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“I’m not accusing the Patriots of doing something wrong,” Westhoff said. “Maybe they’re doing something smart. That’s up to you. Watch the tape, you tell me.”

Ryan refused to address whether other teams have had similar formations on their sidelines.

“I’m not going to talk about another team or anybody else,” he said. “I’m just saying, for us, I was not aware that we did that. We found out that it did take place. We were up front about that when we found out about it, and it was a mistake.”

In wake of the incident, the NFL sent a letter to all 32 teams Thursday reminding them of the rules and restrictions for the bench area and sidelines.

“Our team will be way back,” Ryan said. “I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ll be the leaders in that.”

Anderson emphasized the responsibilities placed on each team to appoint a “get-back coach” to ensure that players, coaches and other staff are in compliance with league rules.

The “get-back coach” must be aware of all sideline restrictions and is responsible for ensuring that the team and staff are in compliance. Anderson added that “violations could subject your team and/or individuals to both in-game penalties and other disciplinary action. Flagrant violations after two warnings could result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.”

He said fines and suspensions could be imposed by the league, as well.


AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in New York, and AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Berea, Ohio, contributed to this report.