Under investigation by the NFL for allegedly filming the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during last Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots' defense took a hit Sunday when FOX NFL Sunday's Jay Glazer aired footage obtained from the incident in question.
Glazer is the same reporter that broke the Patriots' initial "SpyGate" incident in 2007, when New England was disciplined by the NFL for videotaping signals from the New York Jets' defensive coaches to players on the field.
In the new video, which is already being referred to as "SpyGate II," a Patriots videographer is confronted by a Bengals security guard and questioned about the reason for the footage, which films Cincinnati's sideline during last weekend's game against the Browns.
"And this is a piece you're filming on your advance scout?" the Bengals security guard said.
"Yeah," the Patriots videographer said.
"Yeah?" the Bengals security guard said. "Come on, guys. I don't see the advance scout in this footage."
"No, it's not," the Patriots videographer said. "We're trying to get some field perspective. That's my bad."
The Patriots videographer offered to delete the footage, but Bengals security scoffed at the remark.
"The damage is done, my friend," the Bengals security guard said.
Bengals security then notified NFL security, which alerted commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, Glazer said.
"Obviously, intent is huge -- who did it go to?" Glazer said. "And that's one of the things they're trying to figure out -- was this all the way to
(Patriots head coach) Bill Belichick? Or did Bill Belichick have nothing to do with this, hands washed? But the investigation, I'm told, is not going to go on very long. They want to act very swiftly here."
The Patriots acknowledged the allegations last Monday before the footage leaked Sunday morning, prior to New England's 34-14 win.
"For the past year, the New England Patriots content team has produced a series of behind-the scenes features on various departments within the organization," the Patriots said in a statement. "The seven previous 'Do Your Job' episodes are archived on patriots.com. On Sunday, Dec. 8, the content team sent a three-person video crew to the Bengals-Browns game at FirstEnergy Stadium in order to capture one part of a longer feature on the Patriots scouting department, in this case a Patriots pro personnel scout while he was working in the press box.
"While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight. In addition to filming the scout, the production crew -- without specific knowledge of League rules -- inappropriately filmed the field from the press box. The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box. When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully.
"The production crew is independent of our football operation. While aware that one of the scouts was being profiled for a 'Do Your Job' episode, our football staff had no other involvement whatsoever in the planning, filming or creative decisions made during the production of these features.
"We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game."