Patriots admit video crew violated NFL rules, ‘inappropriately filmed the field’ during Bengals game

Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Monday he is “aware” of a suggestion that a Patriots employee could have been filming play calls from the press box in Cleveland during Sunday’s Browns-Bengals game, but he did not comment further.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots advanced scout was actually the one being filmed — for a feature titled, “Do Your Job.” He was credentialed and cleared by Cleveland’s media relations staff to shoot B-roll video from the press box.

Late Monday night, the Patriots acknowledged in a statement their production contractors “inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.” New England maintained it was not on purpose.

According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, neither the Bengals nor the NFL were informed of the videographer in the press box, which led Cincinnati to alert league officials to have the situation investigated. Breer also reported this is part of a larger video series New England is filming.

The skepticism surrounding this goes without saying considering New England’s history of illegally taping opposing teams to gain an advantage. In a lengthy feature by ESPN, which detailed the 2007 Spygate scandal, former New England video assistant Matt Walsh told investigators that one of the criteria for filming would be to explain they are filming for a “team show,” the same qualification here.

“During games, 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.”

The (1-12) Bengals, who were in Cleveland for an AFC North matchup, face the (10-3) Patriots next Sunday in Cincinnati.

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