While the Patriots await word of discipline for videotaping the Bengals' sideline this week, the team they're facing Sunday is hoping for a stiff punishment.
Appearing on Pregame Live before the New England-Cincinnati game Sunday, the MMQB's Albert Breer detailed what the Bengals are thinking.
"I will say this — the Bengals are not happy," Breer said. "I know that they've taken offense to people treating this like a joke. And look, there's probably a little bit of an inferiority complex, and I think part of this is, 'You better not give these guys preferential treatment because their owner is Robert Kraft and our owner is Mike Brown.'
"I think when this thing started to turn into a joke on Tuesday and Wednesday, the coaches who are involved here, their radar went straight up — 'Wait a minute, we don't want to let this narrative get to that point' — so the Bengals, I will tell you, are not happy about the way this was handled. And I think that if the league doesn't come down on the Patriots here, you could see retaliation from Cincinnati."
On Sunday morning, Jay Glazer aired exclusive footage of what the Patriots shot — and an interaction with an employee from Bengals security. The video shows footage of the Cincinnati sideline — something that's explicitly against NFL rules.
"What's on that video is basically shots of the sideline, where you see the coaches and then it pans out and you see players running on and off the field," said Breer before the video aired on FOX Sports. "This is part of what pro scouts do; they try to pick up on personnel signals so they can see substitution patterns. I've talked to a bunch of pro scouts who said that's exactly what they're doing.
"Now the Patriots' excuse could be — and this would make sense — well, the cameraman, the producer went to our advance scout, asked him what he does, then he goes and says 'OK, this is what this guy does, I'm going to go get video of it.' Totally makes sense.
"The problem is, if you're the New England Patriots, the one piece of equipment that no one under your employ can get caught with is a video camera. There is one thing that you cannot get caught with in this organization, whether you're freelance, whether you're full-time, no matter who you are — is a video camera."
And there's the problem for the Patriots. Having already been disciplined by the league once for illegally videotaping an opponent, another related instance could lead to harsher penalties from the league office.
Now whether those penalties include fines and/or draft picks? We'll have to wait and see.