For a brief moment, it appeared Spygate 2.0 could be unfolding.
Seemingly out of nowhere, a member of the media asked Bengals head coach Zac Taylor during his Monday press conference about a rumor involving the New England Patriots filming Cincinnati's sideline during its Week 14 road game versus the Cleveland Browns. Taylor said the league is investigating the situation.
At the question of it being alleged a Patriots official had a videographer filming the Bengals sideline from the press box on Sunday, Zac Taylor had no comment only saying he was "aware there was an incident" and "the league was investigating it," but had no comment.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) December 9, 2019
The Bengals also released a statement to the MMQB's Albert Breer:
Statement from the Bengals: "We are aware of the incident, and we are aware it is being investigated by NFL Security. We will have no further comment." https://t.co/s9OL8dOX2w— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 9, 2019
Shortly after Taylor's remarks, Twitter was set ablaze with fans accusing the Patriots of cheating. However, further details have emerged on the situation, and it appears the Patriots were just filming something for a feature/documentary.
Here's the latest information, via ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini, as well as NFL Media's Ian Rapoport:
Patriots’ advance scout was not filming but being filmed, per a league source. He was being filmed for a feature the team produced called, "Do Your Job." The video crew was credentialed by the Browns to shoot video in the press box and their PR person was aware, per the source— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2019
An explanation, via a source informed of the #Patriots situation: The team reached out to the #Browns for a credential for a videographer to shoot a behind-the-scenes piece on an advanced scout. A day in the life. They’ve done “Do Your Job” pieces on several other facets (1/2).— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 9, 2019
More on #Patriots/#Bengals situation (2/2): These "Do Your Job” pieces have been on training staff, equipment, etc. The videographer shot B-roll in the press box. The Pats didnt ask the league until afterward, tho they did inform the #Browns (who had the home game) vs. #Bengals— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 9, 2019
Just spoke to New England about the situation. Apparently this was a very BIG misunderstanding and lack of communication with the Bengals.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) December 9, 2019
Aside from the Patriots' history involving the Spygate scandal, this whole situation is relevant because New England plays the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals enter Week 15 with a league-worst 1-12 record. The Patriots, or any team, for that matter, don't need to do anything illegal like filming the Bengals' signals in order to beat them.
It sure sounds like this whole ordeal was the result of miscommunication between the involved parties.
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