American football analyst Cian Fahey joined The Snap and spoke about the latest scandal involving the New England Patriots.
The Patriots were accused of sending a third-party video contractor to film the Bengals coaching staff and sideline during the game with the Cleveland Browns ahead of their clash with the Cincinnati side on Sunday.
Filming of opposition sides’ coaching staff is not allowed in the NFL and the Bengals believe that the Patriots were trying to steal signals from their coaching staff.
While Fahey doesn’t believe that this ‘spying’ has led to any significant amount of the Patriots' success, he does expect at least some foul play on behalf of the New England side.
“The thing that made me interested in this story was - well, actually it was two things. One, apparently the video in the tape isn’t shot over the shoulder of a scout as you would expect.
“In that type of situation, it’s, ‘Oh we’re following the scout so we’re looking at him and just got someone on the sideline in the background.’ Apparently, it’s eight minutes of them looking at the sideline, which can’t really be explained away.
“The other part of this, it was from John Breach on CBS I believe, he tweeted out a part of the previous ‘Spygate’ settlement or argument or punishment or whatever it was.
“Apparently, they found at that time that the excuse the Patriots had if they got lined up, was if they got caught was to say they were making a documentary on the team,” Fahey said.
While he assumed at first that the whole controversy may have been the case of an honest mistake, the Irish analyst is now not so sure.
Statement from the New England Patriots. pic.twitter.com/rhXdwVvnr8
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 10, 2019
“So when I first heard they were making a documentary on the team I was like, ‘Alright, fair enough. It could have happened easily.’
“Then I heard those two details and I was like, ‘Hmm, this sounds like something where a couple of first-round picks could be going again.’
“It is kind of funny though how much every team across the league says, ‘Oh, we have to have no distractions, we have to copy the Patriots, we have to not have any off-field issues.’
“The amount of off-field stuff the Patriots go through - it just highlights how none of this really matters unless you’re getting fined or suspended or something from it,” Fahey said.
The NFL is now investigating the matter, which is the second time the Patriots have been involved in a scandal involving videotaping opposition coaches, earning the whole debacle the name of ‘Spygate 2.0’.
The first time was in 2007 when the Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the walkthroughs after former Pats coach Eric Mangini, warned his new employers at the Jets about the Patriots filming walkthrough sessions and trying to acquire hand signals from opposing coaches.
The NFL fined Patriots head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 for his role in the incident, fined the Patriots $250,000, and docked the team their original first-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft which would have been the 31st pick of the draft after the original scandal.
Whether the Massachusetts-based side will be punished in the same manner as they were back in 2007 remains to be seen.