It is literally impossible to analyze signals and gain an advantage in the same game, it would take Rain Man at least quarter, and that's only if Rain Man knows what happens on the field after the signal itself is called.
How to gain an advantage by filming defensive signals in game: by Mr Anderson.
1) Have Matt Walsh, or whoever your 3rd video assistant is, film the defensive coach sending in the signals.
2) Analyze each signal and figure out what signal means what.(this will take at least a quarter or two)
3) Play the game.
a) Send your offense out on the field with a play.
b) Use your acquired defensive signals to determine the defense called, which will most definitely change before the ball is snapped due to the offensive formation.
1) Send the information to the offensive coordinator.
2) Have the offensive coordinator to the head coach.(1 and 2 can be reversed based on radio comm to QB)
3) Have the head coach send the information to the quarterback on the field.
4) Have the quarterback audible in response to the information received.
c) Try not to have delay of game called on you.
In practices and walkthroughs, generally, it's all about offense. Defense is hard to walk through with.
Defense is reactionary.
You can gameplan for offense, but I dare any defensive coordinator to script his first 15 defensive plays, and not get scored on, probably more than once.
I've been saying this all along throughout spygate they are not , which would not even be a story anymore if it wasn't for ESPN and Arlen Specter, they like the ratings they get from this story.
The Patriots gained nothing from these films. Even if they did, it wasn't enough to win games for them. They were the superior team, and still are. All of this Patriot hate has nothing behind it. It's like why people hate(d) the Yankees, because they win(won) all the time.
Using the signals they filmed would be about as affective as throwing darts at a board with a list of defensive formations on it and basing the offense on that.
Now, back to McKinnie.
+1. Maybe +1.5.
The big question though is if it doesn't help why did they do it? It wasn't like they tried it realized it didn't work and moved on. They did it for several years. I think most would argree that they knew what they were doing was against the rules(if you believe anything Walsh said) so why would they risk getting caught?
I agree that the Patriots were/are a hell of a football team. But football is a game of inches. If all the hundred of hours of illegal tape they had to study teams from helped them get 1 first down or get 1 three and out that could be all they need to get to or win a superbowl. I believe they won a couple of huge games by a last second field goal. It wasn't like they won every game by 30 points so a slight advantage would have no effect on the outcome, a slight advantage is the difference between winning and losing in the nfl.
Your logic assumes that they could only use the tapes for the current game but in reality they play all of their division rivals twice a season, so if they tape the first meeting they would have a couple of months to analyze the tapes before the next game(not to mention future seasons and playoffs). It could be very subtle things that the patriots used.
I don't disagree with what you say here jmc, and you're correct, football is a game of inches, and the Super Bowls they won were obviously against non-division opponents, and they still got there, however, if anyone wants to debate that maybe they wouldn't be there had it not been for their filming, I say/reiterate these two things:
One: Even if you are playing a division opponent for the second time that season, you must take the time at the tail-end of the play clock to analyze the signal from the defensive coordinator to the field, send that information through your series of channels between the cameraman and the quarterback, and apply it before time expires. IMO this is basically impossible.
Defense is reactionary.
What comes out on the field is in response to, down, distance, prior plays, the offense's strengths and weaknesses, personnel, and patterns/consistencies. The defense reacts to what you do.
You can gain the same knowledge of the opposing defense by watching the field of play(as opposed to the coach calling the signals). Your defensive coaches, and offensive coaches, and most players for that matter can point out what kind of defense they're in.
The only thing I can think of that could be effected are blitzes and defensive line stunts, but those come from two separate coaches. Again, the cameraman must do his job and send the signal sent from coach to players to he offensive coordinator, or whoever, upstairs must remember each signal means, or have it front of him, so he'd have to look it up and take even more time. Meanwhile, he's doing his real job of calling plays/running the offense, and the offense must be changed before the play begins.
And I think on most plays the quarterback assumes the worst, that the blitz is coming, you always see linebackers fake blitz, so they would be playing the same whether the blitz is coming or not. They must use the same checks and make the same reads. Mentally, I don't think it makes a difference if the quarterback knows if the blitz is coming or not. And with this filming system they used, they were probably wrong, or accomplished nothing on 95+% of plays anyway, so the blitz signals are shaky at best.
Honestly, I don't think the Patriots gained enough through this filming to gain an advantage, even in the game of inches that is football.
And why filming defensive coaches is illegal, I don't know. You can do the same exact thing with binoculars, a pen, and paper and gain just as big(or little) in this case of an advantage.
Just because you FAIL at gaining an advantage by cheating doesn't eliminate the attempt to cheat.
I don't disagree that Belichick & Co. should have been punished. However, I disagree with the removal of a first round draft pick. I believe that is worse than suspending the head coach for a game, or any monetary fine. Not only are you taking millions out of the pocket of an innocent incoming player, in this case, Phillip Merling, but you're punishing the team's roster. It's a team game, you rely on your teammates to do your job, and taking away a starting player(barring a bust) from a team's roster is too harsh of punishment.
I'm officially done with spygate, forever... maybe.
To get this back on track again, McKinnie needs to learn his lesson, he should be suspended. I don't want him to be, but he should be. He's a prior offender, albeit in the previous Conduct Policy, so his former actions can not be used against him directly, like increasing suspensions, but will be taken into consideration in assessing a punishment. If that sounds confusing I'll put it another way.
If this was his first offense, under any conduct policy, he might not get suspended for this. But because he does have priors, they will take them into consideration.