Brian Daboll, the former Patriots assistant coach with whom Matt Walsh claims he shared information regarding the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough practice prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, has no recollection of the conversation, the NFL said yesterday.
Furthermore, the league said a conversation of that nature wouldn't have violated NFL rules.
Walsh's recollections of the walkthrough were a crucial part of his conversation with NFL officials Tuesday in New York.
After saying there was no walkthrough tape - refuting a Feb. 2 report in the Boston Herald - Walsh said he shared information with Daboll about what he witnessed at the walkthrough.
Walsh said he told Daboll Rams running back Marshall Faulk lined up as a kickoff returner, and how the Rams were using their tight ends. Walsh also claimed Daboll drew diagrams of formations, a recollection he repeated to the
Walsh's recollections were inconsistent with what the NFL had heard from Daboll, now an assistant coach with the Jets, in a prior interview. League officials had a follow-up interview with Daboll Wednesday, conducted by the NFL security department.
Daboll told the NFL he didn't recall the conversation with Walsh, and through a Jets spokesman last night, he said he had nothing to add.
"Matt Walsh was authorized to be in the stadium to perform his job duties along with other members of the Patriots' video department, members of the Rams' video department, and other people preparing for the Super Bowl," the league's statement said.
"Mr. Walsh told the commissioner that he was wearing Patriots attire at the time and did not conduct himself in a clandestine manner. He said that he saw Rams employees while he was there and also was on the sidelines. He stated clearly to the commissioner that nobody from the Patriots requested or directed him to observe or report on the Rams' walkthrough."
Former St. Louis coach Mike Martz said in a statement yesterday, "I had the opportunity to talk to Commissioner [Roger] Goodell yesterday and I was very satisfied with the NFL's efforts to investigate the situation with Matt Walsh as it related to Super Bowl XXXVI. I'm very confident that there was no impropriety. I believed Bill Belichick when he said there wasn't and I took that at face value.
"Let me make this clear - we lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl because we turned the ball over three times. If there was anything obtained from our walkthrough from a casual observer that happened to be present, then that was just part of those walkthroughs and that environment.
"I was stunned at Matt Walsh's allegation that he was on the sideline in New England Patriots apparel during our walkthrough . . . I promise you that if he was on the sideline, he was not in New England Patriots apparel because he would have been identified."
Mike Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.