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The NFL fined the Denver Broncos and head coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 because the team’s video operations director, Steve Scarnecchia, filmed parts of the 49ers’ practice prior to their Oct. 31 game in London.Scarnecchia has been fired by the NFL.
Scarnecchia and McDaniels are both former employees of the New England Patriots, who were found guilty of videotaping opponents in 2008.
McDaniels said Scarnecchia acted independently in compiling the film, and that he refused to see the tape. But Dave Kreiger of the Denver Post notes that McDaniels went out of his way to hire Scarnecchia, a known culprit in the Patriots scandal. And for some reason no one on the Broncos thought to delete the video files from team computers.
Still, the league did not punish McDaniels severely. League security officials escorted Scarnecchia out of Broncos facilities last week. Apparently, they agreed with McDaniels that Scarnecchia alone was responsible for the spying. The head coach’s mistake was his failure to report the tapes.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped anyone from using the spying scandal to amplify calls for his head. Since starting 6-0 under his watch last season, the Broncos have lost 16 of their 21 games. And McDaniels has made many questionable personnel decisions; he butted heads and eventually shipped away the team’s starting quarterback and its go-to receiver.
And according to Peter King, McDaniels has another concern to deal with: the anonymous “rat” who disclosed the presence of tapes to team and league executives.
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