With longtime owner Pat Bowlen passing in 2019, the Denver Broncos are currently mired in disarray, which could ultimately lead to a possible sale of the franchise. But that didn’t stop one of its former players from talking about the team cheating under former coach Josh McDaniels.
Yes, the same coach who is currently the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, a team that’s been involved in numerous cheating scandals. So the accusation isn’t far-fetched at all.
#Broncos LB DJ Williams opened up about the Josh McDaniels era in Denver on the @IAMATHLETEpod
"We started 6-0." – "We lose to San Francisco, our film guy got caught filming their practice."
"WE WAS CHEATING!" pic.twitter.com/3hkK1sH2rB
— NFL Update (@nflupdate247) January 12, 2022
Former linebacker D.J. Williams, who played nine years in the Mile High City (2004-2012) following a stellar collegiate career at Miami, says Denver cheated with regularity. He even took it upon himself to talk about it on the “I Am Athlete” podcast this past week.
DJ Williams talks about "Junior Spygate" with Josh McDaniels and the Broncos 😳pic.twitter.com/fDPTXu1m8o
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 12, 2022
During a 2009 trip to London to face the 49ers, one of McDaniel’s assistants was caught filming San Fran’s practice. In typical “good ole boy network” fashion McDaniels was only fined for the major infraction.
But that was the beginning of the end for the then-6-0 Broncos and for McDaniels as the team’s head coach.
Broncos’ Losing Streak Begins After Cheating Exposed: “We Weren’t That Good”
Former Broncos linebacker DJ Williams says the team was only winning games under Josh McDaniels because they were cheating. https://t.co/0JMIKYjo4q
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) January 13, 2022
Williams: “We end up losing to San Francisco. We’re supposed to beat San Francisco. Here’s what happened — our film guy got caught because we had to share Wembley Stadium.
“He got caught filming their practice. … Josh tried to say that the film guy, whom he grew up with, I had (no idea). I believe we started out 6-0 and ended up 8-8.”
Josh McDaniels said the videographer acted on his own.
“After Junior Spygate happens,” said Williams, “we lose six out of eight games. I bullsh-t you not, once that losing streak happened, we were having breakfast and we’re like, ‘Damn, I knew we weren’t that good bro.’ We were cheating!”
"When Tom Brady feet are parallel, it's 100% pass. When his feet are staggered it's 100% run."pic.twitter.com/SI2brWSDV5
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 12, 2022
McDaniels Was No Stranger To Cheating
McDaniels’ Roots are deeply embedded in Bill Belichick’s New England coaching tree. The Patriots are notorious for pushing the envelope and have been caught red-handed a time or two on Tom Brady and Belichick’s watch.
There were rumors of the Patriots cheating prior to their Super Bowl victory over the Rams in SB XXXVI. The report stated the Patriots filmed the Rams’ walkthrough the day before Super Sunday, although there’s never been any evidence to substantiate the allegations. Questions still linger to this day. McDaniels was a young assistant on that Patriots team. The Rams were 14-point favorites and had beaten the Patriots that season in Foxborough.
Former Rams running back Eric Dickerson and Rams head coach Dick Vermeil weren’t buying the story’s retraction after it was released by the Boston Herald.
“We want a rematch against the Patriots,” Dickerson said. “We want them back again, because they cheated us. They cheated us. They cheated us. They know they cheated us back in New Orleans. They watched our film, so we want some more of them.”
"They've done it the right way. They haven't been accused of cheating!" – Former #Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil on the team getting the playoff monkey off their back.
— 610SportsKC (@610SportsKC) January 16, 2019
In 2007, Spygate soon followed as the Patriots were disciplined by the league for filming the Jets’ defensive signals from an undisclosed and unauthorized location in the stadium.
At the time of that incident, Josh McDaniels was the Patriots offensive coordinator. He had something to do with illegally videotaping defensive signals.
“Spygate” was taken by the New England Patriots pic.twitter.com/U7rgDgsBHa
— Lopez vs Stuff szn (@ThePureMagicFan) May 23, 2018
Deflategate took place in the 2015 AFC Championship Game, and it involved then Patriots QB Tom Brady having footballs deflated below regulation so he could have better grip in frigid Northeastern weather. The Patriots denied the allegations, but eventually Brady was suspended four games and the team was fined $1 million and required to forfeit two draft picks.
Breaking: A league source tells me the NFL is investigating the possibility the Patriots deflated footballs Sunday night. More to come.
— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) January 19, 2015
Again, McDaniels was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots.
Everyone around the league considers the Patriots cheaters and always will. They are also considered champions. It’s an odd dichotomy that puts a spotlight on the “win at all costs” mentality. McDaniels has seen unscrupulous tactics firsthand and even did it when he had his own team.
WOW: Former Bills GM Doug Whaley tells us they used to take their trash back to Buffalo so Bill Belichick couldn't cheat. https://t.co/lDoiuAO6ka
— 93.7 The Fan (@937theFan) September 1, 2021
McDaniels has Belichick’s tactics down pat. Now he just needs the head coaching rings.
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