Cincinnati Coach Sam Wyche has accused Coach Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks of having a spy at the Bengals' final exhibition game in Indianapolis last Friday. Their teams meet Sunday in Cincinnati to open the NFL regular season.
Wyche said the Seahawks had someone in the Hoosier Dome press box, speaking into a tape recorder and apparently keeping track of plays. He said he assumed the tape would be matched with game films and the Seahawks would use the two to crack the Bengals' sideline signals code.
"I'd be happy to send Chuck some diagrams and stick figures, if that's what they want," Wyche said.
He said he was upset about what he thought was an attempt to swipe sideline signals meant for the Bengals' quarterbacks.
"I've never heard of anybody doing that kind of thing," Wyche said. "We try and pick up signals in the course of a game -- you're in a war then -- but we don't send out a scout to do it."
"They must be paranoid back there," Knox countered, readily admitting the Seahawks scouted the Indianapolis game. He said Wyche "sounded to me like Captain Queeg," referring to the quirky central figure in "The Caine Mutiny."
The scout was Abe Gibron, former Chicago Bears head coach who joined the Seahawks' staff as an advance scout this season, Knox said. Gibron weighs about 330 pounds.
"It's kind of tough to hide him," Knox said. "If we were going to send a spy over there, I would think we'd be a little more discreet about it. We had to get Abe two seats in the press box. We got him two trays of food up there. So you could hardly say he was not noticeable."