AFC East: 2010 broncos taping scandal

Ex-Patriots land in another video mess

November, 27, 2010
11/27/10
3:02
PM ET
The Denver Broncos and head coach Josh McDaniels were fined $100,000 combined for violating the NFL's policy on improperly videotaping an opponent.

Broncos video operation director Steve Scarnecchia filmed a San Francisco 49ers walkthrough before their Week 8 game in London. McDaniels claimed he refused to watch the tape, but he and the Broncos were punished for failing to disclose the violation. The Broncos fired Scarnecchia.

The New England Patriots weren't directly involved in this particular case. But the incident picks at the most noticeable wart on the Patriots' recent legacy.

I've repeatedly dismissed the impact the Patriots' video violations had on their dominance, but that's not going to stop the renewed criticisms from a scandal that engulfed them in 2007 and 2008.

You need only read the comment sections on this blog to see how much rival fans love to play the cheater card. The fact that McDaniels and Scarnecchia cut their NFL teeth under Patriots head coach Bill Belichick won't go unnoticed.

The NFL stripped the Patriots of their 2008 first-round draft pick, fined Belichick $500,000 and fined the team $250,000 for illicitly videotaping defensive hand signals.

At the time, McDaniels was the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

Scarnecchia, the only son of Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, was on the Patriots' staff from 2001 through 2004, when some of the violations were committed. But Steve Scarnecchia had moved to the New York Jets with Eric Mangini when the NFL handed down its sanctions.

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