PITTSBURGH (AP) -The New England Patriots' taping of opposing coaches' signals did not affect the outcome of games against the Steelers, including two AFC Championship games, Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said Friday.
``We consider the tapes of our coaching staff during our games against the New England Patriots to be a non-issue,'' Rooney said in a statement. ``In our opinion, they had no impact on the results of those games.''
Rooney's comments were fueled by remarks Thursday by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has questioned whether the NFL has properly handled allegations that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had assistants videotape opponents' signals.
NFL officials indicate the Patriots taped the Steelers' coaches during AFC Championship games at the end of the 2001 and 2004 seasons, and during regular-season games in 2002 and 2004, Specter said. The Steelers lost all but the 2004 regular-season game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the Patriots $250,000 and docked the team a first-round draft pick.
estroying the tapes after the league's internal investigation.
But Rooney said Goodell and the league took the ``appropriate action'' in punishing the Patriots.
``We are confident that the commissioner has taken appropriate action in his investigation of this matter, and will do so again if new information arises which requires further investigation and/or discipline,'' Rooney said.
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