Bill Belichick Explains How Spygate Changed Patriots’ Competitive Approach


December 10, 2019

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick continued to deny any involvement in his team’s latest controversy on Tuesday.

Patriots employees were discovered taping the Bengals’ sideline Sunday when Cincinnati was taking on the Browns in Cleveland. New England takes on the Bengals this week. The Patriots owned up to the error in a statement Monday night, blaming the team’s TV production crew, which was on hand shooting the documentary series, “Do Your Job,” on their advance scout present at the game.

Belichick spoke to Patriots and Bengals reporters via conference calls on Tuesday. He gave Cincinnati reporters an interesting nugget about how the Patriots’ Spygate scandal, which also involved the team taping the opposition, changed New England’s approach.

“We’re competitive and we’ll try to be competitive in every area,” Belichick said. “But we don’t knowingly, intentionally want to do anything that’s across the line.

“But since that’s (Spygate) happened, I’d say we’ve tried to keep a good distance behind the line and not maybe take it as far as we might have in the past. But it’s never really fundamentally changed there.”

ESPN Bengals reporter Ben Baby noted the Patriots production crew member was assigned to sit in the third row of the press box but set up in the first row directly in front of Cincinnati personnel.

“I have no involvement in this and no knowledge of it, and so I really don?t have any idea what exactly is going on,” Belichick reiterated Tuesday. “I can tell you that we?ve never, as a coaching staff and me personally, have never viewed 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. But, we don?t have anything to do with what they do, so I really don?t have much knowledge of the situation at all.”

The Patriots production crew member reportedly filmed the Bengals’ sideline for eight minutes. The NFL reportedly isn’t expected to levy harsh punishment against the Patriots for Sunday’s infraction.

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