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Antonio Smith: I was joking about Patriots spying

Antonio Smith AP

After the Patriots beat the Texans in Week 13, Texans defensive end Antonio Smith said that he thought “it was kind of fishy” that the Patriots seemed to change up things on offense to combat things the Texans put in just for this week.

Any reference to spying that involves the Patriots and Bill Belichick is going to generate a response and Smith’s comments did just that. Both Belichick and Tom Brady were asked about them on Monday, shrugging off the suggestion without much emotion in the response, and then Smith was asked about it when he met the media.

The defensive end said he was “tickled” by the reaction to what he said as a joke, but apologized for using the word spying as part of his attempt at humor.

“I said it, but you have to check the manner in which I said it,” Smith said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I didn’t accuse them of beating us with cheating. Come on, don’t you have a sense of humor? Though it may be something I was curious about it, I wasn’t thinking they spied on us or they were cheating. Half the stuff I say is spontaneous and witty, and I don’t think anything else about it. I’m sorry I said the word spying. I was joking and having fun with it.”

Joking or otherwise, that should bring a close to this chapter in Spygate references.

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62 Responses to “Antonio Smith: I was joking about Patriots spying”
  1. qmizzle says: Dec 3, 2013 7:25 AM

    Never really thought the guy meant literally spying, I figured it was in jest…

  2. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 7:30 AM

    Belichick has coached hundreds of players, a lot of them are either retired or playing for rival teams. Many of them didn’t leave NE on the best terms.

    I think it’s extremely telling that none of these players has ever spoken up and said “yes, I saw cheating when I was there”

    Not one.

  3. humanlawndart says: Dec 3, 2013 7:37 AM

    Even Michael Phelps can’t backstroke that fast!

  4. 6ball says: Dec 3, 2013 7:38 AM

    .
    It’s like telling your bomb joke at the airport.
    .

  5. joetoronto says: Dec 3, 2013 7:39 AM

    Ok, we’ll make sure to never listen to anything you ever say again.

    Thanks.

  6. rbisson2013 says: Dec 3, 2013 7:41 AM

    Amen to that ,you really had the talk shows buzzing,kept them busy for another day Antonio.
    Maine Pats fan

  7. jimmyt says: Dec 3, 2013 7:54 AM

    Joking or not, people will be remembering the cheating for many years to come. It is an ugly stain that will stay on the Patriots forever.

  8. bcgreg says: Dec 3, 2013 7:56 AM

    “Half the stuff I say is spontaneous and witty”

    And the other half is ignorant and stupid.

  9. matiberio says: Dec 3, 2013 7:57 AM

    of course he was. it a joke after all…

  10. bengalskuta82 says: Dec 3, 2013 8:02 AM

    Why is he backing of now? Oh wait! I forgot the nfl and the media love winners and will protect them. Antonio sees that nobody is supporting him.

  11. exnavysub says: Dec 3, 2013 8:04 AM

    I think he realized how he sounded and needed to backtrack.

    Things may be looking up for the Texans this off season. Played horribly this year, but they are only a handful of players away from being a contender again. Need at least one more offensive weapon, work on their secondary, tweak the O line. Sounds like a lot but given they are a year removed from being a pretty good team, it isnt going to take much to make them a contender again.

    Oh, and hate to say it but, I think they need a new head coach.

  12. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Dec 3, 2013 8:05 AM

    When a player makes a joke they should specify to have “teeheehee” included at the end of the quote so that it is no misinterpreted.

  13. hakunamangata says: Dec 3, 2013 8:09 AM

    “What I mean to say is please don’t blacklist me mr. Goodell.”

  14. predicatepanda says: Dec 3, 2013 8:09 AM

    You sure know you’re comedy.

  15. jessejames182 says: Dec 3, 2013 8:17 AM

    Give him a break, he plays for a couple of coaches that have the same 5 plays for every scenario. Honestly, you guys should’ve known it was a joke when he said they were “trying some new things in practice.” Does that even sound like Phillips?

  16. xxsweepthelegxx says: Dec 3, 2013 8:27 AM

    Nobody was joking when they said your team stinks this year though Antonio

  17. xxsweepthelegxx says: Dec 3, 2013 8:28 AM

    Is that the new slim downed Ryan Howard in football pads?

  18. nesportsfan0428 says: Dec 3, 2013 8:34 AM

    There’s a time and a place for jokes, and it’s not after losing your tenth game in a row.

  19. cgsuddeath says: Dec 3, 2013 8:35 AM

    Dream on

  20. unitunite says: Dec 3, 2013 8:41 AM

    Anyone who refers themselves as witty…is probably not witty.

  21. lawyermalloy says: Dec 3, 2013 8:42 AM

    I’m sorry but a Moron is not capable of being “witty”!

  22. artvan15 says: Dec 3, 2013 8:47 AM

    I bet you were!!! NOT

  23. fordmandalay says: Dec 3, 2013 8:47 AM

    Comedy is a dangerous game, best left to professionals.

  24. whatjusthapped says: Dec 3, 2013 8:54 AM

    The Patriots cheat? Come on, when have they ever done that before? Oh wait……….

  25. dstroi says: Dec 3, 2013 8:56 AM

    If you go back and look at the initial interview you can see that he was smirking the whole time while stating his “accusations” but he did say them none the less. The question is though, is he just trying to recant on such “accusations” to CYA or is he just simply eating them? If you were kidding, then in my judgment, you would have never jumped to such “accusations” therefore I believe he thought the Patriots were “spying” or something “fishy” had happened. Then again if this was the case then what happened to the other 9 teams that beat you? You are 2-10. Go back to the drawing boards and get better as a team. Stop with the “accusations”.

  26. mrsmell says: Dec 3, 2013 8:58 AM

    2014 first pick= Texans.

  27. dmartin17 says: Dec 3, 2013 8:59 AM

    ” Though it may be something I was curious about it, I wasn’t thinking they spied on us or they were cheating. ”

    Wait, so are you or are you not joking? You added another qualifier in this explanation too…

  28. drgfri says: Dec 3, 2013 9:05 AM

    Spontaneous maybe, witty no…..

  29. towniesman says: Dec 3, 2013 9:29 AM

    not funny DOPE

  30. lphboston says: Dec 3, 2013 9:37 AM

    In other words, I’m not man enough to apologize, so I’ll just say I was kidding around.

  31. elyasm says: Dec 3, 2013 9:37 AM

    Yes, it should, but you and I and everyone on this site all know it won’t.

  32. footballfan58 says: Dec 3, 2013 9:37 AM

    Something tells me Antonio Smith is a joke.

  33. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 9:39 AM

    Yes obviously paid off by the Patriots and Roger Goodell to say that.

    Or something.

  34. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 3, 2013 9:40 AM

    This will bring on the hater comments

  35. Patskrieg dot com says: Dec 3, 2013 9:42 AM

    If you watch the video of him saying it the tone is certainly a lot more joking than how it looks in print. But he definitely knew what he was doing even if he thought he was being cute about it. I think he absolutely wanted to create a little media backlash and get people talking about stupid conspiracies instead of how bad the Patriots have their number.

    The shocking part of all of this is that the media actually didn’t take the bait on this. Beyond the same 2 or 3 idiots (that somehow are allowed to post 20 times a thread THANKS MODERATORS) the PFT comments section even seemed skeptical.

  36. dannyreneau says: Dec 3, 2013 9:43 AM

    He should drop his nfl career for the comedy circuit.

  37. all4patriots says: Dec 3, 2013 9:48 AM

    Somehow the retraction with most assuredly be discussed only 10% as much as was the original non-story, leaving 90% of the ignorant masses (and 100% of Steelers, Jets, Colts, Dolphins, and Bills fans) forever claiming made-up crap to be the gospel truth.

    while we are discussing facts:

    A surprisingly high number of NFL players, media members, and jealous fans seem to want to ignore the following:

    1. The allegation that the Patriots taped any team’s practice was false. The local newspaper retracted the story on the front page, acknowledging that they trusted a single source who proved to be unreliable (and who in fact denied the allegation, once he was identified).

    2. The NFL issued a memo in the pre-2006 offseason stating that signal-filming cameras were not allowed on the field. In the first game of 2007 the Patriots violated that rule, admitted it, apologized, and moved on. People seemed blissfully unaware that signal filming had been common, freaked out, and the media storm make Goodell overreact.

    3. There have been hundreds of players that Bill Belichick has coached with the Patriots, many of whom are now with rival teams or are retired, even some who left on very bad terms in salary disagreements. Such players have nothing to lose by speaking up. Not one player has ever come forward to say “Belichick made me violate this or that rule, and this is how it worked” or “I saw others cheating” despite the celebrity status that would result. A tell-all book would sell, but not one ex-player or ex-coach has said a peep.

    These simple facts are just too much for certain individuals to comprehend or retain, usually due to their extreme jealousy of the team who just assured themselves of a 13th consecutive winning season, easily the longest stretch of sustained excellence in the salary cap era, and approaching the highest level of success achieved by any NFL franchise in any era.

  38. boblavoie says: Dec 3, 2013 9:49 AM

    Bad sense of humor Smith.

  39. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:01 AM

    bengalskuta82 says:

    Why is he backing of now? Oh wait! I forgot the nfl and the media love winners and will protect them.
    _____________________

    Did you actually think about what this “joke” claimed?

    Do you really think the Pats set up a network of secret cams and mica in the Texan’s stadium?

    Or maybe it was Bill and his Hoodie Of Invisibility?

    The modern nfl has become a league of whiners. It’s always the refs, the other team cheated, Goodell ordered a power failure, etc. almost none of the teams or players take responsibility for their own failures.

    Except the Pats and a handful of other teams that never blame anyone but themselves when they lose.

  40. creepingdeth says: Dec 3, 2013 10:16 AM

    No!! Brady is So Great that you feel cheated. Sit down Chump. Next!?

  41. jgedgar70 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:19 AM

    The only thing I want to see brought to a close is the requirement to refer to every potential scandal as “_____-gate.” Watergate was more than 40 years ago. Can’t we find a newer label to slap on every wrongdoing?????????????

  42. alchemistcirca1979 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:40 AM

    Its funny how so many treat this as life or death….its a game.

    Why do we chose to hang on every word athletes spew from their mouth.

    The man says its a joke, its a joke. Probably why so many athletes give so little to the media, because they will run with it for as long as they can.

  43. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:45 AM

    There have been hundreds of players that Bill Belichick has coached with the Patriots, many of whom are now with rival teams or are retired, even some who left on very bad terms in salary disagreements. Such players have nothing to lose by speaking up. Not one player has ever come forward to say “Belichick made me violate this or that rule, and this is how it worked” or “I saw others cheating” despite the celebrity status that would result. A tell-all book would sell, but not one ex-player or ex-coach has said a peep.

    ——–

    Exactly what I said at the top.

    I wonder why where is no tell-all book from a disgruntled ex player or employee.

    I wonder why NOT ONE of these ex Patriot employees or players – with nothing to lose – has come forward to talk about the “cheating”. Nothing to lose that is, if they are telling the truth.

    I do look forward to buying Bill’s own book after he leaves the game. I’m sure he’ll have a lot to say and it will be a fascinating read.

  44. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:48 AM

    think it’s extremely telling that none of these players has ever spoken up and said “yes, I saw cheating when I was there”

    Not one.

    51 6 << clearly 6 Patriots hating sheep waving their pom poms hoping there is any truth to this story. That of course is due to their ignorance and/or lack of respect for the game that I love, hoping that a championship in this sport is tainted in any way. Precisely why I don't respect Patriot haters. They are not real fans of the NFL.

  45. golfsox78 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:55 AM

    I am a Pats fan. My favorite part of spygate was when they had video of Herm Edwards when he coached the Jets and he was on the opposing sideline and gave the camera the middle finger. It’s funny as hell. The pats taped everything from field level. It was legal until the NFL said you need to only use video from certain areas of the field. Bill B. was arrogant and continued and got reamed for it. It was well deserved. With all the aerial photos all teams use and I am sure other info they gather I am sure video taping still occurs. I am sure the Pats still use video. And I don’t care what other fans think is right or wrong. Remember Giants fans – Bill B. was your defensive coordinator. I am sure he used tape when you were winning superbowls. He did learn his craft from Parcells after all.

  46. htown1035 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:58 AM

    brazzz01 says:
    Dec 3, 2013 7:30 AM
    Belichick has coached hundreds of players, a lot of them are either retired or playing for rival teams. Many of them didn’t leave NE on the best terms.

    I think it’s extremely telling that none of these players has ever spoken up and said “yes, I saw cheating when I was there”

    Not one.
    ————————————–
    Of course no one ever has said straight out that they cheated – that would be considered too low of a blow. But this was interesting:

    Chad Brown said during his brief time with the Patriots, starting in that 2007 season, he did not sense any hanky-panky going on other than they mysterious workings of a mysterious man on the New England staff, Ernie Adams. Belichick and Adams have been friends since prep school, and Adams has been on staffs with Cleveland and New England, although not as a coach. The Patriots list him as director of research, and he is thought to have been a key element in Spygate.

    “He plays a very interesting role within that organization,” Brown said. “He’s not a coach, he doesn’t really talk to players, but he talks to Bill after each practice. They walk off the field, and I guess he’s able to act as a second mind, a second set of eyes for Bill.

    “It’s an amazing relationship. Certainly there are times during a game on the sideline, you hear Bill ask for Ernie upstairs: ‘Ernie, what do you think?’ He consults with him. Their relationship is shrouded in such secrecy. Even as a player on that team, you can’t help but go, ‘Huh! I wonder what did happen there?'”

    Taken from an article in the Post-Gazette.

  47. tigerlilac says: Dec 3, 2013 11:01 AM

    Give the guy a break. He either spoke in jest or said something stupid. Who cares which. Only bigger fools than Smith took it seriously.

  48. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:23 AM

    Of course no one ever has said straight out that they cheated
    ————
    Why not? If there was any truth to it then why isn’t the tell-all book out there?

    The Patriots won’t get very far in a lawsuit if there was any truth to what they were saying.

    Where is the tell-all book? Where is the disgruntled ex employee admitting that they either participated in cheating or knew it was going on?

    As for Brown’s opinion on Ernie Adams, draw any conclusion you would like. If you’re looking for something tangible there, it’s a whole lot of nothing. Sorry.

  49. golfsox78 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:24 AM

    We all know who Ernie Adams is. He is the Bill James of football. He is a math guy and bases everything off statistics and numbers. It’s funny he works for the patriots and now Bill James works for the Red Sox.

  50. dalcow4 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:25 AM

    Joking or not– What this shows is that the Patriots’ cheating will never ever be forgotten.

    Cheatriot Fan is desperate for it all to go away. The League is too for that matter. But it will never go away.

  51. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:28 AM

    Bill B. was arrogant and continued and got reamed for it.


    I’d say it was less arrogance and more trying to “lawyer up” that memo to give his team an edge.

    He is not a lawyer, the Patriots aren’t paying him to act like one, so he should have just done what he was paid to do and coach the football team. I think even he would agree with that now.

  52. RE LEE says: Dec 3, 2013 11:32 AM

    You think other people’s hardwork is a joke. The pats with their problems have no business winning but they do because their coach and their qb NEVER think their opponent is a joke even your team. They know your strength probably more than you, yourself, do. Don’t waste precious time trying to be witty. Just do your job.

  53. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:45 AM

    @htown1035,

    Facepalm not the Earnie Adams conspiracy theory again.

    Adams is a legal, league approved employee. Like Belichick he is a brilliant football mind, and yes, he legally sits up in the box and consults during games.

    As all teams are allowed to do. If other teams can’t find brilliant people to work for them that’s their problem. If they don’t want consultants like Adams that’s their choice.

    But to act like a legal employee who is legally doing his job per league rules is cheating is just whining.

    That’s all the rage though. Guess the mean ol’ Pays cheated since they won.

  54. starchybunker says: Dec 3, 2013 11:49 AM

    “Half the stuff I say is…witty”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  55. golfsox78 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:10 PM

    brazzz01 says:
    Dec 3, 2013 11:28 AM

    Bill B. was arrogant and continued and got reamed for it.


    I’d say it was less arrogance and more trying to “lawyer up” that memo to give his team an edge.

    He is not a lawyer, the Patriots aren’t paying him to act like one, so he should have just done what he was paid to do and coach the football team. I think even he would agree with that now.
    ——————————————

    Come on…..I love Bill B. but he is arrogant. He thinks he knows more than most. Don’t get me wrong, he does know more than most but he wanted to push the limits. That is arrogance.

    And to all the Pats haters. If Bill B. or Tom Brady were out there looking for new teams you would be salivating at the chance to get either one.

  56. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:17 PM

    Cheatriot Fan is desperate for it all to go away. The League is too for that matter. But it will never go away.

    Patriot hating lemmings are desperate for it to never be forgotten. But it will go away.

  57. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:51 PM

    Come on…..I love Bill B. but he is arrogant. He thinks he knows more than most. Don’t get me wrong, he does know more than most but he wanted to push the limits. That is arrogance.
    ——–

    I suppose it was arrogant in a way. I just think he figured he could interpret the memo like a lawyer would and unfortunately for him (and the Patriots organization) it didn’t work. I’m sure he wishes he made a different decision, as we all do.

  58. golfsox78 says: Dec 3, 2013 1:21 PM

    @brazzz01 – I don’t understand why Pats fans need to apologize or defend anything that happened. Wow! there are Jets fans and trolls out there bringing up spygate and cheating. Well, we have three superbowl wins, lost 2 others and have gone to the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years. Now I know what it was like for the Yankees to be hated by everyone. When your good people need any excuse to bring you down to make them feel better about themselves and their crappy teams. I don’t apologize for anything that happened. Too bad, so sad, get over it haters. Maybe when your team is good for 15 years straight we will do the same thing to you.

  59. patriotwayspygate says: Dec 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    If you know what somebody’s defensive signals and calls are before you line up on the field because you filmed their walkthroughs, and you practice with those signals, that’s cheating. There’s no other way to slice it.

    Before Spygate, Belichick’s Patriots were 12-2 in the playoffs and 3-0 in the Super Bowl. Since the illegal taping scheme was revealed, they are 5-5 in the postseason and 0-2 in the Super Bowl.

    Without the aid of being able to film walkthroughs and illegally taping defensive schemes, they’ve been a very below average postseason ballclub. Coincidence? I think not.

  60. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 2:05 PM

    I don’t understand why Pats fans need to apologize or defend anything that happened.
    ————–

    Yep. Especially since there’s nothing to apologize for or defend. What the Pats were caught doing in week 1 of 2007 was completely legal when they won their Super Bowls. That is good enough for me, and that is good enough for any intelligent and informed football fan. The fact it’s not good enough for the Patriot haters, well… you do the math.

    I still think it’s telling that nobody that was ever connected with the organization and left on bad or good terms has ever stepped up and talked about witnessing cheating or participating in it. The money that would be made from a tell all book or interview would be astronomical.

    Why has a former Steeler player written a book documenting the rampant and systemic cheating with PEDs in that organization when they were winning championships… but nobody has said a peep about the Patriots?

    I know why.

  61. brazzz01 says: Dec 3, 2013 2:06 PM

    If you know what somebody’s defensive signals and calls are before you line up on the field because you filmed their walkthroughs


    I stopped reading there. They didn’t film any walkthroughs.

    Keep dreaming haters. Keep teeing the excuses up and I’ll keep crushing them out of the ballpark.

  62. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 4, 2013 12:39 PM

    The thing is, when he said that he was still in pads right off the field. That’s when these guys are the most honest. The heat of the moment is still there and they haven’t settled down emotionally enough to carefully choose their words.

    He meant it and its an indictment of our whole team. I’ve been a huge Kubiak supporter but he needs to go… The organization doesn’t know how to win. They tasted a little bit of success last year at 11-1 and got drunk on it and we’re still feeling the hangover.

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