The New England Patriots have found themselves at the center of yet another illegal filming scandal. This time, the team is in hot water for filming the Cincinnati Bengals sideline for an episode of the team's behind-the-scenes web series.
The players and coach Bill Belichick are denying any knowledge of the incident.
“Yeah, that’s pretty much a joke,” wide receiver Julian Edelman told the Boston Herald. “We haven’t even thought about it, honestly. We’ve been thinking about other things. It’s funny, but it is what it is. I don’t know, it’s ridiculous. My focus is on the Buffalo Bills.”
The Patriots play the Bills on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a critical AFC East match-up.
Quarterback Tom Brady talked about the scandal earlier this week.
“I don’t think any player gave it one second of thought. Not something that even registered. You just move on, man. There’s a lot of distractions out there and if you lose focus on your job, that is really a waste of your time. There’s a lot of people out there — they can create distractions for us, but we just want to go out there and focus on what we can do and what our job is and try and go out there and play the best we possibly can.” Brady said.
Belichick has also addressed the incident.
“Yeah I’m really focused on getting ready for the Bengals here,” Belichick said on Tuesday morning. “I just think all that’s being handled internally or however it’s being handled. I don’t know. Again, I have no involvement in this and no knowledge of it. I really don’t have any idea what exactly is going on. I can tell you that we’ve never, as a coaching staff, and I’ve personally have never used any video footage at all of anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that. We don’t have anything to do with what they do so I really don’t have much knowledge of the situation at all.”
Despite all of that, CBS' Jason La Canfora reports that the team could be facing some serious punishment.
“The New England Patriots are facing steep penalties for their admitted illegal taping of the Bengals sideline last week, league sources said, which is likely to include the loss of at least one draft pick and heavy fines," he wrote. "
There is the possibility of a suspension for a member of upper management and/or ownership as well, sources said, pending the results of the NFL’s full investigation into the matter.”