BOSTON (CBS) — As news broke Monday that the Patriots were involved another spying scandal, someone was tasked with breaking the news to head coach Bill Belichick. One can only imagine the wrath that poor messenger suffered upon relaying the message.
Belichick has maintained over the last few days that he had no idea that the team had sent a film crew to Cleveland on Sunday. That crew — comprised of a full-time Patriots producer and two independent contractors, according to The Athletic — was filming New England’s advanced scout for the team’s “Do Your Job” web series, but also reportedly had eight minutes of footage from the Bengals sideline. That’s a big no-no in the NFL rule book, which the Patriots are pretty familiar with following the 2007 Spygate scandal.
As the news began to spread on Monday afternoon, someone had to alert Belichick to the newest controversy surrounding his team. And according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, Belichick was “furious” upon learning the news.
And rightfully so. The Patriots now find themselves under investigation by the league for the ordeal, having violated the NFL’s policy of videotaping the sideline from the press box. The Patriots said the crew “unknowingly” broke the rules when they filmed Cincinnati’s sideline, an explanation that the NFL is “inclined to believe,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
But that doesn’t mean the Patriots won’t face some form of punishment (likely a fine), and countless hours of cheating accusations going forward. That will further tarnish what Belichick and the Patriots have accomplished over his 20-plus years with the franchise, so it’s easy to understand why the head coach was pretty miffed on Monday.