It comes down to stopping the run
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Is there any advanced scouting in football or is everything done breaking down film after the game is played? Are there members of Belichick's staff whose job it was to watch the Jets/Steelers game to begin analyzing a potential opponent?
A: Brian, there are advance scouts, or pro personnel people who go out and scout the games in person, but the majority of the work is done on film. Belichick is looking for something from his scouts that he can't see on the film. A lot of that might be some inside buzz on what's going on with a certain team or a certain player off the field that might affect his play in the upcoming game. It might be something the scout spotted in a pre-game warmup, or the way a player was running or throwing.
I had reviewed the Jets game a few times, specifically the play on which Richard Seymour was injured. The evidence is persuasive, though not absolutely convincing, that Mawae injured Seymour intentionally. I've heard virtually nothing about this, but I'd recommend checking out the tape and seeing for yourself. Does the league look into this sort of thing, ever? As I recall, last year Ted Washington thought that Mawae broke his leg intentionally. If so, shouldn't he be suspended?
Jack, North Andover
A: Jack, I have watched it a couple of times. I see where you would think it was intentional. It looks that way. It looked as if Mike Vrabel was the object he was seeking to hit or hurt, but got Seymour instead. As I pointed out last week, there were no complaints about the hit that I heard from the players. Usually you hear something if there's a dirty play. Sometimes players turn the other way because they know someone on their team might have gotten away with one, too. Mawae has that reputation, as does Rodney Harrison. Believe me, the league looks at those guys with reputations very closely. They usually can't get away with much, though you mentioned the Ted Washington situation and I must say Mawae did get away with that one.