Monday, November 29, 2010
Broncos video bust entangles Patriots
By Tim Graham
The NFL's latest videotaping scandal has drawn out the New England Patriots, much to their annoyance.
As I wrote Saturday when the NFL announced it was punishing the Denver Broncos for filming a San Francisco 49ers walk-through prior to their game in London last month, Spygate has re-emerged as a hot topic.
Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels was the Patriots' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick when the Spygate story unfolded in 2007 and 2008.
Steve Scarnecchia, the Broncos videographer who was fired for shooting the 49ers walk-through, was on the Patriots' video staff from 2001 through 2004, when some of those infamous violations were committed. He's also the son of Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
"Fox NFL Sunday" insider Jay Glazer reported McDaniels told his coaching staff in a Friday meeting that what the Broncos did in London wasn't as bad as what the Patriots did for years.
Glazer on McDaniels' description of what happened in New England: "That was practiced. That was coached. That was worked on."
The Broncos' transgression was a popular subject on Sunday's various NFL shows.
NBC Sports analyst Tony Dungy on McDaniels reportedly making the Patriots admission: "That is really a violation of honor code of coaches. You talk to your staff, 'Here's what we do at our place. We don't talk about what anybody else does. What happened in the past.' I don’t think he should have talked about that."
Dungy on severity of Denver's violation compared to New England's: "If he’s referring to videotaping, that's a completely different story than stealing signals. If you're videotaping walk-throughs, opponents' practices, that is really, really a serious allegation."
NBC Sports analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison on whether this scandal will dog the Patriots: "First of all, it won't be a distraction. This team is 9-2 and Belichick is a mastermind, absolutely a mastermind of keeping guys focused on the task at hand. In 2007 this similar situation happened to us, and as players we said 'Someone's attacking our coach. We're going to protect him.' We went out there, went 16-0, 18-1 overall, and we blew everybody out by 20, 25 points."
Harrison on McDaniels talking about Patriots practices: "Josh is a good guy, and I felt like he was a loyal guy. He was a guy that Bill Belichick gave an opportunity to, and it really surprised me that he would come out and say something like this."
CBS Sports analyst Bill Cowher: "As far as the punishment, no, it's not enough. The precedent was set when the New England Patriots were fined, Bill Belichick himself over $100,000, and draft picks should be taken away. I know they say [Steve Scarnecchia] acted independently. I don't agree with that because I think in every room, in every building, the dynamics, you always have to answer to a superior. I have a hard time believing this was done independently. It was not heavily fined enough. Draft picks should have been taken away."