Bill Belichick delivered one of his most memorable press conferences following a loss to Kansas City and just before the New England Patriots took on the Cincinnati Bengals.
That press conference in 2014 turned the tides of a season spiraling in the wrong direction. It came on the back of a devastating loss with many people doubting the future of quarterback Tom Brady and the New England offense.
Sound familiar? Well, New England takes on Cincinnati on Sunday looking to get back on track after the offense and Brady have both sputtered in recent weeks. But that’s not the focal point of this week’s matchup. New England has found itself embroiled in yet another videotaping scandal, albeit much less severe than Spygate in 2007.
The Patriots’ independent production team was caught filming the Bengals sideline last Sunday during their loss at Cleveland. The footage, b-roll for a television program called “Do Your Job” about several members of the Patriots staff, looked at an advanced scout and reportedly had eight uninterrupted minutes focused on the Bengals sideline.
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Belichick Defends the Production Crew
After opening his weekly press conference with a five-minute filibuster on all things football and Cincinnati, questions immediately peppered Belichick about the incident. The Patriots coach had a predictable response:
“The football team, the football staff, and the coaching staff had nothing to do with what happened. Nothing. So there was no involvement in it. He was doing his job, that’s what he was doing. Like we all try to do. That’s what the football team, the football staff, and the coaching staff did last week, is try to do their job for Kansas City. We had no involvement in it. Zero.
“I’ve told you everything. Mr. Kraft made a statement, the team made a statement. I do not have anything to add.”
Many, including ESPN reporter Seth Wickersham, have confirmed their belief in Belichick denying any involvement in the issue.
Do the Patriots Respect the Bengals?
To conclude his lengthy opening statement on Wednesday, Bill Belichick spoke complimentary about the Bengals, despite their 1-12 record this season.
“You can’t judge this team by their record, that’s not really reflective of what they are,” he said before fielding questions. “I’m really impressed with a lot of things that they do.
“They’re a well-balanced team, they do a good job of keeping the defense honest.”
The Bengals felt disrespected over the Patriots filming their sideline last Sunday, with one report indicating Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor is “livid” over the issue. Though New England coach Bill Belichick has continuously denied any involvement his football staff may have had in this situation, it was still a breach of league policy.
When the two coaches exchange handshakes on Sunday after the game, it will be interesting to see if there is anything said about the issue. The incident remains under investigation by the NFL.