On Monday, the New England Patriots were thrust into more controversy after a reporter asked Bengals coach Zac Taylor about a cameraman who identified himself as a Robert Kraft employee filming Bengals coaches during the first quarter of their game against the Browns.
That employee reportedly asked if he could “just delete the footage” when a Bengals employee caught him.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter then reported that a scout was credentialed by the Browns for the game played in Cleveland to be filmed on site for a Patriots production titled “Do Your Job.” However, that news never made it to the Bengals or the league.
Later on Monday, the New England Patriots sent out a statement taking responsibility:
“While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight. … We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game.”
During a segment with Boston’s WEEI on Monday afternoon, head coach Bill Belichick claimed that the Patriots coaching staff didn’t have a clue about the footage and no plans to watch it.
“Yeah, I heard about this, and evidently this is our production people on the TV show that were there, and I have nothing to do — we have absolutely nothing to do with anything that they produce or direct or shoot,” Belichick said, per WEEI. “I have never even seen any of their tapes or anything else.
“This is something that we 100 percent have zero involvement with. This is something you’d have to talk to the production people about and what they were doing, or whatever it was. We have never seen anything that they’ve shot, other than what has come down on TV.”
This all sounded all too familiar, because back in 2015, ESPN did an in-depth piece on the Patriots past scandals that included the 2007 “Spygate” where it was described how a protocol was in place for Patriots scout and videographers to have ready-made excuses if they were caught by NFL security.
From that ESPN report:
“During games, [Patriots video assistant Matt] Walsh later told investigators, the Patriots’ videographers were told to look like media members, to tape over their team logos or turn their sweatshirt inside out, to wear credentials that said Patriots TV or Kraft Productions. The videographers also were provided with excuses for what to tell NFL security if asked what they were doing: Tell them you’re filming the quarterbacks. Or the kickers. Or footage for a team show.”
“OR FOOTAGE FOR A TEAM SHOW.”
Really makes you think, doesn’t it.
Any recordings have since been handed over to the NFL, so the truth will come out once they are viewed.