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The anti-McDaniels sentiment in Denver is growing. (Ron Chenoy/US Presswire) As a Bill Belichick...

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The anti-McDaniels sentiment in Denver is growing. (Ron Chenoy/US Presswire) As a Bill Belichick wannabe who presides over the Denver Broncos’ universe like a hyper-paranoid dictator, Josh McDaniels is viewed as somewhat of a circus act in NFL circles – and never more so than in the last two days, when he tried to play the football world like chumps in the wake of an embarrassing cheating scandal that came to light Saturday morning. First, McDaniels portrayed himself as the emblem of integrity in claiming that since-dismissed video coordinator Steve Scarnecchia filmed a portion of the San Francisco 49ers’ walkthrough before the two teams’ meeting at Wembley Stadium late last month, and that the coach summarily refused to view the illicit tape before Denver’s 24-16 defeat. I talked to several other NFL head coaches, and numerous front-office executives, over the past few days, and the number of them who believe that McDaniels neither ordered the filming nor viewed it is the same as John Blutarsky’s grade-point-average in "Animal House": 0.0. The fact that Scarnecchia had apparently been involved in the Patriots’ Spygate scandal before being hired by McDaniels made the coach’s claims even more dubious. Worst of all was McDaniels’ reaction after being fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to report the violation (with owner Pat Bowlen receiving a fine of the same amount). Instead of accepting the punishment with humility and being thankful that his employers stood by him publicly, at least for now, McDaniels did what he always does: Tried to bully everyone around him into submission. It’s one thing when Belichick, one of the greatest coaches of his era, flexes his power internally; when a 34-year-old coach who (after Sunday’s 36-33 home defeat to the St. Louis Rams) has lost 16 of his past 21 games is doing a lame Tony Soprano impression, it’s a little tough to stomach. That didn’t stop McDaniels, according to a report by Fox’s Jay Glazer, from telling his assistants at a meeting informing them of the impending cheating revelations on Friday morning, "If this gets out, there are jobs on the line." Smooth move, Josh, and guess what – someone blabbed to Glazer, potential consequences be damned. You’ll be happy to know that I, too, talked to someone in the organization Sunday night who said, "If he treated people right, everybody’d just keep their mouths shut. But when you treat people like a piece of [expletive], this is what happens." I’m sure that when McDaniels reads this – and trust me, he will – his first reaction will be, "Who said this?" And that would the wrong reaction. Instead, McDaniels should ask, "How has this cheating episode affected the people I work with, many of whom will be unfairly associated with this dishonorable behavior? And how can I make it up to them as we try to band together as a staff and get our team to perform well enough over the final five games that we might somehow remain employed past 2010?" Realistically, however, I don’t think McDaniels cares about the professional fate of anyone but himself. Further evidence of this can be found in Glazer’s report that McDaniels told his assistants the Patriots’ taping practices were far worse than the incident for which the Broncos got caught, allegedly saying that what went down in New England "was practiced … was coached … was worked on." I wish McDaniels the best of luck explaining that apparent sellout move and utter lack of gratitude to Belichick, his mentor, and to his former Patriots colleagues and players. And to Bowlen and chief operating officer Joe Ellis – and everyone else in the Denver organization who has been negatively impacted by this embarrassment – I extend my deepest sympathies. There are jobs on the line, all right, and if McDaniels’ position isn’t one of them, the Broncos are pro football’s most gullible organization.

Michael Silver, yahoo sports
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