in a row to New England, falling 28-3 in the 2005 playoffs and losing 24-21 last season.

Both games had a bit of controversy. In the first meeting, the Jaguars lost their coach-to-quarterback communication for the entire first half. Coach Jack Del Rio later said the headsets "mysteriously malfunctioned."

Last year in Jacksonville, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faked a slide during a 7-yard run, kept going and then got hit squarely by linebacker Clint Ingram as he dived headfirst to the ground. The Patriots wanted a flag and a fine, but got neither.

Del Rio, a former linebacker in the league, vigorously defended the hit.

The coach also said earlier this season that the Patriots crossed the line by videotaping defensive signals in the opener. Spicer followed his lead back then and even joked about it again Tuesday.

"I ain't worried about them with a camera," Spicer said. "They can use my camera. I've got a nice Sony digital if they want to borrow it. I'm here to play football.

"I'm not worried about what they did four months ago. Obviously, it didn't matter 'cause they still ran the table. If they want to lean on something that didn't really matter, let 'em."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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