Interesting story by Jill Seward of NESN, who passes on information from SI's Peter King that, according to an unnamed source, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen believe the Patriots monitor the visitors' locker room and the pair consequentially conduct strategic huddles in the concourse outside the locker room as a means of avoiding intellectual interception:
[EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION:] Christensen and Manning aren't alleging this. Peter King's unknown source is. If they indeed are conducting huddles in the hallway, though, they seem to be confirming what the source is alleging.
According to a recent report by Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the Indianapolis Colts feel they are not quite alone in the visitor's locker room at Foxboro. King says he has "reliably" heard that quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen always step into the concourse hallways to discuss strategy for fear they will be overheard in the locker room.
"If you're outside the locker room Sunday, don't be surprised to see Manning and his first-year coordinator, Christensen, huddling for a few minutes," King wrote, listing the Manning-Christensen huddle as one of the top things he'll be watching for this weekend.
Again, these are just reports of reports right now, but it is a situation that demands watching, especially considering the Patriots' history with signal-stealing. Personally, I believe this is just a case of the Colts being extra-cautious, as the Patriots would have to be something well beyond stupid to put their franchise at risk of punishment again for playing spy games.
And really, this seems to be one of those allegations that couldn't ever be definitively proven anyway. I mean, if this did turn out to be true, do you really think the Patriots would leave their surveillance equipment just hanging around the locker room as news broke? Or do you think they'd do some impromptu remodeling and be ready to great NFL Security with a sparkly new visitors' locker room should that call ever come.
Either way, though, it does make for an interesting story, either in terms of Manning's serious-with-a-tin-hat mode of preparation or the Patriots' secret agent approach to gaining any edge possible.
It also opens up some golden opportunities for jokes about Tom Brady spying on the locker room. Not that I would ever sink to the immature depths of making jokes about Brady videotaping a locker room, I mean.
[UPDATE]: We wrote about this at SB Nation Indiana as well. Spygate 2.0? Maybe. If this rumor is true, how can the NFL not suspend Bill Belichick? -BBS
[UPDATE 2:] Mike Florio at PFT is now reporting this story, linking us linking Seward linking King. The only way I see this story getting legs from here is if either Manning or Christensen comments (neither will) or if another team steps up and reports the same suspicion (Rex Ryan hasn't done much to make headlines this week, so you never know...)