When Giants coach Ben McAdoo violated league rules by using a walkie-talkie to communicate with quarterback Eli Manning on Sunday against the Cowboys, was it an innocent mistake? Or did he knowingly break the rule?
Based on the experience of Tony Dungy, it’s hard to believe McAdoo didn’t know what he was doing.
Dungy said on NFL Network’s NBC-produced Football Night in New York that during his years as an NFL coach, the league made a specific point of making sure that every single coach knows exactly what is and is not allowed when it comes to in-game communications. Dungy said that if the Giants get off easily, he expects that coaches, executives, and owners of other teams will be upset, because it has been impressed upon every team that violating the in-game technology protocols will not be tolerated.
“You cannot use walkie-talkies,” Dungy said. “To me this is very serious. If the league only issues a fine there will be owners calling the league office the next day.”
The league has so far not given any public indication of what might happen to the Giants, but the first reports to surface about the matter indicated that the Giants would only be fined, not stripped of draft picks or otherwise disciplined. Based on Dungy’s comments, a fine may not be enough. If a coach knows it’s against the rules to use a walkie-talkie and does it anyway, the coach should be hit with something that’s really going to hurt, and a five-figure fine for a coach who makes a seven-figure salary isn’t sufficient.