Whatever works.

If you were a little surprised by how good Auburn’s defense looked for much of the national title game against a very good FSU offense, there could be an explanation.  Dameyune Craig, who was on Fisher’s staff last season, may have stolen signs and relayed them to Ellis Johnson.

If you’re skeptical about it, consider what happened afterwards.

Maybe it was the jitters.

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43 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Auburn's Cast of Thousands

43 responses to “Whatever works.

  1. TennesseeDawg

    You would have thought at some time during the more than a month that FSU had to prepare for the game they might have remembered Craig and thought to install new signals.

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’ve always admired sign stealers. Tommy Lasorda was a pro.

  3. charlottedawg

    why is this news? Auburn recruits guys who steal all the time.

  4. uglydawg

    There’s probably no written rule concerning this, but it is dishonest. There are coaches who would refuse to do this. And there are coaches (programs) that will do anything to win. (“do anything to win”…see Auburn University…recent history)
    This is on the level of the Wally Butts- Bear Bryant scandal if it’s true. I don’t expect FSU to keep quiet about it if it’s proveable. Of course, nothing can or will be done, but it will, once again, cast a pall over Auburn’s “accomplishments”. If you cheated in one game…you probably cheated in more.

    • There is no written rule, so I think you’re overreacting when you compare it to the Butts-Bryant scandal (which was really a Furman Bisher scandal, when you get down to it).

      It may not be the most ethical thing to do, but there’s a long tradition in sports of stealing the other guy’s signs. Seems to me this is something FSU should have anticipated.

      • DawgPhan

        Change your signs. It isnt that hard. And if you think that the guy might try and steal them. Use a different indicator and make it look like the same sign as before.

        • Lamontsanford

          Jimbo knew they would steal the signs. They didn’t change them because it took Famous Jameis all season to finally learn the first ones. “You strowng? I strowng. We strowng!”

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Senator, I am pretty much of the same mindset as you on this but apparently we are dinosaurs. The NFL suspends coaches for this kind of thing these days.

    • Dawgfan Will

      I’m always ready to jump on the Auburn hate-train, but in this case, I can’t get really upset. I see it as similar to a poker player learning another player’s “tells.” He’d be foolish not to take advantage of it.

    • simpl_matter

      If you can steal their signs and don’t, you aren’t playing to win. It’s the same as picking up tendencies, guessing snap counts, etc., whatever gives you an advantage within the rules is fair game. If your signs are getting poached, it’s on you to change them. FSU should have seen this possibility & prepared for it. There is no scandal here.

    • Go Dawgs!

      I hate Auburn, too, but this comment is silly. If UGA hires someone from Florida who has the ability to tell our players what play Florida is about to run and someone on our coaching staff were to refuse to take advantage because of some sense of moral superiority, I hope that coach would be fired before they even got back to the locker room. You take advantage of every single edge you can find in this game. If Florida State didn’t like it, they should have figured out in the MONTH leading up to the game that their signals hadn’t changed since an opposing coach worked for them. That’s just stupid on FSU’s part. I’m glad it didn’t cost them the national championship, but it could have and probably should have. Dameyune Craig works for Auburn now, and to his credit he was doing everything in his power to win the game for his team.

  5. mwo

    I’ll bet Rodney Garner stole our “tip the Hail Mary pass up in the air, don’t knock it down or let the underthrown pass fall harmlessly to the gorund” sign when UGA played AU. That bastard!

  6. uglydawg

    Yeah, I realized I was stretching it with the Butt-Bryant thing..it was never really proven was it?
    Baseball is different…it’s accepted there. I don’t think it’s the same in football. Remember recently when a player found an opposing qb’s wrist notes (on what to call when..signals, etc.) and returned it. He was lauded for his honesty and rightfully so. If we’re going to honor honesty, we should dis-honor dishonesty.
    I’d love to hear CMR’s take on this kind of thing..but he will do the right thing and stay above the fray. I’m pretty sure, though, that he wouldn’t steal signs or anything else.

    • tess

      Not only was it not proven, Butts sued the Evening Post, took it the Supreme Court, and won there, essentially putting the SEP out of business and establishing while the press can print allegations against public figures, they better have some reasonable basis. (Summary is here.)

    • Bulldawg165

      What exactly would you do if, leading up to the biggest game of your head coaching career, you happened upon information about how to tell what plays the other team was running? You didn’t steal it or anything, it just fell into your lap. What would you do? Immediately throw it away?

      • DawgPhan

        I would probably try and use it sparingly, but I would definitely have someone in charge of checking it and making sure that it was accurate.

    • mp

      From Jimbo himself: “That happens, people do it, and that’s our fault. You’ve got to change them, constantly rotate them, being able to get them in different ways. That’s part of the game. I don’t have a problem with that.” It’s the easiest thing in the world to avoid…change your signals. Every team should presume that someone has broken their code from one game to the next…teams have how many video analysts watching game tape?

  7. JAX

    It’s Auburn, what more can you say? They’ve been cheating since 1957 and continue to do so. It’s who they are.

  8. Can they do that? That would be cheating.

  9. Dawg in Beaumont

    I hate Auburn more than anybody, but those of you saying this is wrong are, well, wrong in my opinion. It’s being smart. If you get used to a QB’s cadence and can predict the snap count is that wrong? If you study tendencies of play callers and adjust accordingly is that wrong? It’s not like they secretly recorded an FSU practice, this is just smart football IMO.

  10. tbia

    Part of the game. When you do something publicly, you run this risk. If you really don’t want the other team to possibly know what you are running, shuttle in a wide receiver to TELL the play to the QB.

    I mean, that is what Paul Johnson does, and he is a friggin genius of a coach.

    • Macallanlover

      It is part of the game. The Genius Paul Johnson has a “tell” we have been exploiting for years: 95% of the time there is a stupid look on his face it is going to be a running play. Evil Richt been cheating like that for a while now. (Even CTG can figure this one out, although he would be helpless if the indicator signaled a pass was coming.) Being the nice guy he is, CMR told CPJ about it after one game but Fish Fry is helpless to change….he has no other look.

  11. PHDawg

    I believe in Auburn and I love it!

    My eye is actually twitching after writing that.

  12. Bright Idea

    Shaq Wiggins stood near the Nebraska sideline huddle during the Gator Bowl. Obviously he was just pretending to listen.

  13. Tronan

    I commented to some friends during the second quarter of the BCSCG that Auburn must have figured out some way FSU tips its offensive plays during game prep. It turns out it was more than that.

    I don’t see anything wrong with stealing signs. Okay, Leo Durocher planting a guy in the Polo Grounds scoreboard with a pair of binoculars was pretty extreme, but signals interception is part and parcel of competition.

  14. Joe Cox

    Of course it is wrong to try to read the tendencies of the other team’s offense. Now stop looking at my feet!!!

  15. Heathbar09

    Why is this even considered cheating by some? It’s not cheating in baseball. It’s not against the written rules of football. It’s not “dishonest.” There is a reason most teams have goofy signs, hand motions, and multiple people giving signs to the QB. They know it’s a possibility and they are trying to protect their play calling. Shame on FSU for not preparing for this and kudos to Auburn for taking advantage of it.

    • It’s not even against unwritten rules like in baseball. It’s part of the game, and why teams have signs, and Grantham holds up a towel, etc.

      This isn’t new, and it’s not “cheating”. Hell, some teams are willing to tell you the play they’ll run before snapping the ball. It matters, but the extreme stance some are taking on it is ridiculous (calling it cheating, saying they wouldn’t use it even if they could cause of morals, etc).

      • uglydawg

        CMR better hurry up and build that indoor practice facility….drones are going to be a sudden craze…like electric-al bananas they’re bound to be the very next phase.

    • FisheriesDawg

      It’s not cheating in baseball, but it’ll quickly get you a fastball in the ribcage if you’re caught doing it. If you keep doing it, that fastball is coming for your earphole the next time.

  16. Ausdawg85

    I’m just thankful Todd Grantham has brought the sophisticated DB arm flapping signals to us so no one knows what coverage we’re in.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      So true. Between the kid holding the towel all day, and all the coaches and players waving arms, its really pretty comical to think anyone would bother trying to understand our D signals. Their heads would explode like the fembots.

  17. uglydawg

    Looks like I’m well outnumbered here..but I think it’s wrong..in football. If you could tap into the other teams headsets and listen..would that be fine? You could always say the other team should have hired a technical guy to prevent it. To me it’s wrong. If you find money is it yours or should you turn it in? Do you return money when you’re given too much change? You can always blame the cashier fo not being more careful…I’m no angel and I’m not trying to find higher ground here..just saying it would be nice to know that Auburn played that well because they’re good…not because they knew what the other guy was doing.
    .

    • Dawgfan Will

      If football was played according to the code of chivalry so that teams and coaches did not take advantage of others’ weaknesses, I would probably agree with you. Stealing a playbook, secretly videotaping opponents’ practices, and other consciously underhanded activities should be discouraged. But this is just a coach using his knowledge from a previous job to benefit the school he is now loyal to. That’s why I don’t really buy into your keeping money that isn’t yours analogy.

  18. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Did anyone else notice Jameis Winston hugging Dameyune Craig after the BCSNCG?