December 11, 2019 / 10:18 PM / 4 months ago

Belichick shuts down queries into videotape controversy

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday shed very little light into the NFL’s investigation of the organization for videotaping the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline this past weekend.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 24, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick warms up his hands before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Belichick was rather curt with reporters, marking the third straight day in which he was asked about a team videographer who was caught filming the Bengals’ sideline during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

When asked whether the scout involved was aware of the rules that he can’t film from the press box, Belichick said the following:

“He was doing his job. That’s what he was doing, he was doing his job. Like we all tried to do. That’s what the football team, the football staff and the coaching staff did last week was try to do their job for Kansas City, and then Cincinnati, and then Buffalo next week and that’s it.

A reporter asked a follow-up question, to which Belichick offered a quick response.

“I just answered the question. That’s it. We have no involvement in it. Zero,” Belichick said.

When asked if he had heard from the league, Belichick tried to put an end to the line of questioning.

“Yeah, I’ve told you everything,” he said. “Look, Mr. (Robert) Kraft made a statement, the team made a statement. That’s — I don’t have anything to add.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell declined to put a timeline on the investigation when asked about it Wednesday at his press conference at the league meetings in Las Colinas, Texas.

“Obviously it’s under review,” Goodell said. “We’re going to be thorough and take our time and look at everything that’s pertinent here, and then we’ll make a decision.”

Asked if the Patriots’ history of being punished for rules violations will factor into the new investigation, Goodell replied, “Of course that is a factor.”

He added: “But I think the key things are the new information that we have — that information we obviously already had. I think the issue is what information do we have from this incident.”

NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent provided a brief statement on the status of the investigation on Wednesday.

“It’s pending. I’m still gathering information and we’ll continue that when we return to New York,” Vincent said, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Citing a source, ESPN reported that a Bengals employee saw the Patriots’ videographer filming the Cincinnati sideline for the entire first quarter.

In a statement released Monday night, the Patriots said the videographer was filming one of New England’s advance scouts for a “Do Your Job” documentary series on employees that is featured on the team website.

“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the statement read. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box. When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully.”

The Athletic reported that the eight-minute video shows a “direct view of the sideline as players run on and off the field and coaches make signals for plays.”

—Field Level Media

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